National Office Staff

Richard McCarthy

Executive Director

Richard McCarthyRichard McCarthy embodies the phrase "think globally; act locally." He joined Slow Food USA as Executive Director in January 2013, having previously served as Executive Director of Market Umbrella, an internationally recognized non-profit mentor organization for farmers markets, community building and sustainable economic development. After Hurricane Katrina, Richard played a key role in restarting the local agricultural economy in the New Orleans area, aiming to help provide returning residents with a sense of normalcy and resilience through the revival of farmers markets.

From 2005-2007, Richard served as a founding President for the Farmers Market Coalition, the national voice for farmers markets, which contributed to the development of the US Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Promotion Program, yielding $32 million over seven years to farmers market innovation and professionalism.

Richard was named a "Hero of the New South" in 2012 by Southern Living Magazine and a "Public Health Champion" in 2004 by the Tulane University School of Public Health. He earned his master's degree at the London School of Economics and his bachelor's degree at Richmond, The American University of London. When he's not dreaming up new projects, he enjoys playing squash, gardening and cooking vegetarian meals with his family at home.

Manda Manning

Marketing and Outreach Coordinator

Manda ManningAfter moving to Denver, Manda Manning joined Slow Food USA in March 2017 to assist with the launch of Slow Food Nations. Previously, she was an account executive at Master Plan Communications, where she managed the agency's industry-leading business-to-business clients. She was also previously the director of marketing for Pensacon, Pensacola, Florida's comic and pop culture convention. She received her bachelor's degree in communication arts and advertising from the University of West Florida.

While Manda currently lives in the Mile-High City with her sister and their Pomeranian, she has also spent time living on both the East and West Coasts, in New York City and Southern California. As an outdoor enthusiast and foodie, Manda enjoys experiencing other cultures through traveling the world as well as exploring Denver's natural beauty and the city's nationally-acclaimed food scene.

Ian McHugh

Network and Operations Coordinator

Ian joined Slow Food USA in May 2016. Through his experiences studying food culture and globalization in Southern Mexico and Mountain Top Removal in his home state of Kentucky, Ian has developed a varied and passionate view on environmental justice and human well-being. Prior to joining Slow Food, Ian was the Sustainability Project Coordinator for Jefferson Community & Technical College, based in Louisville, KY, where he focused his efforts on integrating sustainability in the college's curricula and establishing urban gardens to increase access to healthy food choices for the surrounding community. Ian has a bachelor's degree from Berea College in the field of Social Justice with a concentration in Sustainability and Environmental Studies.

Anna Mulé

Director of Communications and Campaigns

Anna Mulé portraitAnna Mulé joined Slow Food USA in May 2016. She specializes in shaping culturally complex stories into pieces that are publicly accessible.

Previously, she worked at Wagner College as director of digital marketing and adjunct professor, at Brooklyn Arts Council as folk arts associate, at StoryCorps as outreach coordinator, and co-directs a digital media consulting company, Media Folk.

Anna grew up in rural upstate New York, where her family raised turkeys and made their own sausage, and has lived in Vietnam, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea. She received her master's degree in journalism and folklore/ethnomusicology from Indiana University.

Krista Roberts

Slow Food Nations Event Director

Krista RobertsA former management consultant, professionally trained cook, and mother of two sons, Krista brings over 15 years of leadership experience and a passion for good food to Slow Food. She has been actively involved with Slow Food since 2007 after moving back to Denver from the UK and following her passion for food to Cook Street's professional culinary program and the kitchen at Duo Restaurant. Prior to embarking upon a food-focused career, Krista spent 10 years as a corporate business consultant with Accenture, followed by two years as director of executive development programs at Durham University in England. She is proud to have been a founding member of the City of Denver's Sustainable Food Policy Council and to serve on the Colorado Heritage and Agritourism Committee, helping to advocate and influence policy for sustainable food and farming in Colorado. Also the director of Slow Food Denver, Krista works with a strong leadership team, passionate volunteers, and like-minded community partners to create positive, lasting change in our food system. She believes in the joy of celebrating farmers, food producers, food traditions, and the future of food.


Lesia McGlynn

Slow Food Nations

Lesia has always loved all things food. She’s been cooking since she could see over the counter top and grew up watching The Food Network every day. After spending ten years in the catering and restaurant industry, Lesia found her passion in food production. She’s an avid gardener growing primarily heirloom varieties and dreams of one day having her own farm. It’s her passion for food and farming that lead Lesia to help with Slow Food Nations 2018. Lesia has lived in Colorado for almost 11 years after moving from Michigan to attend college at the University of Denver where she earned her BSBA in Hospitality Management in 2010. When Lesia’s not tending her garden or cooking in the kitchen, you can find her mountain biking with her husband Dan or soaking up the sun somewhere in Colorado’s great outdoors.

Gabe Otter


As the Digital Media Intern at Slow Food USA this summer, Gabe is helping to promote Slow Food Nations 2018 through media and storytelling. Before joining Slow Food, Gabe spent four years earning a BA in Global Studies across 15 countries. After spending three months working for an indigenous social enterprise coffee company in Chiang Mai, Thailand, he became fascinated by the intersections of food, development and entrepreneurship.

Gabe grew up in Vermont where he was lucky enough to be surrounded by an abundance of fresh and local food. In the future, he plans on working to shape a food system in which far more people have access to high quality, sustainably grown food.

Lauren Pearce

Slow Food Nations

Lauren is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she studied Accounting and Horticulture. Throughout college she discovered a passion for food justice and a preference for playing in the dirt on a farm over sitting at a desk as an accountant. The past two summers Lauren has interned at organic farms Modir Jord in Iceland and Old School Farm in Pennsylvania. Before that, she spent a summer working and hiking in Yellowstone National Park. In 2015, Lauren won an elevator pitch contest at her university, going on to compete in the National Elevator Pitch contest, pitching an original business idea for a farm designed to provide food and employment for low-income families and homeless.Through her travels and education, Lauren has found that good people are always around where good food and good music are.

Lauren moved to Denver from small-town Illinois for the mountains and the city, and the laid-back culture of the west. A recent transplant, Lauren is eager to get involved in the local food movement and poverty alleviation, starting as an intern for Slow Food Nations. She believes good, clean and fair food should be available to everyone and is inspired by all the people who make up the Slow Food community. This May, she will be working at Berry Patch Farms, an organic farm in Brighton, CO. Lauren is working towards a career centered around improving food access for underrepresented communities, diminishing systemic food waste and taking care of the environment.

Carmen Ribadeneira

Network + Outreach

Carmen is a third year student at Grinnell College who has had a passion for food for as long as she can remember. She began baking at an early age and learned to cook in High School. After learning more about conventional livestock and dairy production and its effects on the environment, she decided to eat plant-based. She has pursued this interest at college as head of the Student Environmental Committee and a member of a couple food justice clubs. She also lives in Eco House, a sustainability minded project house. Often, she invites her friends over to cook together and share vegan food. She is pursuing an Anthropology major with an environmental studies concentration but focusing her time on all aspects of food production. While at Slow Food, she hopes to support and learn more about a non-profit whose goals align strongly so strongly with her own.

Cassie Vander Meer


Cassie has been interested in utilizing food for health and nutrition for a couple of years now. During the first year of her International and Intercultural Communications Master's program at University of Denver, she discovered Slow Food and was fascinated by the movement. While working with all the amazing people involved with the Slow Food movement worldwide, Cassie hopes to learn more about Slow Food while gaining communications experience for future intercultural food adventures.

Cristel Zoebisch


Cristel is currently a full-time student pursuing her Master’s Degree in Food Studies at New York University. Her academic focus is mainly on structurally-enabled inequality in the food system. She hopes to merge policy, behavioral economics, and design thinking to reimagine political and economic food institutions and systems. The bulk of her professional experience comes from technology consulting, where she specialized in business process design and implementation. More recently, she has been working on an evaluation study of a pilot program implemented by the NYC Mayor's Office to measure the effect of monetary incentives in shifting shopping behavior and dietary choices. She's joined Slow Food USA this summer as a Policy Intern to help the organization stay on top of the latest Farm Bill news and coordinate calls to action. She will be focusing on writing relevant policy blog posts, as well as crafting relevant policy-involvement strategies for Slow Food USA.

Cristel has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a certificate in Business Foundations from McComb’s Business School. Outside of work and school, you can find her cooking, tending to her home-brewed kombucha, and attempting to create the perfect sourdough starter.

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