Despi Ross, Board Chair
Despi began volunteering with Slow Food in 2012 and joined the board in January 2013. She discovered the health and wealth of Slow Food in 2010 and has been a passionate advocate ever since. She created the resource website, FiguringOutFood.com, leads outreach workshops and was selected as the first Food Inc. Lifestyle Award winner in 2013. When she’s not volunteering, she is hard at work as the Director of Interactive Technologies at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, managing a team that builds websites, games and mobile apps for families.
Julia Woody, Vice Chair and Farms & Food Committee Chair
Julia has been involved in Slow Food Indy since 2012, serving on the Events Committee before joining the board in January 2013. She grew up in Michigan with a large organic garden in the backyard, and her parents taught her about growing, preserving and foraging many types of food. Julia attended Indiana University, Bloomington where she majored in Classics. After that, she spent ten years working in the entertainment industry before leaving to seek out a greener way of life. She has pursued her interest in food through working in food service, horticulture, and farming. She enjoys living in Indy with her husband, Andy, and her two cats.
Rob Gaston, Secretary
Rob first joined Slow Food Indy as a volunteer in 2008 and has served on the board of Slow Food Indy since 2012. He represents Indiana on the Midwest Ark of Taste committee and has twice attended the Slow Food USA National Leadership Conference. He is currently the executive director of Dig IN, a non-profit that works to inform the public about Indiana’s diversity in agriculture and the culinary arts. Rob is a certified professional coach and has broad experience in education, the culinary arts, retail management and e-commerce. A passionate advocate for good food, his mission is to encourage others to purchase fresh, local food; learn to cook with it; and gather friends and family to enjoy the fruits of their labor, creating lasting memories and connections.
Brad Williams, Treasurer
Brad Williams joined Slow Food Indy as a volunteer in January 2013 and became treasurer in August. A recent graduate of the Indiana University-Bloomington Kelley School of Business, Brad is now pursuing his Certified Public Accountant license at Ernst & Young LLP tax services in Indianapolis. The Bloomington Farmers Market originally inspired Brad’s enthusiasm for local food. There he met the owners of Traders Point Creamery. During subsequent summers, Brad sold Traders Point Creamery products at farmers markets in Lafayette, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Back in Indianapolis, Brad continues to volunteer at the Creamery, now assisting with its own farmers market. He hopes to connect more Indianapolis residents interested in local and organic food through a wide array of programming.
Ashley Wright, Snail of Approval Committee Chair
Ashley has been on the Slow Food Indy board since January 2013 but has been a volunteer
for the organization in the past. Before moving back to Indianapolis she volunteered for Americorps with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Since, she attended the Ivy Tech culinary program and began her career. With experience as a pastry chef in California, she continued to diversify her culinary pursuits back in Indy, working as a meat monger at Goose The Market and cheese-maker at Traders Point Creamery. Since having their son, Ashley & her husband, Jonathan Brooks, chef de cuisine at Recess, have invested in the local food community, organizing underground suppers and catering and will be opening their first restaurant, Milktooth, this year.
Jenn Burns, Membership Committee Chair
Jenn joined the board in January 2013. She first began to turn her avocation for local food into her vocation by working on a number of farms in Indianapolis. She has done everything from muck a cow barn to slaughter (and a few more glamorous gigs along the way). She continued to pursue her passion at Davidson College where she made her own major in Food and Environmental Studies. Although Jenn always lived by Slow Food principles, she only became actively involved in her local chapter after attending Terra Madre, a week-long Slow Food conference and tasting in Italy in the fall of 2012. Jenn now works for Green BEAN Delivery, a home grocery delivery service of organic produce and natural groceries. Read her published pieces and view her complete résumé.
Todd Jameson, Board Member
Todd is the longest serving member of the board and a former Chairman of Slow Food Indy. Along with his wife Kathleen Jameson, he operates Balanced Harvest Farm in Needham, Shelby County. They produce Certified Naturally Grown specialty vegetables and herbs, and sell their products both wholesale and direct to consumers at the Broad Ripple and Carmel Farmers Markets. A native of Farmingdale, New Jersey, Todd has invested a lifetime in the production and marketing of vegetables and horticultural products. During his career he was a founding farmer at the New York City Greenmarkets, the General Manger of the Hightstown (NJ) Produce Auction a 300 member, farmer owned marketing & supply cooperative, a trade show producer organizing events focused on ornamental horticultural and now completing the circle by returning to the production side of the business in 1999 here in Central Indiana.
Beth Murphy, Board Member
Beth has been a Slow Food Indy board member since 2012 but has been a life long advocate of eating local and sustainable food. In 2006, she made a life-changing decision to leave her career in business and pursue her culinary passions. She is now a personal chef and teaches culinary arts in Indianapolis, Carmel and Fishers.
Sarah Mullin, Outreach & Education Committee Chair
Sarah is the newest addition to the Slow Food Indy board, joining in May 2013. She is a native Hoosier, raised to appreciate meals made with care, as well as the hard work and satisfaction that go into growing your own food. She is interested in the ways that food intersects with culture, sustainability and social justice. Sarah has a degree in Anthropology from Indiana University and has worked researching human ecology and ethnobotany, teaching English to immigrant and refugee children and adults, and coordinating outreach programs for Indiana’s migrant farm workers. She is currently working for Growing Places Indy as the Urban Good Agricultural Practices Fellow, Summer Apprenticeship Program Coordinator, and the Indy Winter Farmers Market Eat Well Initiative Coordinator. In her free time, Sarah enjoys participating in a work-share at South Circle Farm, traveling, and spending time outdoors.