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.
Strategic Partnerships Manager
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).
Food Security Programs Manager
Annmarie oversees the Food Council’s food security programs, providing management support to the Food Recovery and Access Working Group and implementing aspects of the County's Food Security Response Strategy. Annmarie previously served as the Project Leader/Nutrition Educator for the University of Maryland Extension’s SNAP-Ed Program in Montgomery County, where she partnered with schools, food assistance providers, and farmers markets to implement nutrition education programming and promote policy, systems, and environmental changes aimed at creating a more equitable local food system for those facing food insecurity. Annmarie is a Registered Dietitian and a Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist in the state of Maryland. She holds a BS in Dietetics from the University of Maryland, College Park; as well as a BA in English from Brooklyn College, and a Master’s in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Food Economy, Agriculture, and Sustainability Consultant
Lorien provides support to the MoCo Made Initiative and the Farm to Food Bank program, and aids in addressing other local food economy, agriculture, and environmental sustainability issues. She is devoted to working towards a healthy, equitable, ecologically sustainable food system for all. She has worked on food system issues for nearly two decades, from laboring on farms, to leading agricultural and nutrition education, to nonprofit program coordination, to researching community nutrition and beginning farmer programming. She has implemented and evaluated programs for agricultural cooperative extension, first with Virginia Cooperative Extension, then with University of Maryland Extension. In addition to her role at MoCo Food Council, she currently operates a one-acre vegetable farm in the Montgomery County Agricultural Preserve, selling directly to consumers within the county. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Longwood University, a M.S. in Agricultural Extension Education, and a PhD in Agricultural Life Sciences, Community Viability, from Virginia Tech.
Food Access Initiatives Director
Allison is the Manager of Food Access Initiatives at the Montgomery County Food Council. Her efforts include managing the Council’s SNAP Outreach Program, coordinating the Benefits Outreach and Enrollment Workgroup, and supporting the Food Security Community
Advisory Board. Allison is a registered dietitian who recently relocated to Montgomery County from Las Vegas, where she was a health educator in the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Southern Nevada Health District and served as the registered dietitian liaison on the Southern Nevada Food Council. Allison received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she also completed her dietetic internship. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wellesley College.
As a Program Coordinator, Bezawit provides administrative, outreach and communications support to the Food Council. She 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.
Food Access Assistant
Sharon Strerath is a Food Access Assistant for the Food Council's SNAP Outreach Program. She assists English and Spanish-speaking residents in applying for SNAP. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Vatel International Business School Hotel & Tourism Management and previously worked in the hospitality industry, which gave her the opportunity to travel to different countries, gain experiences, and focus on the service of customers. She enjoys working at the Food Council because it allows her to assist people from our community, and through that contributes to their nutritional well-being.
Ester is the Program Coordinator at the Montgomery County Food Council. Her efforts include engaging with community partners to raise the visibility of MoCo Made by developing resources that help highlight program participants. She works closely with the Food Economy and Food Education Working Group through collaborative and administrative efforts. Ester previously worked for the University of Maryland Extension’s Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program in Montgomery County, where she partnered with schools, churches, and other community organizations to serve marginalized community members with quality nutrition education programs, aimed at making food education accessible to those facing food insecurity. Ester has a passion for helping others improve their quality of life through food education. Ester earned a B.S. in Community Health from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, Global Campus.
Senior Food Access Coordinator
Elizabeth is a Food Access Coordinator for the Food Council's SNAP Outreach Program. She assists residents in applying for SNAP and engages in community outreach to increase SNAP enrollment. She previously served as an Americorp VISTA with the Food Council's food security team, working on implementing the County's Food Security Plan. Prior to joining the Food Council, Elizabeth was a chef, a food educator, and an attorney practicing energy law, and she currently serves on the board of the Takoma Park Silver Spring Food 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.
Last Wednesday of the month from 1:30PM - 3PM
Second Monday of each month, 1:00 to 2:30pm. Please register in advance.
The first Tuesday of the month from 9:30AM-11AM via Zoom.
Third Tuesday of each month, 10-11:30am via Zoom.
Save the date: Thursday, July 28th, 11am-3pm
Please join the Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH) for the 2022 Environmental Justice and Health Disparities Symposium.