The Sustainable Food Lab is staffed by a team of dedicated professionals with offices in Vermont and supported by a partnership with Ag Innovations Network. Ag Innovations Network (AIN) acts as the fiscal sponsor for the secretariatSustainable Food Lab. An Advisory Board, led by representatives of leading SFL members, provides oversight to the Lab, establishes budget priorities, assists with fundraising, and shares the Food Lab stories with a broader audience.
The Food Lab is staffed by the following:
Hal Hamilton, Co-director
Hal Hamilton founded and co-directs the Sustainable Food Lab. Hal helps lead projects on water and crop diversification, as well as occasional supplier summits and strategic planning initiatives. He is an adviser to organizations and coach to people whose jobs involve sustainability. He is also a co-founder and faculty of the Academy for Systemic Change.
Hal’s career began as a commercial dairy farmer in Kentucky, and one of his early awards was being named Master Conservationist. While in Kentucky he led the development of the first formal alliance among tobacco farmers and public health organizations, an alliance that paved the way for hundreds of millions of dollars of tobacco settlement funds to be invested in rural communities in the upper south. He has founded and directed rural development and leadership organizations, and was the executive director of the Sustainability Institute founded by Donella Meadows.
Hal is a frequent guest faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management and other business schools. Hal has been an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative. At the invitation of the U.S. State Department in 2006 he gave the annual George McGovern address to the FAO at World Food Day. He has been a German Marshall Fellow, a Kellogg Fellow and received a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award.
Hal’s education was at Stanford University and the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has written numerous columns and journal articles and three chapters in books on agricultural policy and change, most recently: The Dawn of System Leadership, and System Leaders. Other publications include: Why we need Metrics and why Metrics are Dangerous and Why Sustainable Food Needs Big Business, and Why Business Can't Do It Alone. Hal lives in a community in Vermont located on a farm that produces many products including an award winning cheese and maple syrup.
Don Seville, Co-director
Don Seville, Co- Director, Sustainable Food Laboratory. Don brings a background in systems thinking and organizational learning to the Food Lab’s leadership team. The Food Lab has brought together companies, NGOs, and other stakeholders to collaborate on market approaches to promoting a more sustainable food system for over 10 years. Don is leading the Sustainable Livelihoods work within the Lab, which is developing partnerships between companies and NGOs to pilot trading models that connect small scale producers to modern markets. Don received his M.S. in Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994 and has worked extensively with the Society for Organizational Learning. In 1997, he helped found the Sustainability Institute and Cobb Hill Co-housing, a farm based “eco-village” in Hartland, Vermont where he currently lives with his wife, son and daughter and raises sheep.
Margaret brings a background in the private sector and public policy to the Food Lab. She previously served as Director of Sustainability & CSR for Sodexo managing North American sustainable sourcing. In this role she led Sodexo’s sustainable supply chain work identifying key components of a sustainable sourcing strategy, setting targets for action and putting in place sustainability at Sodexo’s 35,000 locations worldwide and within its’ $15 billion supply chain. Her experience also spanned the creation and measurement of progress and outcome indicators on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Margaret also previously worked at USAID and World Wildlife Fund. She has a BA and BS from Brown University, training from Massachusetts Institute for Technology in System Dynamics and Master’s Degree from Princeton University.
Daniella Malin, Senior Program Director, Agricultural & Climate
Daniella directs the Food Lab’s climate work and serves as project manager for the Cool Farm Institute bringing together growers with multinational food companies, NGOs, and academics to measure the potential for agricultural practices to mitigate GHG emissions. Daniella has a background in project management, cultural communications, journalism, environmental education, software engineering and farming. She received her B.A. in Literature and Society from Brown University. Daniella has written numerous publicatons, most recently:
- Climate change adaptation, mitigation and livelihood benefits in coffee production: where are the synergies? Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change (Impact Factor: 1.86). 01/2014; DOI: 10.1007/s11027-013-9467-x
- Methods for the quantification of GHG emissions at the landscape level for developing countries in smallholder contexts Environmental Research Letters (Impact Factor: 3.58). 02/2013; 8(Res. Lett. 8 015019). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015019
- A farm-focused calculator for emissions from crop and livestock production. Environmental Modelling and Software (Impact Factor: 3.48). 09/2011; 26(September):1070-1078. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.03.014
- Using Biogeochemical Process Models to Quantify Greenhouse Gas Mitigation from Agricultural Management Projects. March 2011. Lydia P. Olander and Karen Haugen-Kozyra, with contributions from Stephen Del Grosso, César Izaurralde, Daniella Malin, Keith Paustian, and William Salas: http://nicholasinstitute.duke.edu/ecosystem/t-agg/using-biogeochemical-process
- C-AGG, T-AGG, and M-AGG: A model of building collaborative actions and common understanding on agricultural GHG mitigation. July 2011 Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) working paper by Lydia Olander, Debbie Reed, Daniella Malin, and Karen Haugen-Kozyra
Elizabeth Reaves, Progam Director
As a member of the Sustainable Food Lab team, Elizabeth provides project management, research, analysis, and support for the Food Lab’s efforts to develop landscape level collaboration to achieve more sustainable agricultural practices. Her work is informed by deep listening, community-based research, and an appreciation for the complex interactions between social-economic systems and the environment. Having spent the early part of her life on a dairy farm in Vermont, and then later on a large organic vegetable operation, Elizabeth carries farming and food systems close to her heart and believes that farmers are integral to the stewardship our working lands. She has worked on behalf of private businesses, Trust for Public Land, Donella Meadows Institute, and US Senator Patrick Leahy. Her advanced degrees are in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.
Emily Shipman, Program Director
As a member of the Food Lab’s agriculture and development team, Emily provides project management, research, analysis, and support for the Food Lab’s efforts to implement more sustainable agricultural practices throughout value chains. She leads the Food lab's work on smallholder performance measurement.
Over the past 11 years, Emily's work has bridged many integrated areas, including economic development, food security, sustainable agriculture, food systems, community development, marketing, and communications. Emily has spent considerable time working with small-scale farmers both abroad and at home in rural Vermont. She believes these farmers are a fundamental part of the solution to some of the most pressing issues facing our world. Both her graduate and undergraduate theses focused on the implementation and evaluation of timely and culturally appropriate development initiatives. Emily holds a B.S. in Public Policy and Anthropology from Hobart & William Smith Colleges, an M.S. in Management from Marlboro College Graduate School, and a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Marlboro College Graduate School.
Susan Sweitzer, Operations and Communications Manager
Susan has been part of the Sustainable Food Lab staff since it’s founding in 2004. Initially she was the Learning Historian, documenting the challenges and discoveries in the words of the members of the Lab. More recently she has been instrumental in leading Learning Journeys and managing communications and management systems for the Food Lab. Previously, Susan was a writer, researcher and program evaluator for the Sustainability Institute. In that capacity she wrote the Learning Histories for the Sustainable Food Lab, the CDC Diabetes Systems Modeling Project and the Meadowlark Project as well as authoring the monthly Sustainability Institute newsletter. For 10 years in the 1990s Susan developed and managed low income rural/urban public health projects and served as a clinical nurse in a public health setting. Susan has a B.S. in Psychology from Earlham College and a B.S.N. from Eastern Kentucky University. Susan currently lives on a farm based eco-village where she raises Icelandic sheep and produces maple syrup.
LeAnne Grillo, Learning Journey and Meeting Production
LeAnne helps diverse groups of people act together to address the complex social issues they are frustrated with and passionate to change. She is co-founder and a partner in Spaces for Change, a firm that specializes in creating the conditions for people to connect in meaningful ways, enabling them to take effective action together around challenges that matter to them. She works closely with the Sustainable Food Lab and the SoL Education Partnership. LeAnne was a co-founder of Reos Partners LLC and worked at its predecessor company, Generon Consulting, contributing to a range of projects using the Change Lab and U-Process methodologies. Before joining Reos Partners, LeAnne was vice president and conference director for Pegasus Communications, the premier resource provider in the fields of systems thinking and organizational learning. Prior to Pegasus, LeAnne spent ten years working for Girl Scouts Patriots’ Trail Council in Boston, Massachusetts in a variety of management positions.