Erin is the Director of Health Benefit Services with American HealthCare Group. She developed American HealthCare Group’s Supportive Services program that provides social services and health care services to residents in affordable housing. In 2011, she started the Where to Turn Resource Fair, a bi-annual social service conference for industry professionals in Western PA. She is a frequent speaker in the Pennsylvania healthcare and housing industries. Erin founded Farm to Table Buy Local, a 501c3 non profit. Farm to Table connects farms and food producers with local consumers. The program consists of an annual conference, regional tasting events, a business-to-business network, Lunch & Learn series and ongoing educational programs to teach consumers how to eat healthy, local real food.
Carla has worked in the events & marketing space for over 20 years. She began her career in Harrisburg, PA, coordinating, producing and marketing events as part of the revitalization plan of downtown Harrisburg. In 2004, Carla moved to Pittsburgh and began working at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center where she coordinated city-wide conventions, public shows, meetings and other special events-including the annual Farm to Table Conference. After leaving the Convention Center in 2012, Carla became active in her children’s school. She chaired several committees and served as the PTA Vice President. In 2016, Carla reunited with Farm to Table and was hired as the Event Manger. In addition to coordinating the Farm to Table Conference, Carla also coordinates the annual Harvest Tasting, the Farm to Table Virtual Speaker Series, Farm to Table’s participation in various local events and other ongoing educational programs throughout Western PA. She loves connecting farms and food producers with consumers. In addition to working for Farm to Table, Carla also coordinates Farmers’ Markets throughout Western PA. Carla has also served on multiple non-profit boards in Harrisburg & Pittsburgh.
Jackie is the Culinary Director and Food Coordinator for Farm to Table. She is also the chef and owner of Love Rocks Café and Jackie Kennedy Catering. Cooking comes naturally to Jackie, and she learned everything from her mother by standing next to her in the kitchen before she was old enough to see the top of the stove. Feeding others and making sure they have healthy options is on the top of Jackie’s priority list. So joining the Farm to Table team was a perfect fit.
Vikki “Ayanna” Jones
Ayanna is the CEO and founder of Sankofa Village Community Garden and Farms and Sankofa Village Project, Inc in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Ayanna is a horticulturalist, and a Master Gardener ( 2016 Penn State Extension) with a focus as a Black Urban Agriculture specialist and educator. Spanning over 65 years in the soil, her mission is to Grow Gardeners and entrepreneurs in the Black community. She is most importantly the mother of five adult suns and the grandmother of 30 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. After retiring from the federal government and returning to her neighborhood in Pittsburgh PA, she discovered that there had not been a grocery store in the community for 40 years. She has taken on the task of assuring fresh quality produce in her neighborhood through farming, while developing intergenerational relationships, promoting self-sufficiency and teaching the community residence about growing quality food. When developing the curriculum for this project Ayanna had to incorporate actual and factual Black History information as it relates to our communities and the world, Ayanna states that “removing the myth of enslavement and tiling the soil, while undoing the plantation attitude that is taught in American schools is the first item on the teaching agenda. With SVCGF moving to a larger property additional programs will be a part of our curriculum: Sankofa‘s WORD IS BOND bike rental, Keelin’s Place “ a garden design especially for autistic children, and our drive-through farmers market that will feature our organic and locally grown loofahs. Our farm equipment will included “Farm From a Box”a high technology farming data base shipping container with WiFi, Computer driven data collection, irrigation system, solar energy system, this 21st century on-site teaching lab will enable our students to compete in today farming environment.
Seppi is the Food Distribution Coordinator at Farm to Table Buy Local. Seppi joined the Farm to Table team in 2019 at a PULSE Fellow. He led Cooking Matters classes for parents and healthy eating classes for youth. Through the Covid-19 pandemic, Seppi worked with organizations like the United Way, 412 Food Rescue, and the Food Bank, as well a number of small restaurants and food distributors, to coordinate emergency food distributions. In 2021, Seppi will be leading a project to start a community garden at an Allegheny County Housing Authority site.
Danielle is the Community Coordinator at Farm to Table. Her passion for food and ingredients was inherited from her grandmother who hosted weekly Sunday dinners for her extended family. The love expressed through food and hospitality was imprinted on her heart and leads her as she pursues an intimate connection to food. This passion was rekindled in a Fine Dining Internship at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and exposure to Farm to Table Dining. With a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Science from St. Vincent College, she formed a deep connection to the ecosystems of SWPA. Her passion is supporting farmers who tenderly care for our land and connecting consumers to the bounty of ingredients grown in SWPA. As Community Coordinator, she works to connect farms to wholesale and retail outlets and remove barriers for those pursuing local PA agricultural products.
Doug is the Pittsburgh’s Garden Guru and host of the popular radio show The Organic Gardener on KDKA radio every Sunday morning. He writes a weekly gardening column for The Green Voice, the newsletter for Pittsburgh Earth Day. Oster also appears on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today Live between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Fridays. He hosted, produced and wrote the one hour special “The Gardens of Pennsylvania” for PBS which won the Emmy for Outstanding Documentary. His fifth book, “The Steel City Garden; Creating a One of a Kind Garden in Black and Gold” demonstrates how to create a garden using Pittsburgh’s favorite colors. The garden personality has a strong following in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Oster’s most satisfying accomplishment though was founding Cultivating Success, a garden program for foster and adoptive children. The program operates in two counties near Pittsburgh. Everything he does can be found at dougoster.com.