Meet The Board of Directors
Rachel Shapiro, chair
Rachel is an experienced wellness professional and chef with a focus on the power of nutritious food to improve quality of life. Her research into the food system and the quality of the food we eat lead her to an interest in food policy and grassroots food activism. Out of a desire to be part of the solution for the challenges facing our food system, Rachel brings her nonprofit management experience coupled with her passion for systems and collaboration in service of the Council and the State.
Rick hawkins, treasurer
Currently living on a small farm in Martin County, FL with a small nursery, cattle, chickens, fruit & vegetables. Solar energy generation on site. Director of Materials Management, The Breakers Palm Beach Inc, Palm Beach FL. Leader of The Breakers “Green Team.” Co-founder and board member of Localecopia. Collaborator for resiliency projects and advocate for education regarding climate change and promoting sustainability.
JENNIFER PARKER, Secretary
Food and Nutrition Policy Consultant, Nutritional Therapist and Private Chef Jennifer Parker dedicates her time helping people understand how today's diet of convenience is stifling our potential, drawing attention to the politics behind our food in her blog Edible Politics. In light of the global obesity epidemic and growing concern for transparency in the food system, Jennifer started working with clients to teach them about deceiving food marketing, how to read food labels, reshape healthier, ethical choice making, and how to cook good, clean meals at home.
Living now in Florida, Jennifer spends her free time scuba diving and with her 3 dogs.
Jennifer, previously living in London UK, obtained her Masters in Food Policy, worked together with Tim Lang and Vivian Shoen on some pieces on sugar which has recently been published in a collaborative text "Advances in Food Security and Sustainability Vol. 2", available now at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
A Lecturer at Florida International University’s (FIU) Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism in Miami. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from FIU’s Robert Stempel School of Public Health & Social Work while he earned his Masters’ degree in Hospitality Management from FIU and his Bachelors’ degree in Travel and Tourism Management from Michigan State University. His doctoral research centered on the problem area of community food insecurity. John is particularly interested in the role that the hospitality industry has to play in our food systems as he helps to educate current and next generations of hospitality managers on their social responsibilities toward the communities in which they live and work.
Anthony Olivieri, the founder of FHEED LLC (Food for Health, the Environment, Economy & Democracy), has a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from FAU (2011) with a focus on community food systems, and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). His specialties are geographic assessments of food and health disparities, program design for healthy food access initiatives, and public speaking about health equity. In addition to his consultancy, Anthony was a full-time instructor with the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University, where he developed and taught the region’s first urban planning course on community food systems (2014-2016). A Fort Lauderdale resident since 1998, Anthony is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts and has a B.A. in psycholinguistics from the University of Southern California (1994).
Steve Szmidt is a partner in Grow Permaculture, an organization responsible for training most of the Permaculture Designers in Florida. Situated on Our Permaculture Farm in Brooksville, a demonstration farm of what you can do with permaculture with the distinction of growing everything in the prevalent local sand landscape of Florida. As an educator Steve contributes his knowledge of sustainable technologies to the classes.
Is the Associate Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. He is a Master Instructor and has served at USF since 1986. The author of three books, over 30 articles in professional publications, and chapters in twelve books, deChant’s specialization is religion and contemporary cultures. His current research focuses on religious, literary, and ecological expressions of Agrarianism as they manifest in American popular culture. deChant is Chair of the Environmental Committee of the City of New Port Richey, a founding member of Food Policy Council of Pasco Country, a member of the Florida Food Policy Council, and a member of the Board of Directors of Ecology Florida.
Meet The Staff
Mary Meade, administrative assistant
Mary Meade is the Administrative Assistant of the Florida Food Policy Council and currently the only staff member. She graduated from Florida State University with a BS in International Affairs and double-minored in Social Entrepreneurship and Environmental Studies. Born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, Mary is an advocate for the environment and is particularly interested in how sustainable, intersectional food policy can aid people and the planet.