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) is the managing partner of the secretariat, and Hal Hamilton and Don Seville are the co-leaders of the Food Lab.
An Advisory Board, led by current 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. Within the Sustainable Food Lab over sixty corporations and NGOs work together to mainstream sustainability in global food supply, and its projects generate supply chain tools and shared learning among peers. Hal currently coordinates a US Beef Stewardship Collaboration initiated by McDonald's and Walmart, and he is supporting several multi-company landscape level initiatives to implement sustainable sourcing.
Hal’s career began as a commercial dairy farmer in Kentucky, and one of his proudest awards was being named Master Conservationist. While in Kentucky he led the development of the first formal alliance among tobacco farmer 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 or lecturer at the MIT Sloane School of Management and for the Presencing Institute. He gives frequent talks including at the Harvard Business School, the Kennedy School, the Society for Organizational Learning, and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Hal has been an advisor 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 and 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: 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 is the co-director of the Sustainable Food Laboratory, a multi-stakeholder project with the mission of innovating ways to increase the sustainability of the mainstream food system. He is leading the Sustainable Livelihoods Initiative, which is developing partnerships between companies and NGOs to pilot innovations that improve the competitiveness and sustainability of small-scale farming systems. Within the Food Lab Don is also managing the “New Business Models for Sustainable Trading Relationships” project, a 4 year project with NGO and corporate partners to improve market access and livelihoods of small scale producers in Africa in crops including cocoa, dried beans, bananas, and fresh vegetables.
Daniella Malin, Project Director, Agricultural Climate Stewardship Project
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.
Elizabeth Reaves, Progam Associate
Elizabeth Reaves is a Program Associate at the Sustainable Food Lab. She previously conducted public engagement sessions and coordinated research on economic and sustainability indicators for the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont. She has ten years of experience doing strategic planning, community visioning, marketing and communications. She has worked on behalf of private businesses, regional planning organizations, Trust for Public Land, Donella Meadows Institute, the Vermont Secretary of State, and the United States Judiciary Committee. She interned in the office of US Senator Leahy and for Citibank Paris. Her advanced degrees are in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont and she is working towards a certificate in Ecological Economics from the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont.
Emily Shipman, Program Coordinator
As a member of the Food Lab’s agriculture and development team, Emily provides research, analysis, project management and support for the Food Lab’s efforts to implement more sustainable agriculture practices throughout value chains.
Emily received a B.A. from Hobart & William Smith Colleges, where she studied public policy and anthropology with a focus on Latin American studies. She completed her Master’s in Managing Mission-Driven Organizations at Marlboro College Graduate School. Both her undergraduate and graduate theses focused on the implementation and analysis of timely and culturally appropriate agricultural development projects. Having spent considerable time working with smallholder farmers in Central America and at home in Vermont, Emily believes these farmers are a fundamental part of the solution to some of the most pressing issues facing our planet.
Susan Sweitzer, Operations 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 working in Value Chain projects, leading Learning Journeys, managing communications and management systems for the Food Lab. Previously, Susan Sweitzer 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.
Joseph McIntyre, Senior Associate, Sustainable Food Lab, Ag Innovations Network Director, Master Facilitator
Joseph is Senior Associate with the Sustainable Food Lab as well as president of Ag Innovations Network, a non-governmental organization, focused on the sustainability of the food system. Ag Innovations Network convenes and facilitates multi-stakeholder efforts to improve the performance of the food system for producers, consumers, and participants in local, regional, and global food supply chains. Joseph is a trusted intermediary between diverse interests in the food system and has consulted/facilitated processes with large global entities such as Sodexo, cutting-edge companies such as Clif Bar, environmental organizations including National Resources Defense Council and Sustainable Conservation, prominent NGOs including Roots of Change and Sustainable Food Lab, government entities including California Department of Pesticide Regulation, trade associations such as California Association of County Agricultural Commissioners. He is the leader of multiple projects for Ag Innovations Network including the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment, the state’s most prominent effort to align the interests and needs of agricultural producers and environmental organizations around a common policy platform, and the California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply. Mr. McIntyre holds an M.A. in economics from the University of Rhode Island and an M.A. in psychology/organization development from Sonoma University. Ag Innovations Network is headquartered in Sebastopol, CA.
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.