FairShare CSA Coalition welcomes Chris Brockel as its new executive director, as of Nov. 6th. He takes the reins from Kiera Mulvey, who is stepping down after leading FairShare for the past five years.
“It’s been my sincere pleasure to work with the extraordinary farmers, community members, and staff that drive FairShare’s work,” said Mulvey, who is planning a move to the East Coast. “I’ll continue to draw inspiration from FairShare and am enthusiastic for the experience and passion that Chris brings to the organization.”
Under Mulvey’s tenure as the organization’s first full-time executive director, FairShare tripled its budget and staff, quadrupled participation in the Partner Shares Program, and reached thousands of new CSA members through events and farm partnerships. In 2013, FairShare farms sold more than 9,500 CSA shares. Also under her leadership, FairShare was awarded 501(c)(3) status, published a new seasonal cookbook, “Farm-Fresh and Fast,” and launched workplace CSA, farmer education and rural outreach initiatives.
“Kiera is a gifted and visionary leader who has excelled at building inspiring community partnerships,” said Kristen Kordet, CSA farmer and FairShare board member. “Thanks to her hard work, Kiera is leaving at a time when there’s a lot of positive momentum for FairShare’s continued growth. We’re really excited to have a leader like Chris coming in to build on that momentum.”
Brockel comes to FairShare with a wealth of non-profit management experience and a passion for food, food justice and local control of food sourcing. He formerly held the position of food and gardens manager for the Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin for nine years, and is strongly rooted in the local food system. Among his many accomplishments, he helped develop Healthy Food for All, a 10-year plan to increase access to healthy foods for low-income families.
“I’m looking forward to really focusing on one very specific aspect of the local food system – CSAs,” said Brockel. “My previous work has been with food pantries, community gardens and food pantry gardens, along with working on big-picture food system issues. A large part of my job at CAC was the community development piece across Dane, Jefferson and Waukesha Counties.”
Brockel said he’s most excited about meeting and working directly with FairShare’s growers and about bringing fresh, healthy food to more low-income households.
The other new member of FairShare’s team, Claire Strader, joined the coalition in October as its new Grower Program Coordinator. She has worked in the Madison food system as a certified organic vegetable farmer and retail produce buyer. Her most recent experience was as the farm director for Community GroundWorks and Troy Community Farm, where she grew vegetables for 150 CSA members, farmers markets, and local grocery stores on a 5-acre urban farm.
“After having been a grower for a long time, I am very excited to move into a role where I get to connect growers with each other and to resources to build their successful farm businesses,” Strader said.
She will draw on her own farming background and FairShare’s experienced network to build programming that encourages innovation, collaboration and continuous improvement in our regional farm community. Strader also works with local growers and buyers via Dane County UW Extension’s Institutional Food Market Coalition.
Now in its 21st year, FairShare is a coalition of people invested in the vitality and strength of our community. Through education, outreach, community building and resource sharing, we are working to raise the bar on quality and accessibility of CSA shares in our region.
To contact our new staff, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Kiera Mulvey’s last day is Nov. 20; her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.