San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
slv local foods alamosa colorado

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Coalition Staff & Board Members

We invite you to meet our Staff & Board members! Everyone welcomes your questions, comments, suggestions, or concerns regarding our Coalition and its efforts. Please direct enquiries to the person most suitable regarding your enquiry.

San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition
412 State Avenue / P.O. Box 181
Alamosa, CO 81101
slvlocalfoods@gmail.com - 719.937.2319


COALITION STAFF & BOARD MEMBERS

Liza Marron, LFC Executive Director

Liza Marron
LFC Executive Director

View Bio & Email[-]

Liza is the founding director of the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition in rural southern Colorado. She has been a community organizer with a focus on social justice, wellness and prevention for many years.

Ms. Marron has a Master's Degree in Community Counseling and a Bachelor's degree in Spanish. Her skill set includes grant writing, government, visioning and strategic planning, non-profit management, finance, coalition building, economic development, education, fund raising, public speaking, and managing a budget.

Liza is an avid gardener, horsewoman and student of life. ~ Email ~


Abe Rosenberg, Local Foods, Local Places Program Director

Abe Rosenberg, Program Director
Local Foods, Local Places

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Abe grew up in Crestone Colorado and graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Adams State University. This "Jack of All Trades" background has lead to Abe working in a variety of fields including food, art, music, theatre, permaculture, sustainability, agriculture, mass communications and video production.

Abe started working with the SLV Local Foods Coalition in 2013 as a MoKi Coordinator and has also worked for the Valley Roots Food Hub and volunteered for the Rio Grande Farm Park and Cooking Matters.

In 2016 he was hired by Conejos Clean Water as the Director of Community Gardens and Outdoor Programs and was involved in the SLV Inspire coalition to bring 1 million dollars of grant funding from Great Outdoors Colorado to the SLV for outdoor programs, pathways and places. He has worked on community projects with partners such as SLVGO, Alpine Achievers Initiative, Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley, S.P.M.D.T.U, South Conejos School District, City of Alamosa, Town of Antonito, Fresh Tracks, the Children and Nature Network, Nature$s Table, Taste of Native Cuisine, Integrated Nutrition Education Program, La Puente and VEGI, and the Orient Land Trust.

In 2019 Abe was hired as the Local Foods Local Place Program Director for the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition and is working to make more community connections around the local foods movement in the San Luis Valley.

Abe lives on his 35 acre farm in Antonito, Colorado with his wife Morgan Velasquez and son Izrael Rain and continues to perform original music with his band, Sweet Radish and produce videos with his company Jack Rabbit Hollow.
~ Email ~


Lois Harvie, Cooking
Matters Coordinator

Lois Harvie
Cooking Matters Coordinator

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"Miss Lane" (Lois), hails from Albuquerque, NM and moved to Colorado in 2014 from Santa Fe to manage the Montrose Farmers Market. Her professional experience centers around elementary education, healthy living and local food access.

As an elementary teacher with a passion for local food, she realized it was important for kids and families to return to the dinner table and learn how to make healthy meals. She is a certified Holistic Health Coach and graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2011.

She is passionate about helping communities to improve their health and wellness through finding connection to their local food sources and teaching families how to make healthy lifestyle choices.

In her spare time she enjoys writing, yoga, walking her dogs, gardening, cooking and traveling. She looks forward to learning more about the San Luis Valley, and becoming a part of a community that celebrates its connection to its people and the land. ~ Email ~


Jesse Marchildon, Farm Manager, Rio Grande Farm Park

Jesse Marchildon, Farm Manager
Rio Grande Farm Park

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Jesse Marchildon is the Farm Manager for the Rio Grande Farm Park. Born and raised in Alamosa, he left the Valley for ten years to get an education and explore the world.

After graduating from CU Boulder with a degree in Anthropology and Spanish Literature he moved to Denver, where awareness of social justice issues led him to the importance of healthy, local food systems.

Since 2013 he has studied Permaculture and helped folks build their family and community farms in New York, Colorado, California and Hawaii. He returned to Alamosa in March of 2017 to bring his knowledge and passion back to his hometown.
~ Email ~


Julie Mordecai, RG Farm Park Executive Director

Julie Mordecai, Executive Director
Rio Grande Farm Park

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Julie is the director of the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park of which she led the campaign to purchase the property with a team of amazing community members. She owns and operates the Complete Non Profit, which provides resources for non-profits in Colorado. She lead the fundraising effort for the Children's Advocacy Center of the San Luis Valley.

Previously she was the Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance of Boys & Girls Club raising well over 6 million dollars in resources and offsets. She worked with the Boys & Girls Club movement for over 9 years, first serving as the Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley.

Julie is on the board of the Denver Film Society. Julie has a MA in Higher Education, Administration & Leadership from Adams State University. She has a BA in Environmental Studies and an Elementary Education Credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara. ~ Email ~



Amber Middleton
Transition Manager

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Amber is the new Transition Manager for the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition. Amber has returned to the Local Foods Coalition after two years back in Wisconsin, where she coordinated 2-1-1 Wisconsin and planned a statewide AmeriCorps program for United Way of Wisconsin. Previously, Amber served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Rio Grande Farm Park, where she built capacity by fundraising, developing systems, and growing the volunteer program.

So far in Amber's career, she has gained experience in community engagement, volunteer management, national service programming, emergency and disaster preparedness, database management, and data analytics.
When Amber isn't building capacity for small nonprofits, you can find her volunteering with local animal shelters and libraries, hiking and enjoying the outdoors, or weaving a new tapestry. ~ Email ~


Zoila Gomez, Spanish Nutrition Educator

Zoila Gomez
Spanish Nutrition Educator

View Bio & Email[-]

Bio coming soon! ~ Email ~


Hannah Wallace, Environmental Educator, Rio Grande Farm Park

Hannah Wallace, Environmental Education
Coordinator, Rio Grande Farm Park

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Hannah is an Americorps member serving as an Environmental Educator at the Rio Grande Farm Park. She majored in Environmental Science and Biology with a minor in Sustainability from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Growing up in Northern Colorado she has been waiting to get back to her Colorado roots and serve in the San Luis Valley.

Hannah loves sustainability, veggies, hiking and everything the Valley has to offer. She is excited to engage with students on the Farm Park!
~ Email ~


Nicholas Chambers, General Manager Valley Roots Food Hub

Nicholas Chambers, General Manager
Valley Roots Food Hub

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Nicholas Chambers is a Colorado native who earned a degree in Anthropology from University of Montana, and has been in the valley full time for 15 years.

With a back ground and training in Permaculture, Biodynamics, and Deep Organics, he and his family, as well as a host of international interns, have been running a small CSA mixed farm and homestead in Crestone for the last 10 years.

Nicholas has also been an Adjunct Instructor with Santa Fe Community College's Biofuels lab, and has given presentations and trainings on biomass energy around Colorado and New Mexico. His consulting firm, Living Arts Systems, offers solutions for individuals, communities, and municipalities in renewable food and energy systems

Nicholas comes to the Valley Roots Food Hub and the SLV Coalition after 2 years with the Colorado start up SOURCE Local Foods serving Summit County, Chaffee County, and the San Luis Valley.

Nicholas is deeply passionate and excited to be a part of the evolving local food system that is happening both regionally and nationally.
~ Email ~


Allyson Stone, CSA Market Manager VRFH

Allyson Stone, CSA Market Manager
Valley Roots Food Hub

View Bio & Email[-]

Ally grew up in Marietta, GA. Upon graduating from Georgia Tech in 2015 with a B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture, she took a one-way train ride on the Amtrak to Eugene, OR to seek adventure. There she did work-trade through World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming on a small homestead for 5 months. She quickly fell in love with the healing properties of being connected to the land, good nutritious food, the town, and ended up being all consumed by the vast and supportive local food system Eugene has to offer. She worked at a small family-run cafe, volunteered with Farm to School initiatives and School Garden Project.

Wanting more, her life took a small detour and she ended up in the San Luis Valley volunteering with Alpine Achievers Initiative for 2 years, primarily helping run an after school program in Crestone as well as bringing garden education to the South Conejos School District and Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley. Post-AmeriCorps, Ally worked a seasonal position with the Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI), a program of La Puente before finding herself at the Valley Roots Food Hub as the CSA Market Manager.

Ally is passionate about regenerative agriculture, reconnecting others to the food they eat, and nutrition access for all. In her free time, she loves hiking, running, practicing yoga, sewing, reading, and of course cooking in the kitchen. ~ Email ~


Hannah Thill, Cooking Matters Volunteer

Hannah Thill, Cooking Matters/SNAP
Outreach Volunteer

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Hannah moved to the Valley in 2018 with Mennonite Voluntary Service and joined the Local Foods Coalition in 2019 doing SNAP outreach, Double Up Foods Bucks advocacy, and Cooking Matters program support.

Her passion for local foods came from growing up in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, where growing vegetables, processing the harvest, and foraging for berries and pawpaws were seasonal routines. She learned from an early age how important it is to have a human connection with food and the land that grows it. While working at LFC, she hopes to encourage people$s passion for cooking with good food and to make healthy local food more accessible for everyone.

Hannah has a background in biology and environmental education. She splits her time with the Rio Grande Watershed Conservation Education Initiative, where she enjoys getting kids outdoors and learning about the living systems all around us.
~ Email ~


Alice Price, Board Chair

Alice Price
Board Chair

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Alice M. Price is an attorney and mediator with over 40 years of experience leading and providing organizational development and conflict resolution services to a wide range of community non-profits and initiatives.

Alice has lived in the San Luis Valley for 35 years. She currently serves as Family Court Facilitator in the local courts helping families navigate and resolve disputes within the domestic relations and child protection systems.

She previously served for 15 years as the founding director of Center for Restorative Programs, a non-profit agency providing restorative justice options for youth in school, family and court settings.

Alice has a BA from Brown University and her JD degree from New York University. ~ Email ~


Allison Cruse, Board Member

Allison Cruse
Board Member

View Bio & Email[-]

Bio coming soon. ~ Email ~


Ben Valdez, Board Member

Ben Valdez
Board Member

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Ben Valdez is a Valley native who graduated from Johnson and Wales in 2013 and worked along the front range and Denver in various hotels and restaurants for 6 years. During this time he held many different roles throughout the hospitality and food industry.

His passion for healthy food and family have brought him back home to contribute to the community he was raised in. Currently he works on his family's farm helping raise grass-fed lamb and cattle as well as cooking for patients at the Conejos County Hospital.

Moving forward he would like to help educate members of the community on healthy cooking and teach about the benefits of diverse diets. He is also interested in helping farmers connect with local consumers to form bonds within our local area and is excited to serve on the LFC board.
~ Email ~

Elena Miller, Board Vice Chair

Elena Miller
Board Vice Chair

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Elena is a Graduate of Cornell University and Owner of Cactus Hill Farm in Conejos County producing quality grass-fed lamb and fibers.
~ Email ~


Robin Lewis, Board Member

Emma Regier
Board Member

View Bio & Email[-]

Emma lives in Alamosa and serves as the Coordinator for the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, a local non-profit working to improve the health of the Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley.

Emma grew up on the prairies of Kansas and graduated from Bethel College (Kans.) with a BA in Biology. While at Bethel, Emma developed a strong passion for restoration ecology and sustainable agriculture, serving on the committee for the local Sand Creek Community Garden and working as a research assistant on Bethel's Tallgrass Prairie Restoration Study.

Emma moved to the San Luis Valley in 2013 through Mennonite Volunteer Service and quickly fell in love with the landscape and vibrant community. Emma is excited to grow her involvement in the local agricultural community through serving on the LFC Board. ~ Email ~


Meghan Stalzer, Board Member

Meghan Stalzer
Board Member

View Bio & Email[-]

Bio Coming Soon. ~ Email ~

Tim Yoder, Board Treasurer

Tim Yoder
Board Treasurer & Member

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Certified Public Accountant with many years of work in the agricultural and non-profit fields in Ohio. Tim is a new resident of the San Luis Valley excited to be near his beloved son Luke Yoder and family.

Yoder is a motorcycle and outdoor enthusiast as well as a lover of fresh local foods. ~ Email ~


Shirley Atencio, Board Member

Shirley Atencio
Board Member

View Bio & Email[-]

Shirley Atencio has roots in the San Luis Valley that go back several generations. The Trujillo Homestead, a National Historic Monument near the Great Sand Dunes National Park, belonged to her great-grandparents and testifies to the founding contributions of early Hispanic families to farming and ranching in the settlement of the Valley.

At present, Shirley continues to work at the university as an advocate for bridge-building across world views and as Coordinator for the Office of Civic Engagement. She has served on a number of campus and community boards and committees over the years and enjoys being involved in anything that promotes community well-being.

Shirley and her husband raised five sons and now enjoy six grandchildren. The family has operated a small local food market in south Alamosa for twenty years which depends primarily on neighborhood support.

After full-time parenting and volunteering from home while her sons were young, Shirley worked at various jobs including teaching English Language Learners for the local school district, directing the music and liturgical ministries at Sacred Heart Church, and as lay Campus Minister at Adams State University where she has emphasized interfaith cooperation and social justice programming. A most rewarding part of that work has been developing student leadership around Alternative Break Experiences which have exposed students to people and places that have widened their understanding of the world and, in many instances, been life changing.

Shirley' interests outside of family and work include taking long road trips to almost anywhere, reading biographies, listening to podcasts on interesting and weird subjects, lunch out with a sister or good friend, politics and public policy, and of course, dogs, cats and chickens.

Besides her long and continuing studies in the "University of Life", Shirley holds a B.A. in Spanish from Adams State College along with various and sundry certifications.
~ Email ~



"Eating is an Agricultural Act." - Wendell Berry

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