Board of Directors 2018-11-13T16:50:06+00:00

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

CeCe DODD | PRESIDENT

CeCe Dodd began managing the Broadway Farmers Market in the Fall of 2014 after being a vendor for six years. She is the Executive director for the Broadway Hometown Partnership, helping coordinate community events and festivals. During the week Cece works in Public Safety Administration and spends her weekends pursuing food and community passions. CeCe joined VAFMA in 2014 and became regional lead for the Shenandoah Valley Markets in 2015.

CeCe serves on the Conference, Communication, and Programs Committees.

TRACY HERNER FREY | VICE PRESIDENT

Tracy Herner Frey is in her fourth season as market manager and executive director of the Williamsburg Farmers Market.  She was instrumental in launching the token program at the market, and is an advocate for increasing access to farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth.  The Williamsburg Farmers Market was one of nine markets to participate in Market Metrics Research, and Tracy is looking forward to using her experiences with data collection to improve capacity at markets across the Tidewater Region.

Tracy serves on the Conference, Membership, Communication, Budget, Governance and Programs Committees.

LISA DEARDEN | TREASURER

Lisa Dearden had over 20+ years experience in sales, marketing, finance and training when she switched gears and pursued her A.A.S. Horticulture with a focus on sustainable agriculture.  She now lives on a homestead farm in Goochland County, Virginia where she grows fruits and berries and raises chickens, goats, rabbits, alpacas and llamas.  Her company, ChiknEGG Productions, operates an incubator kitchen called the Cook ‘N Nook, which is available for rent by-the-hour, and she offers training and consulting services to food entrepreneurs and organizations looking for help navigating their entry into the local food system.  She founded and serves as Executive Director of a non-profit called RVAg that operates multiple farmers markets and provides low-cost/no-cost ag-centered educational programs. Lisa currently serves as Vice Chair of the Goochland County Economic Development Authority and as the Treasurer of the Virginia Farmers Market Association.  She frequently works as a consultant to help municipalities start and grow farmers markets of their own.

Lisa serves on the Foundation/Development, Governance, Budget, & Conference committees.

MEREDITH LEDLIE JOHNSON | SECRETARY

Meredith Ledlie Johnson manages the Food Access and Availability Initiative for Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family Nutrition Program. This program is designed to ensure that all Virginians have access to enough healthy, culturally appropriate food in their communities through increasing access to farmers markets, gardening, and healthy retail outlets. Meredith holds a Masters degree in Social Work with a concentration in community organizing from Hunter College, CUNY. Before living in Virginia, Meredith worked as a farmers market manager for Greenmarket in New York City and as an urban park advocate with New Yorkers for Parks. Meredith is excited by the possibilities offered by the local food movement to strengthen the resiliency of Virginia’s families and communities.

Meredith serves on the Programs & Conference committees.

KATHLEEN REED | BLUE RIDGE REGION

Kathleen Reed is an agriculture and food systems professional, with over nine years of direct experience in urban and rural farming, community education and outreach, and community partnership building. Kathleen works an Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension, serving Roanoke City, Salem, Roanoke County, and Botetourt County. She holds a Masters degree in Community Sustainability from Michigan State University.

Kathleen serves VAFMA as the Blue Ridge Regional Lead.

KIM USRY | CAPITAL AREA REGION

Kim Usry is a Richmond Virginia native who grew up spending her weekends on her grandfather’s black Angus farm. After college in Florida studying Mass Communications, and a stint in California obtaining a certificate in Advertising Arts and Design, she returned to Virginia to manage that same farm for 15 years while working in public relations & advertising. She successfully pursued IT Project Management which led to IT Recruitment. Kim is an entrepreneur at heart and now managers two Richmond farmers markets and owns and operates a rainwater harvesting company. She loves her dogs, gardening, beekeeping, cooking and relaxing. Kim also participates with the Capital Area Farmers Market Association.

DON OWENS| NORTHERN VIRGINIA REGION

Don Owens is a lifelong resident of Northern Virginia. Growing up in Falls Church, he was educated at George Mason University, and resides in Loudoun County. Following a career in local government service, he now utilizes three decades of grant writing experience to guide local public safety agencies and non-profit organizations in their pursuit of grant support. After managing weekday and weekend markets for the Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Cooperative, Don is now the Outreach Coordinator for the organization. His love of community, Americana, and healthy eating led him to the farmers market. His desire to serve a worthwhile cause, to expand the reach of markets, to educate the community regarding the importance of the markets and to educate himself and others as to the evolving needs of the community we serve, led him to join the ranks of those who help the farmers market concept grow ever stronger.

JUSTIN MCKENZIE | SHENANDOAH REGION

Justin McKenzie has had six years of experience at farmers markets; two as a vendor; two as a market aide; and two as Charlottesville City Market Manager. As a vendor Justin sold fresh produce, cut flowers, and mushrooms. In his time as a vendor he grew to love the market atmosphere and the positive impact it had on the local community. After studying Urban Planning and Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University he returned to his hometown, Charlottesville, to work at the City Market. In 2016, Justin was named the City Market Manager and has helped continue Charlottesville’s long tradition of having the best farmers market in the region and state; Charlottesville has placed in the Top 3 markets in the country the past two years (2016 & 2017, according to American Farmland Trust). Justin believes strongly that markets have the unique ability to bring people together, support local business, and help people live healthy lifestyles.

STANLEY JONES III | TIDEWATER

Stanley Jones III (Stan) is the Director of Surry County Parks & Recreation, the Director for Surry County’s Farmers Market and the “new” guy on the block. A veteran of the US Army for 13 years and a government contractor, he has studied at various universities and is currently working towards his degree in Psychology. Stan has recently completed his first year as market director and is eagerly anticipating the upcoming season. A native of the Bronx, NY, Stan can remember fruit and vegetable stands were plentiful in the shopping districts. After moving to Virginia, Stan would develop a love for gardening and “small time” farming while helping both of his grandfathers. It is his desire to see gardening and farming rise to an all time high!

LINDSEY KEEN | SOUTHWEST REGION

More info coming soon!

ELIZABETH MELSON | CENTRAL REGION

Elizabeth has a background in culinary arts and sales & marketing in the fitness industry. After learning more about the health and environmental benefits of ethically-sourced, local foods, she ventured into farmers’ markets and in 2012 traded in her office job to get her hands dirty on local farms. The farmers and coworkers were a wealth of knowledge and she gained experience working first with pastured poultry, goats, dairy cows, hogs and bison. Then, spent a season with Willowsford Farm in Ashburn to learn about organic vegetable farming on a larger scale.

She first entered farmers’ markets as a shopper, then as a vendor selling bison meat for Cibola Farms in Falls Church and Arlington Courthouse markets, and finally starting her own business, Farm-to-Table Solutions; offering farmers market management assistance, edible landscaping, local food-centric special events, and advocacy. She is involved in the management of Archwood Green Barns Farmers’ Market in The Plains, Warrenton Farmers’ Market, Exit 40 Farmers’ Market in Prince William County, and is a Garden Manager for a restaurant (coming soon) in Sperryville, Virginia. In 2018, she has worked with the PATH Foundation, Fauquier FISH and many other community collaborators, to launch the Farmers’ Market Coalition’s Power of Produce Program in Fauquier County markets to increase market vitality and address food insecurity.

She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology and Concentration in Business Management from Northern Kentucky University, a certificate in Culinary Arts from New River Community and Technical College and a graduate-level certificate in Business Administration Essentials from Shenandoah University.

VACANT | SOUTHSIDE REGION

The Southside Regional Board position is currently vacant. We seek an active farmers market manager OR regional lead in the Southside area to join our board. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact us at info@vafma.org for more info.