Carrie Melissa Jones

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Carrie Melissa Jones is a community builder, entrepreneur, and community consultant who has been involved with online community leadership since the early 2000s. Over the course of her career, she has trained, advised, presented to, and shared ideas with leaders of thousands of the world’s leading communities. 

As the founder of Gather Community Consulting, she consults with organizations to build communities and provides training for brands on how to lead these groups. Her work bridges research on social movements with today's cutting-edge technology to give organizations the tools they need to change the world by gathering their people on and offline.

In 2016, Carrie was named by Salesforce as one of three experts to follow in community management, and her writing on communities has appeared in Venture Beat, Convince and Convert, The Next Web, and First Round Review.

She is a graduate of UCLA and has done volunteer work for Young Women Empowered and Indivisible Washington (formerly Pantsuit Washington). She believes everyone deserves to feel that they belong, and that creating belonging does in fact save lives.

Dr. Stephen Jones

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Dr. Stephen Jones is a wheat breeder and the Director of the The Bread Lab. Stephen has a PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Davis and teaches graduate courses in advanced classical genetics and in the history and ethics of genetics. His first wheat crop was on five acres at Chico State University’s student farm in 1977.

Together with his graduate students he breeds wheat and other grains for local uses to be grown on small farms in the coastal West, the upper Northeast and other regions of the country. The Bread Lab is a combination think tank and baking laboratory where scientists, bakers, chefs, farmers, maltsters, brewers, distillers and millers experiment with improved flavor, nutrition and functionality of regional and obscure wheats, barley, other small grains and dry beans.

Miguel Jimenez

Miguel Jimenez is the Development and Communications Manager for Rainier Valley Food Bank in Southeast Seattle. He moved to Seattle in 2014 from the Florida Keys in search of evergreens and mountain tops. He stayed when the feeling of community infiltrated the very marrow of his bones.

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Miguel is the current chair of the Nutrition and Food Sourcing subcommittee for the Seattle Food Committee where he is responsible for bulk purchases for all of Seattle’s 25 food banks. In Miguel’s infinite free time he takes graduate classes in Public Administration at Seattle University and volunteers for the Washington Voter Justice Coalition. He spends most of his days dreaming up ways to dismantle the current system of oppression in collaboration with community.

Monica Mills

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Monica is a well-respected warrior in improving our nation's food system. She applies her diverse leadership experience in food policy, electoral policy, communications, government affairs and nonprofits as Executive Director of Food Policy Action. When leading federal food and agriculture policy at Bread for the World as Director of Government Affairs, she was named “Top Grassroots Lobbyist” by The Hill three years in a row.

Her organizational and fundraising skills have fostered growth for numerous nonprofit, political and government organizations including the Peace Corp as associate director and at the U.S. Department of Treasury as a senior official. Most recently, Mills graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary having completed her Master’s Degree in Theology. Her policy acumen, coalition-building skills and effectiveness as a policy strategist and operative are taking the organization to new heights.

Mike Lufkin

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Mike Lufkin is the Local Food Economy Manager for King County, and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of King County Executive Constantine’s Local Food Initiative, which seeks to strengthen the local food economy and increase access to healthy, affordable food. 

Towards that end, Mike works with food and farm stakeholders across the county to develop and implement projects and actions that help achieve the goals of the Initiative. Mike is an attorney by training with more than 15 years of experience helping public and private sector organizations solve complex land and natural resource challenges, and has a long track record of developing and managing complex projects to successful completion.   

Joe Rieke


Joe Rieke has worked in the food and beverage industry for more than 15 years. He's worked in and managed the front and back of the house and has opened restaurants up and down the West Coast. 

Joe founded (know)food in 2016, a not-for-profit putting local chefs and industry resources in food focused Seattle classrooms. (Know)food provides connections and opportunities to high school students looking to make a career in the food world. He earned a B.A. in English Literature and a certificate in non-profit management from the University of Washington. 

Joe lives with his family in the not-so-cool part of Ballard and likes to run, make curry, and drink Stoup IPAs.

Rob Whaley


Rob Whaley joined the Sugar Mountain team as Vice President of Restaurant and Retail Operations in the Spring of 2017. The company’s strong advocacy for the natural food movement, commitment to a mission based business model, core belief in education, and passion for whole ingredient quality standards made it the perfect fit for Rob to continue his personal and professional journey. 

Rob brings experience and passion for sustainable sourcing, menu and recipe development, and advocacy through execution to the Sugar Mountain team. 

Along with Rob’s operational background as a chef, director, and purchasing coordinator, his real passion lies in furthering the non-profit foundation arms of the businesses he works for. In his eight years with Whole Foods Market, Rob worked with both the Whole Kids Foundation as well as the Whole Planet Foundation, supporting education and volunteerism. The opportunity to support The Beecher's Foundation made the decision to join Sugar Mountain an easy one!

Christie Aschwanden


Christie Aschwanden is the lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight. She’s also a contributor to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Outside, Runner’s World, Slate, NPR, Smithsonian and O, the Oprah Magazine.

Christie is the author of Beautiful Chickens, and a book about the science of recovery in sports and fitness, forthcoming from W. W. Norton & Company. She blogs at Last Word On Nothing and tweets at @CragCrest.

She lives on a small farm in western Colorado where she raises heritage poultry and her husband makes wine for their boutique winery.

Jill Taylor


From its roots as a regional creamery started in 1915 to 42 community restaurants located in Oregon and Washington today, Burgerville has long been committed to an open conversation about the future of food.

As CEO of Burgerville, Jill Taylor brings a holistic view of food to the company, one that includes the health of the region’s soils, farms, and people. Jill is committed to empowering Burgerville and its partners in service of the company’s mission ‘Serve with Love’ to positively impact social change in the Pacific Northwest.