Board of Directors
Mary Rose Conroy - CHAIR
Mary Rose spends her weekdays focusing on SNAP eligibility policy and participant access as a Branch Chief in SNAP at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, where she has worked since 2010. Motivated by her desire to connect her policy work with local food access issues in her community, she began volunteering with the market in 2013 and took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator in 2014. After serving in that role for three seasons, Mary Rose is excited to join the Board and work with CFW in a more strategic capacity. She is a former Board Member of Manna Project International, an organization with which she also previously worked as a Program Director for community-based health and nutrition projects in Nicaragua. Mary Rose received her Master of Public Policy Degree from American University and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Providence College, where she was a double major in Political Science and Public & Community Service Studies.
John Reich is currently a Scientific Program Director at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). John strongly believes that advancements in agriculture will be key to maintaining our quality of life, and that the right investments at opportune moments will provide us with the necessary tools to overcome future challenges in agriculture.Prior to his appointment at FFAR, John supported programs regarding food safety and nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, where he also helped build relationships between federal agencies regarding climate change, food security, and agriculture. In the past, John has been an active member in his community, working with multiple groups, including non-profits and city governments, to advance food security and sustainable agriculture efforts. Trained as a biomedical scientist, John’s background will be broadly applied to CFW issues.
Jeff is passionate about creating equitable, inclusive markets to help address some of our most pressing environmental, social, and economic challenges. He has worked as a farmer, cleantech entrepreneur, and management consultant, with broad experience building organizations in both the private and non-profit sectors. He currently works on initiatives designed to expand clean energy access for off-grid communities in low-income countries around the world. Jeff got involved with Community Foodworks as a volunteer at the Columbia Heights Farmers Market in 2012, eventually serving as interim and then full-time executive director of the organization. A DC native with family roots in the farming communities of Frederick County, MD, Jeff is a graduate of James Madison University and the London School of Economics.
José feels at home at farmers' markets. He grew up in Planada, California, about two hours southeast of San Francisco, where he worked for a farmer in his home town to sell produce at Bay Area farmers' markets from the age of 15 to 22. José studied Biology at the University of California, Berkeley; he left the Bay Area after college to become a Health-sector Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic where his passion for health education, nutrition and healthy food blossomed. José moved to DC in 2011 and currently works for Keany Produce, a locally-owned and operated wholesale produce company. José will provide logistical expertise and is very happy to become party of the for Community Foodworks team.
Jason’s began his work with the Columbia Heights market in 2013 as a volunteer. Relishing his experience administering the Bonus Bucks program, Jason was eager to increase his involvement and joined the board of directors in 2014. He believes that Community Foodworks presents a unique opportunity to strengthen the community in many ways, including increasing the community’s ability to access healthy food, supporting local farmers, and bringing a diverse group of people together on a Saturday morning to enjoy a vibrant marketplace.
The succulence of a perfect summertime tomato, the satisfying crunch of a handful of crisp spinach! There are few things in life that make Shannon happier than fresh fruits and veggies, and she thinks everyone deserves access to locally-grown ones. As a global public health major at UNC Chapel Hill, she studied the systemic obstacles to healthy living that so many communities encounter. To break that barrier on campus, Shannon worked with a local organization to bring a healthy and affordable meal to campus every week and helped establish the first CSA available to students. After college, she worked at a children’s home and school in rural Nepal, where she fell in love with the people, the culture and the food that was grown within a few feet of her doorstep. Shannon now works as a commercial real estate broker at CBRE in DC and is excited to collaborate with the talented Community Foodworks team in her hometown.
james Huang is a family medicine physician at Unity Health Care. He coordinates weekly group visits for overweight children and their families focused on learning about nutrition and physical activity. The group incorporates the Fruits and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) program, where families learn about the importance of and have access to heathy local produce. James is a graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed his training in the Family and Social Medicine Program at Montefiore Hospital, where he fully embraced the mission of promoting health and social justice in the Bronx and beyond. As someone who understands the impact of having access to local fresh produce on one's health, he is dedicated to promoting healthier communities through access and education for all in DC.
Born in New York City, and raised on the East End of Long Island, Maddy has been a proud DC resident since the late 90’s. Maddy attended the now-defunct New York Restaurant School, graduating with highest honors in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts; later studying a robust Liberal Arts curriculum at both Hunter College, in New York City, and The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is a veteran of the hospitality industry having worked in The Hamptons, NYC, Southern Florida, and the United States Virgin Islands before making her home in the Nation’s Capital. Once in DC, she moved into the nonprofit food sector, and spent over a decade building the local farmers market organization, Freshfarm. Currently employed to oversee events and partnerships at Maydan restaurant; In her free time she volunteers time with local nonprofits and invests money in local businesses. She eats, drinks, and lives near U Street with her rescue pup, Doug. Favorite vegetable? corn, [local of course] raw.
Lina was born and raised in Colombia. Motivated by her passion for consumer education, health, and sustainable food systems, Lina transitioned from a career of 10+ years in international development to launching her own health education & coaching business, LiveWell. Lina has used this platform to speak at different branches of the D.C. Public Library, WeWork, the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Recharj, and Pineapple Radio, among others. Previous to becoming a certified Health Educator & Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, Lina worked at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington D.C., where she was responsible for building public and private sector partnerships, designing and executing communication strategies, and managing large-scale international events. Lina is a trained lawyer from Los Andes University in Colombia and received a dual Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University (New York) and Sciences Po (Paris).
Joud Achkar (pronounced JUDE ASH-kar) joined Community Foodworks as a culinary expert with a passion for making cooking accessible to underserved populations. A member of an underserved population himself, Joud grew up in a refugee camp in Damascus, Syria, where farm to table produce is the norm. He learned at an early age the beauty of home cooking, and pursued a career in culinary arts after being inspired by his favorite home cook, his mother. After attaining his degree, he immigrated to the United States, where he has worked nearly every job in the restaurant industry, from dishwasher to executive chef. Chef Joud, currently the Executive Chef at the Tabard Inn, looks forward to interacting with farmers directly, and to working with home cooks on simple ways to prepare nutritious foods for themselves and their families.