Slow Food Russian River Biographies of Leadership Team for 2016
Max Caruso (Treasurer)
Max was raised in Illinois farm country and is the grandson of a farmer. He maintains a small vegetable garden at his Sebastopol home. His favorite foods are fruits, especially fresh watermelon, bananas and mangoes.
Max moved to Sebastopol in 1999 in the middle of 20 years of service as a Coast Guard officer. He joined SFRR in 2009 and was very happy to participate in the 2012 Terra Madre and serve there as a chapter delegate in 2014.
Always interested in nature and numbers, he is happy with the melding of the two in his Slow Food duties as chapter treasurer.
Sue was born and raised in Petaluma. Her heritage is Swiss Italian and Irish. She has a deep love for Sonoma County. She has been Interested in food and cooking since her grandma taught her to garden and cook.
Her work history includes 40 years in the natural food business including a special interest in herbs and supplements. In her early years she worked with both worker controlled and consumer controlled coops.
She has been on the leadership team for several years with a particular emphasis on our Gravenstein apple project and Community Apple Press.
Paula Downing (Secretary)
Paula just ended a 23 year run as the Sebastopol Farmers Market manager. She joined SFRR in 2008, give or take a year. She became a stalwart and passionate believer in the Slow Food mission during her trip to Terra Madre.
Paula is also an active participant in the Apple Core and Community Apple Press as well as a lover of the Steele Lane School Garden, a community partnership that SFRR has supported since its inception more than a dozen years ago.
Marcia has been active in Slow Food since 2000. Being a Minnesotan she nominated hand parched Wild Rice to the Ark of Taste in 2002. Also a Sonoma County Master Gardener she is devoted to encouraging home and school food gardens and in restoring and preserving food traditions and recipes. Marcia is also a textile artist working primarily with felt. She has been on the SFRR leadership team since 2014.
Sandy Mays (Chair)
Sandy is a realtor with Vanguard Group and owner of 3 community newspapers – Healdsburg Tribune, Windsor Times, Sonoma West Times & News. She previously was an Adult Mentor chef for the Ceres project, which teaches teenagers to cook good, nutritious, healing meals for people with life threatening illnesses. Sandy took time off from this project but hopes to return in the spring of 2016. She is an avid gardener, loves to cook and harvest food that she and her husband, Jeff, grow on their 5 acres Gravenstein orchard.
Sandy joined SFRR in 2007 and attended Terra Madres in 2012. She has been an integral member of the Heritage Turkey Project team.
Tiffany loves to organize collaborations that foster collective action towards a more healthy, vibrant, equitable and sustainable food system. She has been working on various projects that aim to redefine the power of networks in the midst of generational changes in how we cooperate, communicate and affiliate with causes. Most recently she’s been working with Get Gone Traveler to connect food forward travelers with slow food experiences that brings income to slow food producers and artisans around the globe. She has been on the SFRR Leadership team for 5 years, and chairs the boards of SF California and the Farmers Guild.
Karen lives in a cohousing community in Cotati called Frogsong. She has been a commercial photographer for more than 30 years specializing in location photography of people. Her work has provided opportunities to meet individuals and travel to places in the world she never imagined. She even met and photographed the Dalai Lama in Dharmsala, India.
Currently, she loves to photograph farmers and sustainable farming. She joined SFRR in 2009 and photographed what became an exhibit of Sonoma County apple growers, and the process of apple growing. She has been on the leadership team for about three years.
Paula is a social worker, currently working at Sonoma West Medical Center (the old Palm Drive). She was an active member of the SFRR leadership team for about 16 years, took a year off in 2015, and is looking forward to rejoining the team.
Paula started the Gravenstein Apple Presidia about 15 years ago, the only Slow Food Presidia project in California, and one of only 2 in the US.
She looks forward to continuing to work with a lively group of volunteers, the Apple Corps, with lots of ideas for promoting local apples and supporting local apple farmers, and to engaging with other SFRR members, new and old, to continue working for local biodiversity and keeping local apples and the people who grow them as part of our community.
Beth has an active interest in the health of our food system with deep respect and gratitude for small farmers and food artisans. Food is in her blood, so to speak. She first joined SFRR to work on the 2012 Picnic. She has worked with the Three Sisters School Garden Project and the Heritage Turkey Auction dinners.
Beth looks forward to making the Slow Meat project a sustainable endeavor that reaches the greater public.
She is an aspiring home gardener and loves the outdoors. She lives in Santa Rosa with her husband, Mark. They have three daughters.