Staff and Service Members

Philip Korman, Executive Director 
Phil leads the organization in its mission to strengthen farms and engage the community to build the local food economy. He has over 25 years’ experience in management and raising resources at nonprofits, including six years as Executive Director of the Western Mass. Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health and seven years as the Director of Development for the National Priorities Project. Phil believes that we can create a better world for our children and grandchildren, but only with a lot of listening, humor, music and good company. Email Phil or call 413-665-7100 ext. 13.

Clarissa Adan, Food Access Program Assistant
Clarissa was the 2022/23 TerraCorps Service Member supporting CISA’s Local Food For All initiatives and performing outreach about HIP and local food access. She has a degree in Environmental Studies and is interested in how food justice can intersect with environmental conservation. Prior to joining CISA she worked with a youth organization in Alaska working on cultural and environmental education as well as food security issues. She is looking forward to learning more about strengthening the local food system. Email Clarissa or call 413-665-7100 ext. 19.

Margaret Christie, Special Projects Director MargaretChristie
Margaret served as CISA’s executive director from 1997-1999, when the Local Hero program was launched, and interim executive director in 2008. She is instrumental in new project development at CISA and is now focused on infrastructure and research projects related to large-volume sales of locally grown products. Prior to joining CISA, Margaret worked for the University of Massachusetts Integrated Pest Management Program and the Northeast Organic Farmers Association, Massachusetts chapter. She has a master’s degree in rural sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture from The Evergreen State College. Email Margaret or call 413-665-7100 ext. 23.

kelly.coleman2013Kelly Coleman, Deputy Director
Kelly has been with CISA since 2005. Kelly manages CISA programs including our current efforts to support greater resilience in farming and the local food economy. Kelly also coordinates the statewide partnership of Buy Locals and facilitates CISA’s budgeting process. She received a master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and spent several years promoting sustainable agriculture and environmental issues in California before moving back to her native Northeast. Email Kelly or call 413-665-7100 ext. 14.

John Eichholz, Bookkeeper
John has a long history in the food industry, including several years as produce manager and 15 years as a finance manager. As bookkeeper, he works on day-to-day record keeping and on budgets and reporting. In the off-hours, he tends a large vegetable garden and searches for tall trees and old growth in the wilds of Massachusetts. Email John or call 413-665-7100 ext. 28.

Wendy Ferris, Development Director
Wendy helps people understand why they will love supporting CISA’s critical work in building a more resilient and just local food economy. She has spent 20 years building community and engaging people in rural development and land issues in the region. Most recently, she was the Philanthropy Director at Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT. Previously, she worked at the Franklin Land Trust and the Trustees of Reservations’ Highland Communities Initiative. Her love of western Mass began when she was a Masters in Regional Planning student at UMass Amherst. She also has a BA from Lafayette College. Email Wendy or call 413-665-7100 ext. 11.

Molly Funk, Program Assistant
Molly joined CISA in 2022 as a program assistant on the technical assistance team. She graduated from Boston College with a degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science. As a student, Molly managed Boston College’s student-led garden, and worked with environmental and food justice organizations on campus. She also worked in regional food sourcing as an intern with Boston College Dining Services. Prior to joining CISA, Molly spent the summer coordinating volunteers for CitySprouts, an environmental education nonprofit working in Boston public schools. Email Molly or call 413-665-7100 ext. 35.

Lisa Goodrich, Communications Coordinator
Lisa applies strong project management, writing, and editorial skills to her passion for farms, sustainability, and healthy living. She worked in greenhouses with bulb and bedding plants as a kid and carried a love for green and growing things into her adult life. Lisa relies on relationships and human experience as the foundations for clear messaging, offered in the spirit of building a healthy and vibrant community. Lisa has a bachelor’s degree in English from Wheaton College (MA), and a certificate in Professional and Technical Writing from UMass Amherst. Email Lisa or call 413-665-7100 ext. 29.

Kate Hennessey, Development Coordinator
Kate comes to us with a background in sustainable agriculture, wildlife conservation, environmental education, and massage therapy. Her passion for sustainable agriculture started when she attended Green Mountain College in Vermont in 2009, where she volunteered on the college’s farm. Kate worked on various farms across the Pioneer Valley from 2014 to 2018. She’s been working as a licensed massage therapist since 2017 and is excited to use her knowledge of building client relationships to reach new donors and sponsors while working as the Development Coordinator at CISA. Email Kate or call 413-665-7100 ext. 34.

Lucy Kahn, Program Coordinator
Lucy works on the technical assistance team. She has spent the last decade working in various roles in the food system in farm education, community gardens, vegetable farms, fermentation, and sales. Alongside this work, she has studied and supported the interconnected movements for food justice, racial justice, and economic justice. Currently, Lucy serves on the board of Out In The Open, building rural LGBTQ+ community, knowledge, visibility, and power. Outside of the office, you might find her playing upright bass or hiking with her partner and their very charismatic dog. Email Lucy or call 413-665-7100 ext. 24.

Julia Mazzuchi, Local Hero Program Assistant
Julia joined CISA in 2023 as a Program Assistant to support the Local Hero Program. She is a recent graduate of UMass Amherst with a degree in Environmental Science with a focus on climate change adaptation science. While at UMass, Julia was the project manager for the Beekeeping Club, a peer advisor for the Environmental Science Department, and worked in both UMass Dinning Services and Residential Life. She got involved in sustainable agriculture once she became a member of the UMass Student Farm in 2022, which is a 10 acre student run organic vegetable farm on UMass campus. Email Julia or call 413-665-7100 ext. 26.

Claire Morenon, Communications Manager
Claire has been with CISA since 2006. She manages many of CISA’s communications efforts. Prior to working for CISA, Claire worked on fruit and vegetable farms in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She graduated with a degree in political science from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Email Claire or call 413-665-7100 ext. 16.

Jacob Nelson, Communications Coordinator
Jacob joined the CISA team in 2020 to oversee social media, Field Notes, and other outreach to farmers and eaters alike. He is excited to connect people and ideas while sharing stories about why local food matters. Jacob studied food systems and community planning at Green Mountain College in Vermont. He has taught, farmed, and worked to grow the local food economy in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and The Bahamas, and remains involved in kelp and shellfish farming in his native Cape Cod. Email Jacob or call 413-665-7100 ext. 34.

Sonia Schloemann, Program Coordinator
Sonia, MS, comes to CISA following a long career with UMass Extension and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass. Her early career focused mainly on sustainable commercial strawberry production and was instrumental in developing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies for Strawberry production. This work grew to include all berries and specialty fruit crops. Later in her career she specialized in commercial cold climate grape production, again with a focus on IPM and sustainability. Her interests now extend to include nut crops and agroforestry. She led the UMass Extension Fruit Program for over 15 years and has extensive teaching experience in both Adult Education and Academic Undergraduate Education. In addition to teaching extensively about fruit growing, Sonia has also taught many classes in Soil Health and Native Pollinator Conservation. Prior to joining UMass Sonia farmed for nearly 15 years mostly in Western MA. She teaches Holistic Fruit Production online for the UMass Sustainable Food and Farming degree program. She brings with her to CISA an enthusiasm for local farms and a commitment to the local food system in the Pioneer Valley. Email Sonia or call 413-665-7100 ext. 21.

Jim Simon, Food Access Program Manager
Jim joined CISA in 2023 as the Food Access Program Manager. Prior to that, he spent 15 years working for a community development and environmental non-profit in Trenton, New Jersey overseeing urban agriculture and sustainability work. He has conducted numerous workshops on gardening basics, organic growing, composting, beekeeping, rain gardens, green infrastructure, and cooking using seasonal produce. Jim has been involved in environmental and youth education for over thirty years in school and community settings, beginning as an employee of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He is also a Master Gardener, having been trained through Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County. He grew up on a family farm in Nebraska and enjoys bicycles, beekeeping, cooking, and homebrewing. Email Jim or call 413-665-7100 ext. 18.

Jen Smith, Local Hero Program Manager
Jen has been farming and growing plants for most of the last twenty years. Prior to her work at CISA Jen co-founded and ran Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, where she co-managed a 350 family on-farm vegetable CSA. She has a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from UC Santa Cruz, and has worked on farms and gardens from Virginia to California to Massachusetts. Prior to founding Crimson & Clover, Jen spent five years at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust in Athol building and running the farm conservation program there, and most recently managed the Biology Greenhouses at Amherst College. Jen is the Local Hero Program Manager at CISA. Email Jen or call 413-665-7100 ext. 22.

Stephen Taranto, Program Coordinator
Stephen is a devout Interdisciplinary Ecologist who has worked at the multiple intersections between food and farming systems and biodiversity conservation for more than 20 years in the US and Latin America. His first (delicious) taste of farming systems came during college when he spent four summers working on a small family fruit farm in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. This experience set him on a lifelong path to participation in the pursuit of healthy landscapes where human populations can provide themselves with sustenance without damaging the ecosystems that provide the resources needed to prosper. As a Program Coordinator, Stephen will be focusing on crafting CISA’s initiatives related to climate change and resilience in the face of dramatic social and ecological transition. Email Stephen or call 413-665-7100 ext. 17.

Marisa Vargas-Morawetz, Program Coordinator
Marisa joined CISA in 2024 as a Program Coordinator on the farm and business support team. They have spent the last ten years working in and around the farm and food industry, primarily as an organic vegetable farmer in New York’s Hudson Valley. Marisa also comes to us with a background in migrant workers’ rights advocacy and grassroots immigrant justice work. Marisa will serve as CISA’s Resource Access Program Coordinator, focusing on making sure that CISA’s technical assistance resources reach all who can benefit. Email Marisa or call 413-665-7100 ext. 26.

Jennifer Williams, Office Manager
Jennifer, who joined CISA in 2004, is responsible for ensuring the office runs smoothly. She is a multi-tasker and problem solver who is responsible for database management, IT, office support services, building management, and more. Jennifer has a degree in Chemistry from SUNY- College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Email Jennifer or call 413-665-7100 ext. 10.

Kristen Wilmer, Program Manager
Kristen joined CISA in 2012. She is responsible for research and planning related to CISA’s special projects, providing a range of business assistance to farms and food businesses and supporting the development of new program strategies, areas, and activities. Before coming to CISA, Kristen spent ten years working on vegetable, fruit, and dairy farms in Western MA and beyond. She also worked at Northeast SARE, at the MA Farm Energy Program, and at UConn as an adjunct lecturer and vegetable and fruit extension assistant. Kristen graduated with a degree in biology from Williams College. Email Kristen or call 413-665-7100 ext. 12.

Fern Stidham, TerraCorp Service Member
Fern is the 2023-2024 Terracorps Service Member, serving as CISA’s Community Engagement Coordinator under the Food Access Program. They graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke in 2019. As a student they worked at the MHC Botanic Garden and have spent the past few years working in permaculture-based landscaping, environmental education, and on a Cranberry bog in their hometown on Cape Cod each fall. They are excited to combine the knowledge gained from these experiences into outreach programming over the course of their term with TerraCorps. In their free time they enjoy gardening at their plot in Amherst’s Fort River Community Garden, and creating stained glass works for local artisan markets as well as friends and family. Email Fern or call 413-665-7100 ext. 20.

 In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, CISA is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC  20250-9410, or call 800-795-3272 (voice), or 202-720-6382 (TDD).