Slow Food NYC Board

  • Branka Ruzak

    Branka has been a Slow Food NYC member and volunteer since 2010. In her capacity as a volunteer, she has helped organize events for Slow U. She joined the SFNYC board in 2013. A writer, editor and sales person, Branka has more than twenty years experience as a film/video producer, most recently specializing in health and wellness issues. A passionate cook and greenmarket enthusiast, she studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute. She has also served as a guest curator of readings for Brooklyn Reading Works.
    Contact: branka@SlowFoodNYC.org

  • Dee Dee Tiller (Secretary)

    Dee Dee served as an enthusiastic volunteer for Slow Food NYC before joining the board in 2013. Passionate about the healing properties of food, she attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, becoming certified in holistic health coaching. Her interest in food policy, hunger issues, and nutrition therapy were strengthened through this program. Among other responsibilities at Slow Food NYC, she works on Urban Harvest, an educational program in NYC schools as well as a summer urban farm. She has been an active member of her local CSA for years and enjoys the rewards of cooking and eating local, seasonal food. Her professional background has been wildly diverse from marketing professional, event programming, non-profit arts, and live music venue manager to entrepreneurial designer and beyond.
    Contact: deedeertiller@gmail.com

  • Edwin Yowell

    Ed Yowell has been a member of Slow Food since 2000. He was the second chair person of the SFNYC Board of Directors, serving in that position for five years.  Presently, on the Slow Food NYC Board, he co-chairs the Urban Harvest Committee, serves on the Development Committee, and volunteers regularly with the SLOW U committee. He also serves on the advisory committee of the New York City Greenmarket and the American Farmland Trust New York Advisory Council.  He is the Chair of the Slow Food USA Food and Farm Policy Steering Committee and served as the Slow Food USA Northeast Regional Governor from 2005 to 2015.
    Contact: eayowell@outlook.com

  • Holley Atkinson

    Holley has been a member of Slow Food NYC since 2004. A digital media pro with 20+ years experience, she is passionate about local food, and applies her energy and expertise to broaden awareness of Slow Food NYC. Holley also consults to a range of food & tech-related companies through Making Food Work and serves as Vice Chair of Culinary Historians of NY. She is a graduate of Brown University, and holds a Certificate in Advanced Culinary Techniques from the French Culinary Institute. She joined the board in 2010.
    Contact: holley@slowfoodnyc.org

  • Jennifer Goggin (Chair)

    Jennifer Goggin has been a food entrepreneur and advisor in the food-tech space since 2011. Jennifer got her start in the food industry as the Director of Operations for Basis Farm to Chef, a New York City-based distribution company specializing in locally grown products. At Basis, Jennifer managed the day-to-day operations of the business and focused on farm procurement. She has spent time as a WWOOF volunteer on family farms in Italy, learning the basics of growing and preparing produce as well as the community needs and models of small-scale local food systems. Jennifer joined the board in 2013 and enjoys working to further all aspects of the Slow Food mission.
    Contact: jennifer@slowfoodnyc.org

  • Kate Ferranti (Treasurer)

    Kate Ferranti is the Business Operations Manager at The Cleaver Co./The Green Table, a farm-to-table catering company and restaurant focused on regional, seasonal cuisine. She is currently an MBA candidate at NYU Stern School of Business. Kate has taken food systems/policy courses at The New School and through the University of Gastronomic Sciences and spent several months in Italy, living and working on organic farms. Previous to her career in the food movement, she spent a decade working in communications and public relations for labor unions. Kate is a member of the Park Slope Food Coop and loves to spend time at the farmers market, in the kitchen and around the table. She has volunteered with Slow Food for several years and joined the board in 2012.
    Contact: kate@slowfoodnyc.org

  • Maggie Shi

    A Slow Food member since 2008, Maggie has been a food-focused writer and editor for various websites for the past 15 years. She graduated from culinary school in 2007 and has been active in organizing the monthly Slow Food NYC happy hours (The Slur). Maggie loves shopping at food markets, entertaining, cooking, and, most of all, eating real, delicious food. She joined the Slow Food NYC board in 2013.
    Contact: maggie@SlowFoodNYC.org

  • Martina Rossi Kenworthy (Vice Chair)

    Martina is the co-founder of Gustiamo, Inc., a successful Bronx-based company representing Italian food artisans in America. She is in constant conversation with chefs, journalists and leading food professionals.  Gustiamo's mission includes fostering better, healthier eating while promoting food producers who work with the utmost integrity. She joined the board in 2011.
    Contact: martina.k@gustiamo.com

  • Rodney Benson

    Rodney has been a SFNYC member and supporter since our beginnings. He has served on the Board, has been a key urban harvest supporter and very active Volunteer, and an ever-reliable supporter of SFNYC fund raising events. Rodney is a Vietnam era Veteran. He served both in the US Air Force and US Naval reserve. Rodney is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He holds a Master degree in Public Administration and a BA in Government. From July 1977 through September 2007, Rodney was employed by the NYC Department of Correction. He retired in 2007. His last position held was: Director of Human Resources. From 1980 to the present Rodney has served as an Adjunct Professor at Queens College (CUNY). He teaches graduate and undergraduates courses in Criminal Justice and Public Administration. Rodney was born and raised in the Bronx. He has lived in Flushing Queens for the past 39 years. Rodney has been a true Foodie since he was 9. Rodney enjoys Jazz, enjoys touring food markets. He loves to cook and travel.

  • Shawn McLearen

    Shawn McLearen has significant experience cultivating relationships and corralling capital resources for long-term community development agendas, and has raised over $100 million in public and private funding necessary to advance high-profile community development real estate projects in New York state (El Barrio's Artspace PS109; Artspace Patchogue Lofts). His partners have ranged from private foundations, lenders, investors, and sponsors, to City, State and Federal program funds and grants. In addition to his community development and real estate work, he is a co-founder of Hudson Valley Hops, mixedpalate.com, a producer of events including FarmToCampFire.com, and a steering committee member of the North East Foodshed Finance Alliance (NEFFA). He brings his personal experience, professional expertise, and stakeholder network to the Board of Slow Food NYC to help diversify its pool of partners, and strengthen its efforts in fundraising, policy and community development.
    Contact: shawn@SlowFoodNYC.org

  • Sunil Kumar

    After finishing culinary school and spending some time working in New York City restaurants, Sunil left the food industry and switched careers to become a web developer.  He remained active in the food and wine world, however, and soon became involved with Slow Food NYC.  His interest in where our food comes from and the quality of food available quickly drew him into the chapter's activities and has inspired his contributions since then. Sunil joined the NYC board in 2008 and has been involved in the development of much of the chapter's online communications and outreach since then.  From 2009 till 2011 he served as the chapter's treasurer.  He also oversees the monthly happy hour, The Slur, and assists in other community engagement activities whenever possible.
    Contact: sunil@SlowFoodNYC.org

  • Tatiana Orlov

    Tatiana's passion for Slow Food principles began back in college, when her Italian professor introduced her to Slow Food Rochester.  She has been a passionate NYC food systems advocate for many years now, built on the belief that a better city and a better world exist at the intersection of neighborly affection, civic engagement, and the proper stewardship of resources. As the manager of City Harvest's Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative in Northwest Queens, she works on engaging community residents and organizations in working towards more equitable, fresh, and affordable food access, food justice and improving the local/regional food system. Tatiana convenes the Queens Action Council (QuAC), a coalition amplifying the voices of Western Queens to raise awareness and collectively build a more just and sustainable food landscape from the ground up. Until 2014, she also served on the Leadership Committee of the Food Systems Network NYC.
    Contact: tatiana@SlowFoodNYC.org