Heather leads the operational and strategic initiatives of the Food Council, coordinating the contributions of the organization’s 8 staff, 400+ volunteers of the Council, Working Groups, Board of Directors, and 200+ community partner organizations toward our collective food system goals and achievements. Heather spent the first decade of her career as an administrator and program director at MIT, Georgetown University, and the University of Virginia. Prior to her work with the Food Council, Heather also served as President of multiple volunteer-driven community based organizations in Montgomery County focused on early childhood education and parent resources. Heather holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M. Ed. from the University of Virginia. Heather serves as co-lead of the Montgomery County Food Security Task Force, and as a member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments FARM Committee, National Capital Region Food and Water Project Technical Advisory Committee, CKC Farming Advisory Board, Montgomery County’s Community Health Needs Assessment Advisory Committee and its Small Business Recovery Workgroup, and the Nonprofit Montgomery Advocacy Committee, and she is an active leader and volunteer in her community and local schools.
Massa manages the Food Council’s grant activities and oversees aspects of the organization’s administration, human resources and financial management. Massa brings ten years of communications, finance, and management consulting experience to the Food Council and has held positions in both the private and non-profit sectors. She began her career as a strategy consultant with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and then worked for several years in investor communications and strategic planning with Endurance Specialty Holdings. In addition to her private sector experience, Massa has worked with the Washington DC-based non-profits DC Greens and FoodPrints as a food systems and nutrition educator. Massa holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from American University.
Interim Food Security Programs Manager
Susan oversees food security programs at the Montgomery County Food Council, and serves as the staff liaison to the Food Recovery and Access Working Group. Her efforts also implement aspects of the County's Food Security Response Strategy. Prior to this role, Susan managed sustainability initiatives and community engagement programs at the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and at various environmental organizations in New York State. Susan’s passion for this work is grounded in growing vegetables and raising chickens, while trying to live lightly, within the Niagara River watershed in Upstate New York; and in joyful adventures growing and enjoying food as a way of making friends, at several wonderful community gardens throughout the past ten years. Susan is a Bloomberg Fellow with the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. Susan holds a dual BA in Visual Art and New Media, and English, from SUNY Fredonia, and a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Manager of Strategic Partnerships
Michelle provides management support to the Food Council’s Food Education, Policy, and Strategic Planning work, and facilitates our collaboration and systems-based community initiatives. She is passionate about collaborating across sectors to create a healthier and more equitable local food system. Previously, Michelle spent a decade with academic, government, and nonprofit organizations working to make healthy choices easier for under-resourced communities. She earned a B.S. in Human Nutrition from The Ohio State University, a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and is also a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Outreach and Communications Assistant
As the Outreach and Communication Assistant, Bezawit facilitates the sharing of information about the Montgomery County food system and available food assistance resources across multiple platforms. She is excited to connect with the hard-to-reach populations in the County, as she believes that is one of the steps toward ending racial and ethinc disparities that exist in relation to food insecurity. Previously, she has had experience working with the UCLA Labor Center and the National Education Association, and she is excited to bring her communications and advocacy skills to the Food Council.
Cynthia is an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Montgomery County Food Council through a partnership with Hunger Free America. She assists the Montgomery County Food Council's food security programs through coordinating community engagement and administrative support. Cynthia holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is currently studying for her M.P.S in Urban and Regional Planning at Georgetown University. She previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives focusing on housing and homelessness issues.
Jana supports the Food Council’s Policy Committee, Environmental Impact Working Group, and Racial Equity Committee. She recently graduated with a B.S. in Public Health Science from University of Maryland- College Park, and is returning to pursue a Masters in Health Administration in the fall. Prior to joining the Food Council, Jana volunteered with a variety of organizations focused on community social justice. She is passionate about utilizing her skills, and gaining new ones, pertaining to policy and environmental impact.
AmeriCorps VISTA, Program Assistant
Elizabeth joins the Montgomery County Food Council team as an Americorp VISTA through a partnership with Hunger Free America. She focuses on implementing the Food Council's food security programs and supporting food assistance providers. Prior to joining the Food Council, Elizabeth was a chef, a food educator, and an attorney practicing energy law. She has worked with school-based organizations to improve the health of school lunches and currently serves on the board of the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op. She holds a B.A. from Holy Cross College, a J.D. from Georgetown University, and a certificate in pastry arts from L'Academie de Cuisine.
Danny is the liaison to the Food Education Working Group, providing administrative support, collaborating with the Work Group to develop and support objectives and initiatives. He will work to facilitate connections among diverse stakeholders, coordinate Food Security initiatives in response to COVID-19, and provide operational support when necessary. Danny holds a B.S. in Environmental Sustainability from Rochester Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from UW-Madison.
Every other Monday, 1:00 to 2:00pm. Please register in advance.
4th Tuesday of each month, 9:30-11am via Zoom.
July 27th, Oct 26th
The Food Education Working Group (FEdWG) would like to cordially invite you to our Gardening Grant showcase that we will be taking place over the course of four (4) FEdWG meetings in 2021.
Third Wednesday of each month, 9-10:30am via Zoom.
The first Tuesday of the month from 9:30AM-11AM via Zoom.