The Slow Food Russian River Leadership Team for 2017
Peg Champion (Provisional Leader)
Peg Champion is the principal of Champion Organic Communications, a marketing and communications firm focused on sustainable businesses. A three-time delegate to Terra Madre, Peg has served on the Slow Food CA Policy Committee and the SFRR Media Team. She and her husband, Brad Whitworth, are developing a small, integrated farm on their Windsor property.
Sue Deevy (Leader)
Born and raised in Petaluma of Swiss Italian and Irish heritage, Sue Deevy has 40 years of experience in the natural food business, with a special interest in herbs and supplements. On the leadership team she has emphasized the Gravenstein apple project and the Community Apple Press.
Paula Downing (Secretary)
For 25 years, Paula Downing served as the manager of the Sebastopol Farmers Market. She joined SFRR in 2006 after a trip to Terra Madre. A stalwart believer in the Slow Food mission, she has participated in the Apple Core, the Community Apple Press and the Steele Lane School Garden.
Pamela Letourneau (Provisional Leader)
Pamela Letourneau first became involved with the good and fair food movement in the early 1970s in Berkeley. In the 1980s and 1990s, she and her husband owned and operated an organic garden and supplied produce and eggs to local restaurants and grocery stores. She has worked on the Community Apple Press and at the Gravenstein Apple Fair.
Sandy Mays (Leader)
A realtor with Vanguard Properties, Sandy Mays was an adult mentor chef for the Ceres project, where she helped teach teenagers how to cook good, nutritious food for people with life-threatening illnesses. A passionate traveler and an avid gardener, she and her husband Jeff own a five-acre Gravenstein apple orchard.
Karen Preuss (President)
A commercial photographer for more than 30 years, Karen Preuss lives at Frogsong, a cohousing community in Cotati. She loves to photograph farmers and sustainable farms. In 2009, she joined SFRR and has been on the leadership team for four years. Her photos of Sonoma County apples and apple growers graced a local exhibit.
Paula Shatkin (Leader)
A community social worker, Paula Shatkin has been an active member of the SFRR leadership team for 16 year. An advocate for local biodiversity, she started the Gravenstein Apple Presidium, the oldest Slow Food Presidium project in California, and one of only four Presidia in the U.S.A.
Brad Whitworth (Provisional Leader, Treasurer)
Brad Whitworth and his wife Peg Champion settled in Windsor three years ago. Since then he has worked on the heritage turkey project and has been a member of the SFRR media team. A marketing and communications executive with a B.A. in journalism and speech, he also has an MBA and has served on the boards of several non-profits.
Other Leadership associated with Slow Food Russian River
Max Caruso (Slow Food California Governor)
Max grew up in central Illinois, surrounded by corn and soybean fields, where he saw the impacts of large scale industrial agriculture. After a career as a Coast Guard officer, his interest in more local, sustainable food systems was peaked by the many worthy projects of Slow Food Russian River. While volunteering as the chapter’s treasure for five years, he became even more inspired by the global Slow Food movement which motivated him to step up as Governor for Northern California.
Bob Burke (Sebastopol Community Apple Press)
Brief Bio TBF
Zeno Swijtink (SFRR Media Team)
Zeno, a philosophy professor by profession, hails from a long line of farmers and bakers in the Netherlands. He has been with Slow Food Russian River since 2003 and was on the leadership team 2011-2015. He founded our Media Team and Book Groups and spearheads the mushroom and the strawberry events. Zeno participates in the Slow Food California Policy and Ark of Taste Committees and is on the core team for a new initiative, the “Slow Food in Sonoma County” Snail of Approval program, a joint project of Slow Food Russian River and Slow Food Sonoma County North.