Board of Directors
|Cortney Ahern is passionate about food. As an apprentice on an organic farm in Upstate New York, she learned about kohlrabi, flea beetles, and how to drive a 1950’s Allis Chalmers tractor. At Colgate University, Cortney combined her background in social justice with her love of food, eating her way through Southeast Asia. She has brought her local-to-global perspective to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Cortney is thrilled to join the board of Slow Food Chicago, and to learn more about the local food system that has welcomed and fed her.|
Ryan Burk hails from a small farming community outside of Rochester, NY. Ryan has always had a passion for all things local, especially when it comes to food (and beer!). Ryan is particularly interested in food policy and ethics and believes that good, clean and sustainable food is a right, not a privilege. Ryan has also worked with the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, Family Farmed, The Chicago Greater Food Depository, as well as Food & Water Watch.
|Jennifer Breckner. Early on, Jennifer was influenced to cook and to appreciate the act of eating together by her grandmother, Julia Ryznar Breckner, as well as her entire family. Since then she is increasingly interested in how food serves as comfort, sustenance, and history and as an instigator of conversation. For years Jennifer has curated and planned events at arts institutions in Chicago. From 2008-2009 she co-organized Sunday Soup Brunch, a monthly communal meal that served as a funding source for micro-grants for artists. She currently works in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago.|
|Cyndi Fecher hails from the hilly farms of Virginia, where, since childhood, her grandmother instilled in her a deep respect for gathering around the table. An avid canner, baker and CSA member, Cyndi continues that legacy by daily practicing the arts of slow food. Cyndi is co-founder and editor of Graze, a food literary journal that examines the interplay between food and its place amid politics, human relationships, geography, arts and culture. She lives in the Logan Square neighborhood and delights in the many local food options available just steps from her door.|
|Carissa Ilg is dedicated to sustainable, local food for the sake of health, community and ecological benefits. She is committed to supporting and connecting with local farmers through farm-to-table restaurants, farm dinners and farmers’ markets. Carissa’s passion for sustainable food stemmed from her background in environmental science and appreciation of nature. Carissa attained her Masters in Environmental Science and has worked for the Notebaert Nature Museum, Environmental Protection Agency, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and currently spearheads the business development at Green Dream Group.|
Eve Lacivita grew up in a family centered on the dinner table. She has a background in political economy and international business and more than 15 years professional experience developing telecommunications products for consumers around the world. Eve has lived in France and China and traveled to places as diverse as Bangladesh, India, and South America. Her experiences have allowed her to observe first-hand both the joys of good, sustainable, traditional food and the problems caused by lack of access to good food. Her love of food and belief in sustainable, accessible food brought her to the Slow Food community, with its focus on ”good, clean and fair”. Today, she lives in the north suburbs, where she grows vegetables during the summer months. Her aspirations are to learn how to make beer and cheese, and to make a difference in her local food community.
Megan Larmer. Joining the board Slow Food is the confluence of many paths for me. I’ve worked nearly every position possible in restaurants from Maui to Chicago, where I saw the soulful act eating can be. As an artist, educator, gardener, and board member (The Mill Theater, Chicago Rarities Orchard Project) I have sought to improve our present and future. Food is the most palpable way to do this. Each meal is a chance to practice being generous, thoughtful, patient, creative, and kind. I hope to create opportunities for all people to gain this practice and carry its lessons into the wider world.
|Rob Montalbano has a long-standing interest in gardening, food and nutrition. So much so, in fact, that he and his wife started their own organic farm in 2006. Born and raised in Chicago, Rob brings to Slow Food a passion about growing food, a desire for building local food systems, and a mission to hook kids on healthy eating. He loves introducing people to new vegetables and talking about the way our diet affects our world.|
|Carrie Schloss works as a personal chef and culinary consultant. She worked as an investment analyst and portfolio manager in London, Mexico City, New York and Chicago, but became a chef which had been her lifelong desire. She became very interested in sustainability and supporting local farmers while living overseas and this was reinforced through her culinary school experience. She believes strongly that a meal can not only nourish you, but that it can teach you about other cultures and is a great way to bring people together.|
|Adrienne Stone grew up in a food-nerdy family in Michigan, and began working in slow food/farm-oriented restaurants at the age of 14. It was here that she fell in love with the concept of supporting farmers by telling their stories. She has been in Chicago for three years and works as a buyer at Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, as well as fulfilling the cheese blogging post at TheLocalBeet.com. She believes that locavore food should be accessible to everyone, regardless of income, and loves cooking at home. Her favorite local foods are roasted chicken, ramps and cheese!|
Jeannine Wise is the principal at Jeannine M. Wise, Culinary Consultant. She was an economist for the federal government, but returned to the culinary field as this is her true passion. She has been volunteering with the Chicago Honey Co-op for several years due to her passion for urban beekeeping. She believes food equals community and love and is looking forward to the opportunity to spread Slow Food values and awareness.