Fae Blackmer, Farmer/Value-Added Product Development
Fae was born and raised in the heart of Vermont, growing up with agricultural influences from her family’s farm and the local community. Fae received her Bachelor’s in Visual Art from Bennington College with a focus in Ceramic Sculpture all the while holding vegetable farming jobs during the summer months and throughout the school year. Two days after her college graduation she returned to farming and has been ever since. When she is not farming Fae spends time looking for cookbooks to add to her collection, horseback riding, working on fermentation and cooking projects, as well as getting out on the water to fish or paddle. Fae is passionate about food access and is looking forward to fostering the relationship between food and community through her work at the Common Roots Farm at South Village.
Kayli O’Donnel: Farm to School Educator, email@example.com
Kayli O’Donnell is a bright and inspired food guide. Her teaching style focuses on fostering a curiosity about food that brings students to a deeper understanding of their personal relationship to food, the ecosystems that support our food plants, and the cultural significance and symbols they are associated with. She has a recent bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in Dietetics, Nutrition, and Food Science, as well as a minor in Food Systems. During her time in school, Kayli was a member of the Slade Ecological Cooperative, a food co-op that sources bulk food directly from local farms and cooks a nightly family dinner. Before this, growing up in New Hampshire, Kayli started her work life as a farmhand for her neighbor’s farm and has continued getting her hands dirty each summer on a variety of Vermont’s farms. Her experiences have strengthened Kayli’s understanding of all the ways we can define health and how powerful our behaviors around food can be.
Carol McQuillen, Director of Summer Camp Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol has been an early childhood educator and has worked with children in a variety of capacities for 42 years. Her love of guiding children in the natural world makes it a natural fit for her to leave the tasks of directing Common Roots as a volunteer to be with young children who attend the Common Root’s summer camps. One thing for certain, the children will be offered the opportunity to build fairy houses and listen to the gnomes who leave them treasures from deep in the earth. The magical nature of children in our natural world nourishes the inner life of children and all who make time to befriend them.
JoAnne Dennee, Gatherings on the Land Educator, email@example.com
JoAnne Dennee has been an early childhood educator for 42 years who finds great joy in integrating the themes of farm, food, and forest education. She was Director and Head Teacher at the SUNY New Paltz Children’s Center where was growing food organically in community gardens for 9 years before moving to VT. She founded the Tommy Thompson Burlington Intervale Community Garden in 1970, taught at Poker Hill School and Lake Champlain Waldorf for the next 35 years. She also worked for Food Works and authored three books, most notably In the Three Sisters Garden. She currently creates Edible Mandalas and Luminous Botanicals from her gardens. She mentors Waldorf teachers, is a faculty member at Sophia’s Hearth, NH where she teaches Biodynamic Gardening with Children.
Jennifer Sutton, Internship Coordinator
Jennifer Sutton has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lafayette College and worked for IBM in New York in process engineering, planning and management for 15 years before finding her true passion working to educate children. She first began with volunteering in her local schools tutoring, teaching and helping with special programing; creating an award winning reading program for children in preschool thru 5th grade. Jennifer eventually received the National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service and Contribution to Children.
Upon moving to Vermont, Jennifer worked as a Community Outreach Coordinator for ten years at the Burlington School District where she developed hands-on, curriculum based, real life learning opportunities for children. Jennifer found that food was an excellent educational tool to teach students language arts, social studies, science, math, sustainability, agriculture, nutrition, cooking skills, teamwork and diversity. Jennifer has taken hundreds of students out of the classroom and into the community and local farms. She worked with local businesses as well as chefs and farmers to partner with students to create learning opportunities and develop farm to school taste tests. Next she worked as a Farm to School Educator for the Essex School District. She then accepted a position with Common Roots first as the Farm to School Educator and then in her current position as Internship Coordinator. Jennifer has also been a passionate supporter of the Jr Iron Chef Program since its inception coordinating multiple team participants, resulting in four award winning teams to date. In addition, Jennifer is a huge proponent of higher education and is a member of a College Advisory Resource Council and is often a representative at college recruitment events. Jennifer ardently supports our children’s health and well-being by promoting healthy eating habits through nutrition and food education and the internships she supports that help to sustain the Common Roots programs and mission.
Rob Fish, Website, Salesforce, Fundraising and Strategy Consultant
Rob Fish is a mission-driven nonprofit specialist with expertise in outreach, technical assistance, communication, and project management. He holds a Master of Public Administration from UVM, has experience building a sustainable agriculture organization in Maine, and has worked extensively on energy, agriculture, technology, and other community development issues in Vermont. Rob is assisting the organization with strategy and website development, among other projects.
Volunteer HR Consultant
Ross Schoembs firstname.lastname@example.org
Retired Human Resources professional with a background in; organizational development, talent acquisition, training and development, employee relations, compensation, and benefits. He is behind the scenes guiding and offering strategic consult as called upon.
Rich Cassidy email@example.com
Rich Cassidy is the Founding Attorney of Rich Cassidy Law. Rich served on the South Burlington School Board for 12 years, 6 as Chair. Rich has paid attention to the programs Common Roots provides his community and believes in the value of food education. He guides and supports Common Roots in decisions made that require legal advice.