The Steering Committee of the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition kicked of 2016 at its annual spring meeting on Monday, March 7, 2016. The Steering Committee shares their expertise, skills, and time to further advance the strategic goals of the coalition. Many of the members are involved in initiatives of the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition including: Carrot Gold Partnership, Food Deserts Work Group and Institutional Purchasing Work Group. Their contributions are invaluable in the coalition’s success. Policy updates are shared from the state legislatures as their sessions wind down, and excitement is generated as the growing season is kicking off! The spring meeting is the first meeting for new members of the Steering Committee. The food policy coalition happily welcomed three new steering committee members to serve a two-year term.
First up is Emily Lecuyer. Emily has experience with local food and organic farming. Currently she works at Missouri Bank and focuses on how banking and finance can support community endeavors and have a positive social impact. She recognizes the gaps between small scale farming and the banking industry and is keen to find solutions to bridge those gaps. Welcome, Emily!
Mark Zukaitis, Chef/Manager at Bistro Kids, is another wonderful addition to the Steering Committee. Mark’s role as Chef with Bistro Kids focuses on teaching kids about healthy food with a focus on seasonal and local eating. He can provide insight into working with kids as well as working with the school system; Bistro Kids works with several schools in the metro area. Welcome aboard, Mark!
Last, but certainly not least, we welcome back Jane Zieha, owner of Blue Bird Bistro. Blue Bird Bistro is a farm to table restaurant located in KCMO that for the last 15 years, has been purchasing from 40 local farms on an annual basis. Jane has previously served on the coalition’s Steering Committee so we are happy to have back such a pioneer and supporter of the local food movement. Welcome back, Jane!
Spring also means turnover of officers and the Steering Committee unanimously approved the 2016-2017 slate of officers. We are happy to announce the following officers:
- Chair-Bruce Chaldny, Director, K-State Research and Extension Wyandotte County
- Vice Chair-Lisa Markley, Kansas City Community Liaison, Whole Foods Market
- Secretary-Beth Dawson, Senior Land Use Planner, MARC
- Treasurer-Kellie Zych, Manager Healthcare and Hospitality, US Foods
- Past Chair-Emily Akins, Editorial Director, Hallmark & Outreach Coordinator, KC Food Circle
The coalition would like to thank Lisa Ousley, Executive Director of After the Harvest for her time as an officer, including her role as Chair. Thank you for your years of leadership, Lisa!
The Steering Committee is excited to work on a variety of policy initiatives in 2016. The coalition is fortunate to have a dedicated team of food system stakeholders serving as officers and on the Steering Committee to move initiatives and work forward.
We are looking forward to an exciting and productive 2016!