State Governors

Slow Food USA’s State Governors coordinate the Slow Food community at a state level, with the goal of growing and energizing the chapters, members and supporters in their state. State Governors also help coordinate regional activities. Some governors may have specific programmatic or thematic representations on the regional and/or national level.

We are currently seeking governors for states with vacancies – if you’re interested in considering this role or if you have questions about Slow Food activities at the state level but don’t see a governor listed for your state, please email [email protected]

Contact List


Mara Welton
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Read more about Mara

Mara Welton co-owns and operates 2-acre Half Pint Farm with her husband Spencer in Burlington, Vermont’s Intervale. Mara farms because she loves good food – and started her specialty veggie farm in 2003 to provide Vermont with locally grown niche produce. Mara loves that farming keeps her grounded, inspired, and eating the best possible food everyday! Mara helped to re-launch Slow Food Vermont in 2007, and brings with her a passion for food and traditional foodways, enthusiasm for the process of seed to plate, exciting and educational event planning and general good organizational skills, and an ability to trust and empower her fellow board members to keep Slow Food Vermont always engaging. When Mara is not farming, she is: running, experimenting in the kitchen, reading about food, snuggling with her dachshunds, traveling abroad, speaking at conferences, entertaining, and pining for the growing season.

New York
Laura Luciano
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Read more about Laura

Laura Luciano NY Gov

Laura Luciano is a professional graphic designer, and writes the blog Out East Foodie: a food blog that shares the edible stories of the North and South forks of Long Island. She contributes to Edible East End and Edible Long Island Magazines for her What's in Season column, and is one of the founders and coordinator for the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Project, a squash that is on the Ark of Taste.

Laura became immersed with the Slow Food movement in 2013, the same year she, her husband Chris, an architect, and her dog Trixie designed and built their Energy Star Rated sustainable home Sheridan Green in Hampton Bays, NY that has a rooftop garden filled with heirlooms and Ark of taste varieties. It is there that she hosts potlucks and dinner parties for like-minded people to come together to talk story, enjoy amazing food and drink and share inspiration in a great space.

After attending Terra Madre in 2016 as a guest leader, she was elected to the board for Slow Food East End. There she shares her unwavering passion for biodiversity, seed sovereignty, and coveting culinary traditions.


John Haddad
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John Haddad is a seasoned marketing professional and writer in Richmond, Virginia. John is also very involved in Central Virginia’s food landscape and has written about food for Style Weekly, Richmond Magazine, Flavor, Foodshed, and Grid. He writes a blog, and is a founding member and current chair of Slow Food RVA . He also started an innovative program at Linwood Holton Elementary School, Know Your Veggies, which connects students and their families to local and seasonal produce through interaction with local chefs and farmers.

South Carolina
Carole Addlestone
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Read more about Carole

Carole became a Slow Food member while residing in Atlanta, GA. Upon moving to Charleston, SC, in 2008, she became Chapter Leader for Slow Food Charleston for three years and guided the chapter to greatly increased membership, school garden programs, collaborations with like-minded non-profits, and held many diverse community food events. In 2011 she resigned as Chapter Leader but has continued until the present as Secretary of the Board. She has attended Terra Madre twice and has had the privilege of welcoming Carlo Petrini to Charleston during her tenure as Chapter Leader. She is particularly passionate about local and heritage foodways and promoting the Ark of Taste.

Peter Morich
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Read more about Peter

Peter Morich GovernorSlow Food’s mission of good, clean and fair food, the pleasure of the table, the preservation of endangered food cultures and food access all drew Peter to the movement. Peter has been a member of Slow Food Atlanta since 2007 and Board Member since 2013. Peter is passionate about Italy, Slow Food, Atlanta’s good food movement and his family. Peter has traveled extensively seeking food & wine culture, and has spent a great deal of time in Italy over the last 20 years. Peter has 35+ years experience in Sales Management and Marketing and has been an active community volunteer.

Peter joined the board of Slow Food Atlanta in 2013 after returning from a year living in Bra, Italy, with his wife Colleen. Peter completed the Master's program in Food Culture and Communication with a focus on Human Ecology and Sustainability at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. Upon returning to the States, Peter and Colleen moved to Decatur, GA to continue life in a small, walkable community. Since joining the Slow Food Atlanta Board, Peter has been honored to work with an amazing group of Board and Chapter Members that are working in the Atlanta good food movement. Peter is particularly passionate about Terra Madre as a change agent for local leaders, working to identify, encourage and support delegates.

Mark Williams
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Read more about Mark

Mark Williams grew up in the South in a family whose background includes restaurateurs and farmers. A chef by trade, Mark co-founded Slow Food Bluegrass in 2005 in hopes of bringing together members of Kentucky’s sustainable agriculture and culinary communities in order to promote local and organic food. Through free or low cost events, the chapter has reached out to a diverse group of partners on school garden, childhood nutrition, food justice and other food education projects. He has a passion for organic and heirloom gardening, traditional southern cuisine, and sharing what he has learned with others. Mark is currently the Executive Chef at Brown- Forman, an American-owned wine and spirits company, which owns Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort. He has worked as a chef in some of the world’s greatest culinary destinations. Mark is on the Board of Advisors for Sullivan University National Center for Hospitality, a founding member of the Napa Valley Culinary Alliance, and is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Gary Granata
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Read more about Gary

GaryGranataGary is a New Orleans-based nutrition and exercise scientist, cook, gardener, writer, teacher and advocate for local and sustainable food systems. Gary holds a PhD in Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition from Georgia State University, where he studied under renown sports nutritionist Dr. Dan Benardot and was a part of the research team that worked with the 1996 Olympic gold medal winning USA Women’s Gymnastics Team. Gary has served as chair for Slow Food New Orleans from 2012 to 2016. Under Gary’s leadership, Slow Food New Orleans has hosted the 2013 Slow Food USA National Meeting, the 2014 Slow Food Youth Network Retreat and Slow Fish 2016 in New Orleans. Both Slow Fish and the Youth Network Retreat were the first North America gathering of each organization. Gary also organized a 25-person Louisiana-Vietnam “Vanishing Foodways” delegation to the 2016 Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy, Slow Food’s biennial gathering of delegates from 150+ countries. The delegation shared food, stories and cultural traditions from these two food abundant regions that are also the two most rapidly disappearing regions in the world due to climate change and the industrialization of the great rivers that once created the region, the Mississippi River in Louisiana and the Mekong River in Vietnam. Gary is now Slow Food Governor of Louisiana and is working to grow the movement throughout the Gulf South region. Additionally, Gary plans to start an agritourismo and artist retreat near his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


Jennifer Breckner
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Read more about Jennifer

JenniferBrecknerGovBio coming soon!

Kim Bayer
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Read more about Kim

Kim Bayer is a project manager, communicator, and strategist as well as a veteran community organizer and coalition-builder with deep knowledge of local food systems. Her background includes a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Information and Library Science and 15 years of experience at U-M where she and her staff guided strategic direction in technology for teaching and learning. Kim is currently involved in the development of the Washtenaw Food Hub with the goal of establishing health as the standard for economic, environmental and social well-being. Kim has led the creation and implementation of numerous collaborative food system projects, including conferences (Local Food Summit 2009-2016), festivals (HomeGrown Festival 2008-2012), along with many workshops and lectures on food system issues. In addition, Kim is a published author and restaurant critic, and she writes on food-related subjects for regional publications. She has written several guides to local food in the Ann Arbor area. Kim is the founder and President of the Great Lakes CSA Coalition, a 501c3 created to promote CSA farms and establish wellness rebates from insurance companies. Kim is former Chair of Slow Food Huron Valley located in southeastern Michigan.

Bear Braumoeller
[email protected]
Read more about Bear

Bear Braumoeller has been a member of Slow Food since 1998. He travelled to Salone del Gusto in 2006, was a delegate at the International Congress in 2010.

Bear helped found the Columbus chapter of Slow Food USA. The chapter has sent 20 delegates to Terra Madre and hosts the region’s longest-running farm-to-table dinner, called Shake The Hand That Feeds You. The chapter is also involved in the National School Garden Program, working with Ohio schools to build gardens in conjunction with curriculum that teaches students about the food they produce.

Jennifer Casey
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Read more about Jennifer

Jennifer Casey connects heritage foodways to healthier people and places. She brings her experience as a registered dietitian, writer, gardener and professional cook to her many health and food advocacy efforts. She is the Director of Development & Communications for the Fondy Food Center—a nonprofit that connects Greater Milwaukee to local, fresh food through its farmers market and farm. Before coming to Fondy, she ran the Diabetes and Community Health programs at Milwaukee’s only American Indian Health Center, where she had the opportunity to learn about, and incorporate into programming, traditional foods as a source of wellness.

She grew up in the Midwest, where she now resides—relishing its wild asparagus, heritage apples, grass-fed dairy, and abundant fresh water. Her appreciation for diverse cuisine and cultures has been influenced by years spent in Washington, California, Vermont, and New York, but began at home with her Irish and Sicilian family’s home cooked meals and celebrations.

Her involvement in Slow Food started in 2008 when she joined the leadership team of Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast, and soon after, she started the Milwaukee Apple Project. She has been involved with Slow Food on local, regional, and national levels, especially related to the Ark of Taste. She is now the Slow Food USA Regional Governor for the Upper Midwest and leads the Midwest Ark of Taste Committee. In 2010, Jennifer had the honor of being a delegate to Terra Madre – an incredible experience which affirmed that food can be a powerful tool for building connections and making change—and she is looking forward to Terra Madre 2014.

Rocky Mountain/Southwest

Claudine Martyn
[email protected]
Read more about Claudine

Claudine Martyn is a classically trained Chef, a Sommelier, Cooking Instructor, Culinary Tour Guide, Menu and Recipe Consultant, Cheesemaker and Food Stylist. Claudine’s love of food and cooking inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a chef after working many years as a paralegal and law firm administrator.

She left her career and moved to Paris, France where she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2000 with a double major Claudine is an advocate for local farmers and producers and shares her passion for natural and organic food through her work with Slow Food. Claudine was chosen as a Chef Delegate to Slow Food’s Terre Madre Conference in Italy. Claudine has taught cooking classes in the U.S., Italy, France and Croatia. She also leads culinary tours to Italy and France. She loves teaching people about the benefits of eating fresh local food and learning where their food comes from. Claudine teaches 800 children annually at the Dallas Farmers Market how to make a meal with the fresh produce they buy there.

Claudine is serving as the Governor of Slow Food For Texas and Oklahoma. She is on the Board of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the American Institute of Wine and Food. She now lives in Winnetka Heights Historic District in Dallas.

New Mexico
Grit Ramuschkat
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Read more about Grit

Grit Ramuschkat became active in the Slow Food movement after experiencing Slow Food Nation in 2008. In a panel discussion Carlo Petrini used a metaphor that stuck with her. He wished for the audience to become bumble bees and buzz from flower to flower, pollinating them with the notion of good, clean and fair food. This motivated Grit to do exactly that: find ways to educate and excite others about all things food. She started a book club on the topic of food and politics that is still active today, became a board member of Slow Food Austin organizing fundraising events and farm tours and wrote weekly, food-related blog entries for a local CSA farm. In 2010 she attended Terra Madre as a US delegate. Meeting people from all over the world that work for the same cause felt truly inspiring. Upon moving to Albuquerque in 2013 Grit revamped the dormant Slow Food Chapter here.

Marilyn Noble
[email protected]
Read more about Marilyn

It was a four-hour, nine-course dinner with Italian cousins in a small town outside of Venice that first introduced Marilyn Noble to the concept of Slow Food. One of the cousins turned to her and said, “This is how eating should be… slooow. Slow Food – it’s what we do here in Italy.” Not only does Marilyn embrace the idea of a long enjoyable meal with good friends and family, she is passionate about the concept of good, clean, and fair food, as well. Marilyn joined the Slow Food Denver board in early 2009 and served as the Board Chair in 2013-14. During that time, she helped the chapter grow and evolve into the premier food organization in the Denver Metro area. SFD is best known for the school garden program, but their outreach has extended into the community through the CAFÉ microgrant program; the farm tour series; cooking, canning, and baking classes; and close collaborations with other organizations such as Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Urban Gardens, Grow Local, History Colorado, and many others. In addition to her work with Slow Food Denver, Marilyn is the co-chair of the Slow Food Southwest/Mountain Ark of Taste committee. In her professional life, Marilyn is the communications director for American Grassfed Association, in addition to being a writer and book editor. She is the author of four best-selling cookbooks, and her articles have appeared in numerous magazines and online including Huffington Post and CNN.



View the Slow Food California Inaugural Board

Max Caruso (Northern CA)
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Read more about Max

Max Caruso GovernorMax came to Slow Food through an active local chapter in Northern California. Growing up in central Illinois, surrounded by corn and soybean fields, 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 piqued by the many worthy projects of local Slow Food chapters.

While volunteering as a chapter treasurer for five years, he became even more inspired by the global Slow Food movement. Supporting presidia projects, raising funds for local school gardens and the 10,000 Gardens in Africa project, and participating in national and international Slow Food gatherings motivated him to support additional local chapters as Governor for Northern California.

Max’s other interests include application of technology, financial planning, property management and volunteering in the Big Brother program

Lisa Frank (Central Valley, CA)
[email protected]
Read more about Lisa

A native Californian, Lisa grew up in rural northern California. Her childhood consisted of 4-H, raising horses, and foggy summers at the beach (see Mark Twain and San Francisco summers). An Easy Bake Oven was a cherished and well used Christmas gift, belying a life-long love of cooking, baking and the community inherent in sharing food.

After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Psychology Lisa fell into California politics becoming a lobbyist. In 2005 she left it all behind to be in the inaugural Food Culture and Communication Master’s program at the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Since then she has worked on international conferences, done sales and marketing for a boutique chocolate company as well as an art inspired linen company, and been a tour guide for food and history walking tours in Sacramento.

Lisa serves on the Slow Food Sacramento Board and is Co-Chair of their Snail of Approval program; Slow Food California's Ark of Taste Committee; and founded and is growing Slow Beer CA/USA, challenging brewers to use Ark of Taste products to brew beer. And she travels every chance she gets which is why she is a lousy gardener

Dava Guthmiller (Bay Area CA)
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Read more about Dava

DavaGovernorDava is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Noise 13, a strategy and branding agency specializing in food & beverage, hospitality & travel and health & wellness brands. Dava brings her 20+ years of brand experience as well as her love of food and food systems to Slow Food. She joined the SF chapter in 2004 and was on the board of Slow Food SF from 2008-2016. She and is currently on the board of Slow Food California and as the Slow Food Bay Area Governor.

Dava grew up in the central valley of California where farming was central to the local commerce. Moving to SF in 1994 she put her passion for food into restaurant jobs while attending art college. She is passionate about connecting people through food and using her expertise to aid in communications for Bay Area chapters.

Laurie Carlson
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Read more about Laurie

Laurie Carlson – bio coming soon!

Gerry Warren
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Read more about Gerry

Gerry Warren is a retired Clinical Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Washington Medical School. He is a past president of the Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest, chair of its judging of Northwest wines and founding chair of the Auction of Northwest Wines. He and his wife Diane have an organic garden and enjoy cooking and wine making. He is founder and now co-leader of the Slow Food Seattle. He is involved in their Northwest Ark, Presidia and RAFT projects.

Cheryl Brock
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Read more about Cheryl

Cheryl Brock served on the Slow Food Portland, Oregon steering committee for five years, including three years as chair from 2011 through 2013. With the group she focused on continuing to build the network of farmers, chefs, food activists, and eaters through partnerships, programming, and community outreach and education. Providing opportunities for others to learn more about our food system and become “co-producers” attracted her to Slow Food.

Her career in marketing and leadership of art and cultural nonprofits took her to communities throughout the Pacific Northwest, then to Flagstaff, Arizona. She moved to Portland to get back into the rain, and now has a garden full of herbs and vegetables.

Cheryl continues to serve nonprofits and educational organizations through consulting in program management, fund development, and communications. Her volunteer interests include mentoring youth on healthy cooking and planting trees throughout the urban area.

Guidelines for Governors

Proposed State Governor Terms
State Governor Job Description

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