Our staff has a strong commitment to serving the many constituents of our organization. But first and foremost, they focus their energies on those who take advantage of our programs and services.
MaryAnn Martinez joined CFI as Executive Director in April, 2019. Learn more ...
Molly is an OU Alumni and was a VISTA with Rural Action in the Sustainable Agriculture program. Learn more...
Molly Gassaway, Director of Garden Programs
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 at: email@example.com
Susie comes to Athens by way of Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, and Indiana. Learn more...
Susie Huser, Community Engagement and Donation Station Program Director
Susie comes to Athens by way of Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, and Indiana. Born in the northern part of the Hoosier state, she’s a flat-lander who fell head-over-heels for Appalachia while living in the South. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University and an MS in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. Prior to joining CFI she worked in education and culinary arts, and sees sustainable food as a fundamental component of community resilience. She spends as much time as possible outside with her dog Marla, and is excited to keep connecting with and learning from the Athens County community.
Paige is originally from south-central Pennsylvania, growing up in the snack food capital of the United States. Learn more ...
Paige Klunk, AmeriCorps VISTA, SEO Foodlink Coordinator
Paige is originally from south-central Pennsylvania, growing up in the snack food capital of the United States. After finishing her undergraduate degrees, she worked in management at a local snack food company for almost 3 years. Relocating to the Athens area in 2014, she fell in love with the rolling hills of southeastern Ohio and the Athens’ food culture. She holds Masters’ degrees in International Development Studies and Public Administration from Ohio University. She is passionate about equitable access to fresh foods, and loves discovering new recipes and eating delicious food.
Email Paige at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Basil grew up in Dayton, Ohio and moved to Athens in 2016 to attend Ohio University. Learn more...
Basil Stein, Garden Programs Coordinator, COMCorps
Basil is serving their second year with COMCorps as the gardens coordinator with CFI. This year their role is expanding to include school and community gardens and they are excited for the new opportunities to bring gardening education to people of all ages. Basil is passionate about food justice and renewable agriculture and has been studying these topics both in and out of school for the past 4 years. After Basil’s second term at CFI, they will finish their degree with Sterling College in Vermont where they will earn a degree in Sustainable Agriculture. They are very excited to have another year in Athens with Community Food Initiatives!
E-mail Basil: email@example.com
Sierra is originally from the Cleveland area, but has attended Ohio University the past four years. Learn more ...
Sierra Faris, Food Access Program Coordinator, COMCorps
Sierra is originally from the Cleveland area, but has fully embraced life as an Athens resident in the vibrant and supportive community. She absolutely loved her first term as a COMCorps member and has decided to return to CFI for a second year. This upcoming year will be filled with literally TONS of produce. A very fresh way to spend a year! Sierra is passionate about sustainability and human rights and is morally aligned with the mission, values, and vision of CFI. Sierra enjoys laughing and learning. She is excited for her second year of service!
Contact Sierra: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashley is a recent graduate of Ohio University. Learn more ...
Ashley Prenatt, Food Justice VISTA
Ashley is a recent graduate of Ohio University. Volunteering in Athens County over the past year has given her a love for the Appalachian region and its people, and a desire to see justice, equity and opportunity flourish here.
Ashley enjoys hiking, writing, music and cooking. She is excited to spend a year of service with CFI in Athens!
Contact Ashley: email@example.com
As Food Access Partners Coordinator, Carrie Carson is housed out of ACEnet and works closely with ACEnet, CFI, and Rural Action. Learn more...
Carrie Carson, Food Access Partners Coordinator
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.
Ruth is a Certified Health Educator at the Athens City-County Health Department. Learn more...
Ruth Dudding, Board President
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.
Steve has an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Ohio State and is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Learn more...
Steve Scanlan, Board Vice President
Steve has an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Ohio State and is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ohio University. Motivated primarily by interests in social justice and inequality, he teaches and does research in the areas of hunger and food insecurity, international development, poverty, environmental justice, and social change. He grew up in the countryside near Stoutsville, Ohio where he fostered his love for the outdoors with the family garden, pond, and wooded creek. Steve has lived in Athens since 2006 and enjoys cooking and vegetable/flower gardening with his wife as well as bird-watching, biking, and hiking in the region and beyond. Elected in 2015, and re-elected in 2017.
Susan has a diverse background in plant biology, nursing, development and marketing. Learn more...
Susan Roth, Board Treasurer
Susan has a diverse background in plant biology, nursing, development and marketing and is working presently as a financial advisor with Modern Woodmen of America Fraternal Financial. She has years of experience serving on board of directors with United Campus Ministry, the Athens Foundation Women’s Fund Advisory Board and Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio’s Women Raise the Roof. Currently, she is serving as chair of Christ Lutheran Board of Directors.
From her experience working for a sustainable economic organization and volunteering with social justice organizations, she better understands food systems and inequality. She looks forward to working with CFI to increase food security in our region. In addition to obtaining more licenses and spending time with her daughters, Susan enjoys gardening, home projects, networking, music, snowboarding, craft beer, wine and woodworking.
Linda Parsons is a retired teacher from the Athens City Schools, where she taught for many years. She now grows as much food as possible in her backyard garden. Learn more...
Linda Parsons, Board Secretary
Linda Parsons is a retired teacher from the Athens City Schools, where she taught for many years. She now grows as much food as possible in her backyard garden and is particularly excited about seed saving. Linda has enjoyed volunteering for CFI over the last few years and is excited to be part of a group that is working to ensure that everyone in our community has access to healthy local food. Linda has learned a lot from participating in many CFI workshops, from making kefir to building raised beds. She has also completed the Master Gardener program, likes running , hiking , reading, cooking and shopping at the Farmers Market.
Kip’s formative years in his journey through life took place on a cattle and tobacco farm in Kentucky. He came to Athens in 1970 to attend Ohio University. Learn more...
Kip’s formative years in his journey through life took place on a cattle and tobacco farm in Kentucky. He came to Athens in 1970 to attend Ohio University and has been in love with the area ever since. Over the last 48 years, Kip has worked as a wildlife technician for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Kip owned a Court Street business for 20 years, has been a real estate appraiser for 20 years, and has been manager of the Athens Farmers Market for 10 years. He lives in the country near Shade with the love of his life Patricia and their jack russell terrier, Sparky.
Harold Perkins has a PhD in Geography. He works in the Geography Department at Ohio University. Learn more...
Harold Perkins has a PhD in Geography. He works in the Geography Department at Ohio University where he conducts research on the politics of environmental change in a variety of settings across the U.S. He is especially interested in environmental justice in both urban environments and in rural Appalachia. Harold teaches courses on political geography, sustainable cities, environmental geography, water politics, and environmental justice. He has two sons, Collin and Harvey, who he enjoys spending time with. In his spare time he likes to read, write, hike, garden, and fly fish for trout with his wife, Katie, in remote mountain streams.
Joe Barbaree is the Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Program Manager at Rural Action. Learn more ...
Joe Barbaree is the Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Program Manager at Rural Action. In this role, Joe works to increase economic opportunities for local farm and forestry producers in a multi-county service area of Appalachian Ohio. Core programming areas focus on production, aggregation, and distribution of local specialty crop and non-timber forest products to a diverse network of markets throughout the Central Appalachian region.
Joe primarily works on Rural Action’s peer learning workshops, beginning farmer initiatives, school and institutional sales, local food distribution, and strategic planning for local food hubs, like the Chesterhill Produce Auction.
Before working at Rural Action, Joe spent four years in the urban community development field in Cleveland, Ohio, including nationally-recognized work in the artisan neighborhood of Collinwood. He is a graduate of Mount Union College with a Bachelors in Communication and is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional with the National Development Council. Joe is a member of the Central Appalachian Network’s Food & Agriculture Systems Working Group, serves on the Ohio Food Policy Network Steering Committee, and is a board member at Community Food Initiatives.
Mollie is the Assistant Director at the Athens County Economic Development Council. Learn more ...
Mollie is the Assistant Director at the Athens County Economic Development Council. Prior to this role she served as the Executive Director of Live Healthy Appalachia and as a Project Specialist with the ACEDC. Mollie graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Health Communication Studies and has a Masters of Public Administration also from Ohio University. She brings with her a passion for ensuring that healthy, affordable food is accessible to everyone. In her spare time, Mollie enjoys exercising, cooking, teaching yoga and Irish Dancing, and spending time with her husband and pup.