Dan Pullman Chair is a Boston-based investor and advisor to sustainable food and agri/aqua-culture companies. He is the founding President of Sprout Lenders, LLC, an investment group focused on farmers, producers, and food system entrepreneurs that serve the greater Boston area. Dan is Chairman of the Spence Group which creates collaborative solutions with investment, philanthropic, and program partners to drive the expansion of local and sustainable food system solutions. Dan spent the last ten years as investment banker (MLC and Growthstone) for companies in the clean-tech, software, media, and sustainability sectors. Previously, he was an executive in software technology (Excelergy, Swift Rivers, First Data Interactive), consumer products (Cannondale), and media (Sports Illustrated) companies in various leadership roles including CFO, COO and Vice President of Sales. In addition to FERN, Dan is active on various Boards including Yale’s Sustainable Food Project, FarmPlate, and HopSkoch. He graduated from Yale College and the Yale School of Management.
Aaron Freiwald Vice Chair is a founding partner of Layser & Freiwald, a law office based in Philadelphia, PA. Originally from San Francisco, Mr. Freiwald graduated from Columbia College in New York, where he was Editor in Chief of the Columbia Daily Spectator. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to law school, Mr. Freiwald worked as an investigative print and television journalist for eight years covering law and politics in Washington, D.C., Latin America, and Europe. Mr. Freiwald has covered the Justice Department for the weekly D.C. newspaper, Legal Times, as well as working as a staff writer for The American Lawyer magazine in New York. In 1990, Mr. Freiwald was named Editorial Director for the American Lawyer/Time Warner start-up, Court TV. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Last Nazi (W.W. Norton), a history of Nazi war crimes trials and of SS Commander Josef Schwammberger, one of the last important Nazi figures to be brought to trial.
Allison Arieff is Editor and Content Strategist at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), a Contributing Columnist for The New York Times, and writes for GOOD, Sunset, Dialogue, and other publications. She is a Contributing Columnist for The New York Times and Contributing Columnist for The Atlantic Cities. From 2002-2006, Arieff was Editor-in-Chief of Dwell, and was the magazine’s founding senior editor. Dwell won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2005 under her tenure. Arieff is author of the books Prefab and Trailer Travel: A Visual History of Mobile America, and a contributor to numerous other books including, Prefab Green, Modern Sustainable Residential Design, and Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York. She has been featured as an expert on sustainable design for two seasons of the Sundance Channel series “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” as well on CNN, NBC News, NPR, Marketplace, and KCRW’s Design+Architecture; she has lectured at the Architectural League of New York, the Commonwealth Club of California, UCLA, the Conference for the Beginning Design Student, and the Hearst Lectures at Cal Poly, among others. Arieff lives in San Francisco where she has a 500-square foot urban farm in her backyard.
Samuel Fromartz Editor-in-Chief is a veteran journalist who focuses on the intersection of the environment, food and sustainable business. He began his career at Reuters news agency in the mid-1980s, working as a correspondent in Washington and as deputy editor for the Reuters Business Report in New York. Since leaving the news agency, his articles have appeared in Inc., Fortune, Business Week, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic magazine’s Life channel, among other publications. He is the author of Organic Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew (Harcourt, 2006) about the evolution of the organic foods industry and is currently working on a book about grains and bread for Viking/Penguin. He lives in Washington, D.C. and blogs at ChewsWis
Ralph Loglisci serves as the director of communications for the national non-profit Wholesome Wave, an organization dedicated to making the food system more equitable for everyone by improving access and affordability of fresh, healthy, locally-grown produce to historically underserved communities. Before joining Wholesome Wave he spent the last several years as the Project Director for the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. Among his many duties there, Ralph helped translate scientific findings surrounding the complicated intersections between food systems and public health to the general public. It was at the Center that Ralph was able to hone his food policy communications skills serving as an advisor to both CLF and the national Meatless Monday campaigns. Ralph has worn many hats over the years. In addition to his advisory roles, he has written about issues ranging from food politics to obesity and health behavior change; served as the communications director for the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production and the Berman Institute of Bioethics; and he spent almost 15 years as an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist.
Tom Laskawy is a co-founder and Executive Director. A veteran of both online and traditional media with 17 years of management and strategic planning experience for startup organizations in film, television, and the Internet, he is also a Contributing Writer at Grist magazine where he covers food politics and the environment. His writing has been published online in the American Prospect, Slate, The New York Times and The New Republic.
Susan West is the Executive Editor of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Since 1995, her consulting company, West Gold Editorial, has helped launch and improve publications and websites including Dwell, Cooking Light, ConsumerReports.org, and Discovery Communications. Susan has been the founding editor in chief of travel magazine Afar, executive editor of Smithsonian, and a co-founder of Health. Her work at those publications earned four National Magazine Awards and a gold for best magazine from the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism awards. A longtime geek, Susan started her career covering geology and geophysics, climate change, the environment, and health topics at Science News and Science 80 magazines.
Paula Crossfield is a co-founder and Managing Editor. She is a founding editor of Civil Eats, a site with over 40 contributors covering sustainability and food, and has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio, where she focused on food and food policy issues. Her work has appeared in The Nation, The Washington Post and The New York Times online.
Naomi Starkman is Strategic Communications Advisor and a Founding Board Member. She is a founder and editor of Civil Eats, and a food policy consultant to Consumers Union and many others. Naomi served as the Director of Communications & Policy at Slow Food Nation ’08 and has worked as a media consultant at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ and WIRED magazines. She was previously a senior publicist at Newsweek magazine and was the Director of Communications for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). From 1997 to 2000, she served as Deputy Executive Director of the S.F. Ethics Commission. Naomi works with various clients on food policy and advocacy and is an aspiring organic grower, having worked on several farms.