Speakers

Belinda Chin

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Belinda Chin is the Program Coordinator for Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Urban Food Systems (UFS) Program that includes over one million square feet of agro-ecological public property. Gardens and orchards are used for community-building inspired by diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This is particularly meaningful for Ms. Chin, the daughter of immigrants who fled their homeland to escape a war shattered environment and agonizing poverty. Landing in the U.S., her family’s pursuit of culturally relevant food resulted in lasting impressions about boundaries, especially boundaries that discriminate by race, class, and place. Intermingled with memories of the violent clashes of the Civil Rights Movement, these experiences gave rise to her career committed to civil service and social justice.

Trudy Bialic

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Trudy Bialic is the Director of Public Affairs & Quality Standards for PCC Community Markets. She came to Seattle and the food movement 25 years ago, out of radio and tv news when the network said it wouldn’t fund a series on the hidden facts of the food industry. Using her investigative background, she became a fierce consumer advocate for the right to know how foods are produced — and the right to an informed choice.

She has created food standards where none existed, testified before local and national hearings, and led initiatives for transparent labeling, strong organic standards, sustainable seafood, animal welfare, and fair labor practices. She has pioneered standards against toxic additives in body care products and food, and aims to eliminate non-compostable plastic packaging. She was named to the Grassroots Hall of Fame, received the Citizen Advocate Award, and, co-chaired our state campaign to label GE foods in 2013. She has served on the Non-GMO Project board for several years. Trudy got her B.A. at Yale University. Fresh, crusty bread and butter is her favorite food.

Hillary Barbour

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Hillary Barbour is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Burgerville. Headquartered in Vancouver, WA, Burgerville is a Pacific Northwest quick service restaurant chain committed to regional stewardship, seasonal offerings, and local sourcing. 

With almost two decades of federal and state public policy experience on agriculture, energy, and environmental issues, Hillary finds great joy working in the food system to serve the home and community she loves.

Sara Nelson

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A long-time do-gooder, Sara Nelson earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at UW in order to change the world through blowing students’ minds. Unwilling to consign herself to a life of poverty as an under-employed lecturer at small colleges in the middle of nowhere, she bailed from academia and found her true calling working in local politics. She was a policy adviser to Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin from 2002 through 2013 with a brief hiatus from 2008 to 2010 to help start her family business, Fremont Brewing, which was founded in 2008. Fremont Brewing is now the third largest independently owned craft brewery in Washington and its Interurban IPA is the best-selling independent, canned IPA in WA.

When Conlin left office, Sara returned to working full time at Fremont Brewing in 2014 to oversee the company’s expansion into a new, 80,000 square foot production facility down the road in Ballard. She is in charge of external relations such as community partnerships, non-profit donations, media and government relations. She also leads the company’s sustainability programs, ensuring that they are implementing sustainable operations to conserve water and energy as well as procuring the most sustainably produced ingredients as possible. Working for her family business is the perfect expression of her interest in sustainability and community.

Mariela Hernandez Bartolomei

Mariela is a wife and proud mother of three beautiful children. She moved to Seattle from Puerto Rico 14 years ago and has worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital since 2012. Mariela holds a bachelors in Special Education and an endorsement in Sign Language. 

She loves to work with kids and families. Living in the Seattle-area for the past 14 years, she has developed a great understanding and respect for diversity and different cultures. 

Shawn Mead

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Shawn Mead Currently Shawn is the proud co-owner of Vif wine|coffee, a small café/natural wine shop in the Upper Fremont neighborhood. Here, with her partner, Lauren Feldman, she shares her love and knowledge of natural wines with clients, staff and colleagues.

Prior to opening Vif Shawn’s career focused on small, philosophically inspired establishments that believed strongly in food and wine being at the center of a healthy community and society. She has worked in restaurants ranging from small independent cafés to high-end destination restaurants in positions from server and host to wine director and manager.

In each of her jobs, Shawn was involved with the wine program and staff education. She truly honed her personal palate when she became the wine director at Campagne and Café Campagne in Seattle. Through this position she began to travel to wine regions, meet producers and better understand the importance of how growing practices, place and production relate to taste and more subtly, satisfaction. This understanding led to a more intense focus on “natural wine.”

After leaving Campagne, Shawn moved on to work in wine retail at McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle after which she was hand selected to work as the national sales representative for “real wine” importer Louis/Dressner Selections in New York. Shawn spent five years with Louis/Dressner working nationally and internationally, cultivating vast professional and personal connections to wine producers, restaurateurs, retailers and importers. This great experience focused Shawn’s appreciation for the warmth that a simple meal with real wine brings as well as her commitment to connecting farmers to people, people to people and most importantly, people to joy.

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.

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.