Maribeth Saleem-Tanner is CFI's fearless leader. Contact Maribeth with any general inquiry, for Nourishing Networks programming, sponsorships/donations, careers, and anything else you'd like to discuss. Learn more about Maribeth ...
Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, Executive Director
Maribeth Saleem-Tanner has called the Appalachian region home for nearly two decades. She grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California, and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Pocahontas County West Virginia before embarking on a career in education and nonprofit leadership. Maribeth holds a Masters Degree in Conflict Transformation from the Eastern Mennonite University Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. She was drawn to CFI’s commitment to justice, belief in the strength and resiliency of Appalachian communities, deep and wide local roots, and passionately dedicated network of staff, partners, and volunteers. In her free time, Maribeth enjoys local music, yoga, baking, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.
Email Maribeth: email@example.com
Molly is CFI's Garden Education champion! Contact Molly with anything related to School Gardens, and with any/all inquiries related to Garden Education. Learn more about Molly...
Molly Gassaway, Director of Garden Education
Molly is an OU Alumni and was a VISTA with Rural Action in the Sustainable Agriculture program before moving out West for 13 years. She returned to be closer to family, plentiful water, and verdant land. She lives on a farm with her husband and two young boys where she enjoys swimming, biking, baking, yoga, and gardening.
Email Molly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Susie is CFI's point person for community engagement. Contact Susie with any volunteer/internship inquiries, press inquiries, and with Discovery Kitchen or Community Gardens questions. Learn more about Susie ...
Susie Huser, Director of Outreach
Susie moved to Athens in the summer of 2018 specifically to join Community Food Initiatives. She grew up in a rural, agricultural community in Indiana, and has worked in education and culinary arts in IN, NC, and CO. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University and an MS in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. She sees a thriving, equitable local food system as a fundamental component of community resilience and is passionate about sharing good food with others in many different ways. She also enjoys painting, music, books, and spending as much time as possible outside -- often with her dogs Lola June and Bingo Jones.
Email Susie: email@example.com
Reggie Morrow oversees all aspects of food procurement and distribution through CFI's Donation Station and Food Access Partnerships. Contact Reggie regarding Donation Station, food purchases/donations, distribution, or CFI's small farming project. Learn more about Reggie ...
Reggie Morrow, Director of Food Sourcing and Distribution
My name is Reggie Morrow. Born a Mississippi native I was raised throughout West TN. I moved to Cincinnati to receive a degree in Video Production and Communication. Afterwards, I moved to Athens and attended Ohio University and studied Social Entrepreneurship and Non Profit Management. Through working with Athens City Schools, Ohio University, and the Community Center I've grown to know and love this community and the people in it.
Email Reggie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ivan oversees CFI's ever-popular Veggie Van! Contact Ivan with all Veggie Van farmstand inquiries or Veggie Van pop-up requests. Learn more about Ivan...
Ivan Orquera, Veggie Van Manager
Ivan started volunteering with CFI in 2019, and logged 125 hours that year helping at market, at the CPA, with distribution, and at Discovery Kitchen workshops. He is on track to complete a Master's in Geography at Ohio University, and is excited to stay in Athens to join the CFI team in support of our Veggie Van project. Ivan is as passionate and tireless about helping CFI as a squirrel is about collecting acorns in the fall. That is why he sees his ongoing work with us as a gift while he makes plans for the future.
Email Ivan: email@example.com
Amy is our Community Gardens cultivator extraordinaire! Contact Amy with inquiries regarding plot availability, work parties, workshops, and more. Learn more about Amy...
Amy Fugikawa, Community Gardens Coordinator
Amy grew up in northwest Ohio and earned a liberal arts degree in southeastern Pennsylvania before relocating to SE Ohio in 1994. Her two-year service with the Appalachian Access & Success AmeriCorps program was an incredible introduction to our region and the people who work with underserved populations to increase their access to education and healthcare. Amy has since worked for non-profits, small businesses, and has been an active volunteer in our community -- including volunteering with CFI for a decade before joining as staff.
Amy lives in an apartment with her teenager and dog and is an avid community gardener. She enjoys being outdoors, a good laugh, a strong cup of coffee and delicious salads, cheeses & chocolates.
E-mail Amy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew is CFI's 2023-2024 Outreach VISTA volunteer. Contact Drew with inquiries regarding program expansion, community partnerships, our Annual Report, and other capacity building questions. Learn more about Drew ...
Drew Ogg, AmeriCorps VISTA
Drew is an Appalachian native, having been born and raised in Athens County, before moving to Mansfield Ohio. He attended, and graduated from, The Ohio State University with a degree in Economics, as well as a minor in History. After working in Financial Sales for 7 years, Drew decided he wanted to help combat food insecurity, something he witnessed frequently growing up in Southeast Ohio. Learning more about the issue by volunteering with CFI, he knew rather quickly that this was an organization he wanted to be a part of. In his free time, Drew enjoys backpacking, cycling, running, gardening and snowboarding.
Email Drew: email@example.com
Anthony is our Food Access Coordinator COMCorps volunteer! Ask Anthony about Donation Station at the Athens Farmers Market and Chesterhill Produce Auction, distribution, or Veggie Van. Learn more about Anthony ...
Anthony Warner, Food Access Coordinator, COMCorps
I was born and raised in Central Ohio. I graduated from Ohio University in May of 2023 with a B.A. in anthropology and a B.S. in photojournalism. I was drawn to service with COMCorps and CFI because I wanted the opportunity to serve the communities that had always welcomed me during my time as a student in Southeast Ohio. In my free time, I enjoy reading, DIY arts and crafts, and exploring the outdoors.
Email Anthony: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucy is CFI's amazing Garden Educator and inspirer of future gardeners! Contact Lucy with any inquiry regarding School Gardens and general garden education, like camps and workshops. Learn more about Lucy ...
Lucy Peloso, Garden Education Coordinator, COMCorps
Lucy was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. After graduating with a biology degree from John Carroll University she moved up to Bethel, Alaska to complete a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest and AmeriCorps. She served at a small, rural college supporting students through wellness, tutoring, and community building. This opportunity allowed her to learn about the importance of culture in food gathering and preparation, along with our relationships to the ecosystems around us. She is excited to be returning to Ohio with a passion for learning about sustainable food systems and living in a way that is connected to the environment and local community. Lucy enjoys reading, writing, crafts, music, and being curious about the world around her!
Email Lucy: email@example.com
Our Board of Directors
Our board represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and those we serve. The members work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization and oversee that the funds raised directly affect those in need.
Adam is the Food Enterprise Coordinator at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks. Learn more ...
Adam Kody, Board President
Adam is the Food Enterprise Coordinator at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks. Adam graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Restaurant, Hotel and Tourism Management and is currently enrolled in the Master of Public Administration program at Ohio University. Adam enjoys working with all the passionate entrepreneurs that pass through ACEnet, providing technical assistance and training along the way. Adam loves to cook and experiment with fermentation and has a dedicated passion for playing and listening to music.
Mat graduated from the Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism with a focus on environmental sociology and climate change in 2014. Learn more...
Mat Roberts, Board Vice President
Mat graduated from the Ohio University Scripps School of Journalism with a focus on environmental sociology and climate change in 2014. Since then, he’s been a dedicated advocate for innovative public policy, environmental sustainability, and resilient local economies. He is a thought leader and trusted ally for the common good in his community, encouraging others to think vividly and act boldly to enact deep, systematic change that puts people and the planet first. Mat works as the Director of Marketing for the Sustainable Ohio Public Energy Council (SOPEC) — a non-profit public organization based in Athens serving the sustainable energy needs of 21 member communities and subdivisions across Ohio. Mat enjoys outdoor exploration, playing and watching sports, and spending time with family and friends.
Sierra Faris is the current Treasurer of CFI's Board. Learn more ...
Sierra Faris, Board Treasurer
Sierra Faris is the current Treasurer of CFI's Board. As a Senior Program Coordinator for Franklin County's Economic Development and Planning Department, her professional life is dedicated primarily to addressing the affordable housing crisis and promoting community development. While originally from the Cleveland area, she has a passion for Appalachian Ohio and loves its vibrant and supportive community. Though Sierra is currently living in Franklin County, she is grateful for her 7 years as a resident of Athens County and plans to continue her connection to the region.
Sierra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geography at Ohio University as well as a certificate in Ecotourism. Sierra's studies focused on development, urban planning, and sustainability. While at Ohio University, Sierra was a Resident Assistant for three years and a Community Ambassador connecting students to the city and county outside of the university bubble.
Sierra brings skills of project management, community engagement, communication, relationship-building, collaboration, leadership, resourcefulness, grant management, and advocacy. Sierra served as an AmeriCorps/COMCorps member with Community Food Initiatives from 2018-2020. Sierra was a Justice Talking facilitator for both years of her service in which she led civil discourse about current events, life experiences, and their connection to the service experience. She received training through COMCorps in having a trauma-informed care approach and received a certificate in motivational interviewing. She is passionate about sustainability, community health, and human rights and is excited to continue to serve on CFI's Board as Treasurer with her current financial and grant management skills.
In Sierra's free time she enjoys hiking, biking, hammocking, laughing with friends, watching movies, traveling, trying new foods, dancing, and cuddling with her cat, Honey.
Patrick Tegge grew up in Glenshaw, PA a town located just outside of Pittsburgh. Learn more...
Patrick Tegge, Board Secretary
Patrick Tegge grew up in Glenshaw, PA a town located just outside of Pittsburgh. He attended Marietta college where he earned a BA in history, minored in leadership studies, and became certified to teach high school social studies. Upon graduation, he served with COMCorps, an AmeriCorps program, at Coolville elementary. He is currently employed by Ohio State University Extension’s SNAP-Ed program as a Policy, System, and Environmental Change, (PSE) Program Specialist. In this role, he assists county SNAP-Ed staff in implementing PSE changes focused on increasing access of healthy food and physical activity opportunities. In addition, Patrick partners with CFI on projects including Donation Station, the Families Eating Affordable and Sustainably Together workshop series, and Nourishing Networks.
In this new role as a CFI board member, he hopes to continue to help CFI work to help his fellow community members. Patrick currently live in Glouster, OH with his partner Megan. He also enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, working on renovating his home, as well as playing board games and tabletop role playing games with friends.
Tiffany Arnold, PhD, MEd is originally from Morgan County, Ohio and has lived in Athens on and off since 1997. Learn more...
Tiffany Arnold, Member at Large
Tiffany Arnold, PhD, MEd is originally from Morgan County, Ohio and has lived in Athens on and off since 1997. She is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions where she teaches Appalachian Studies and Rural health classes, as well as coordinates the Appalachian Studies certificate program. She enjoys gardening, camping, reading, and supporting her kids in their various activities. She currently lives in Athens with her husband, Nick and her two sons, Alden and Jude.
Ruth is a Certified Health Educator at the Athens City-County Health Department. Learn more...
Ruth is a Certified Health Educator at the Athens City-County Health Department. She assists schools, worksites, communities and health care agencies to develop policies, systems and environmental changes that promote health. The goal of the Creating Healthy Communities collaborative, which Ruth coordinates, is to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Elected 2013, re-elected in 2015 and 2016.
Becky Clark is the Owner, Butcher, and Executive Chef of Pork & Pickles. Learn more ...
Becky Clark is the Owner, Butcher, and Executive Chef of Pork & Pickles, a company she founded in 2016 with the mission to create a unique food experience that both expands the palate of her diners and holds up the local agricultural community. She believes in partnerships of equality - superb products in exchange for sustainable income. Clark uses food as a platform to shed light on issues of economics, climate change, and social justice. She believes everybody has a right to healthy, delicious food and fair wages, and uses her company to approach that one bite at a time.
In addition to her own company, Clark is the Executive Chef at Little Fish Brewing Company, a restaurant consultant, a mentor for Rural Action’s Whole Farm Program, and a proud OU Alumni. Her menus at Pork & Pickles and Little Fish center around seasonal local food (what the farmers have available at any given time).
In her spare time Clark is a loving partner, dog mom, auntie, daughter, granddaughter and friend. She focuses her time outdoors, pushing her limits physically in all types of adventure recreation, and growing, cooking, and eating delicious food.
Caitlyn Petti McDaniel is a Staff Attorney at Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS). Learn more ...
Caitlyn Petti McDaniel
Caitlyn Petti McDaniel is a Staff Attorney at Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS), where she represents low-income individuals who would not otherwise have access to an attorney. She practices in a wide area of law, but her primary interests are in housing, education, and reentry from incarceration. Hailing from Dublin, Ohio, Caitlyn came to Athens County to attend Ohio University in 2011 and has lived here ever since (except for brief stints in Baltimore and D.C. to attend law school at American University's Washington College of Law). Prior to attending law school, she served on the board of the Buckeye Environmental Network, a grassroots organization that works to address environmental exploitation across the State of Ohio.
Caitlyn is dedicated to supporting healthy, resilient and diverse communities in Appalachian Ohio. She brings a unique set of skills to the board of CFI as an experienced community organizer and legal professional. When she isn't in court or at a community event, you can find Caitlyn reading books or putzing around on her small homestead near Albany.
Heather Fuston is the co-owner of Root 56 Farm in Athens, OH. Learn more...
Heather Fuston is the co-owner of Root 56 Farm in Athens, OH and a vendor at the Athens Farmers Market where they sell farm to bottle hot sauces, fermented foods, other produce and native plants. Additionally, she works for Snowville Creamery as their Director of Business Development and Marketing. Prior to that, she served two terms as an AmeriCorps member with Rural Action’s Zero Waste Program as their Education Coordinator. Heather has a passion for connecting our community to local, healthy, sustainable, and delicious food produced right here in our region.
Heather enjoys eating and making great food, and anything outdoors – hiking, backpacking, playing soccer, and having fun with her two sons and partner.
Olivia is the Friendship Bench Program Manager at the Athens City-County Health Department. ... Learn More
Olivia is the Friendship Bench Program Manager at the Athens City-County Health Department. Originally from Columbus, Ohio Olivia first came to Athens as an AmeriCorps member with the COMCorps program after completing her Bachelor of Arts at Oberlin College with a major in Neuroscience and a minor in History. After two years of service at Trimble Local Schools and Marietta College and an entirely different worldview, Olivia made a promise to herself to return to Athens somehow. Upon completing a Master of Social Work in Community and Social Justice and a Master of Public Administration in Public Budgeting and Finance from the Ohio State University, Olivia was searching for a job that could combine her passion for working with people with her knowledge of policy and management. Through the power of good networking and COMCorps, Olivia connected with fellow board member Ruth Dudding, who was in need of an individual to run a new grant program. Olivia just recently moved back to Athens County and when she’s not doing all things Friendship Bench, you can find her outside taking hikes, eating good food, and spending time with her husband, family, and friends.