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Staff

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.

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, Program 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.

Zoraia de Jesus Barros, Program Coordinator
Zoraia grow up on a small family farm in Brazil and got her bachelor’s degree in Agronomy in 2003. After working two and half years as a Technical Assistant at Farm Services Organization in Brazil, she earned her master’s degree in Crop Sciences in 2007 and is currently completing her PhD in Plant Soil and Insect Sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst. During her time at UMass, Zoraia taught an ag production course to a wide range of farmers at Nuestras Raices, did years of research/extension work related to ethnic crops production and marketing, promoted the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), and worked with the Massachusetts Commonwealth Quality Program from its inception. Zoraia has informally worked with a wide range of farmers, wholesalers, buyers, and others in the produce industry to improve farm workplace conditions and communication across language barriers. She is proficient in three languages (Portuguese, English, and Spanish). Email Zoraia or call 413-665-7100 ext. 15.

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.

Claire Morenon, Communications ManagerClaireMorenon
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.

Ellery Pool, Program Assistant
Ellery first joined CISA in 2021 as a TerraCorps Service Member, and now they are helping the Local Hero Program as a Program Assistant. Their time as the TerraCorps Service Member was spent performing outreach about HIP and supporting CISA’s Local Food For All initiatives. Prior to joining CISA, Ellery worked at National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota, where he conducted plant and wildlife research in the field, and on Cape Cod, where he communicated with the public about nature and conservation. He studied Natural Resources Conservation at UMass Amherst. Email Ellery or call 413-665-7100 ext. 26.

Stevie Schafenacker, Program Coordinator
Stevie returned in 2016 to Massachusetts (where she began her farm and food justice career, first as a student at Mount Holyoke College and then as a farmer around the state). She spent the previous nine years in NYC, managing urban farms and gardens, educating the public on city agriculture, and supporting other food justice organizations in their growth and expansion. Stevie also moonlights in other food arenas. She adds whole animal butcher shop, camp kitchen management, and catering onto her list of experiences. Currently, Stevie is the Business Assistance Coordinator for CISA, supporting farms and farmers in the region.  Email Stevie or call 413-665-7100 ext. 24.

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.

Zoey Sloate, Program Coordinator
Zoey manages CISA’s Local Food for All work. She provides one-on-one technical assistance and workshops to farms, local food businesses, and farmers’ markets on SNAP, HIP, food access, other food benefits program, general operations, and more. Much of this work involves building strong relationships with partner organizations around the Valley and Massachusetts, and connecting opportunities to various organizations to further work towards an interconnected, resilient local food system together. Prior to CISA, Zoey was a business analyst for corporate teams at a national wholesale grocer and analyst consultant for local food businesses. Zoey studied Sustainable Food Systems & Operations, Marketing, and IT at UMass Amherst. Email Zoey or call 413-665-7100 ext. 27.

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.

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.

 

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).