If you are interested in joining the Slow Food Santa Cruz Board or in working with us on a project or event, please email us at We are currently seeking a Treasurer.

If you are are a local business or organization interested in partnering with Slow Food Santa Cruz on a project or event, fill out our Partnership Form, Slow Food SC Partnership Form or our Event Promotion Form, Slow Food SC Partners Event Promotion and email it to We look forward to hearing from you!

2015 Slow Food Santa Cruz Board

Elizabeth (Liz) Birnbaum – Chair

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Elizabeth (Liz) Birnbaum coordinates the content and logistics for the Annual EcoFarm Conference plus many other initiatives throughout the year. Liz first began cultivating land as a guerilla gardener, working to transform her alma mater into an edible landscape. That guerrilla gardening hobby grew into a deeper interest when she became Program Coordinator for Environmental Studies at Lake Forest College. She subsequently worked to establish the Campus Garden as a productive space for the campus community. She has co-taught college courses on biodiversity and agriculture, botanical imperialism, and Chicago’s food history, geography, and culture. She has also created a photo ethnography project where she interviewed and photographed farmers around the country. She had a solo show of the project in Chicago in May 2012.


Michelle Gilkey – Vice Chair

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I’m a marketer, eLearning developer, and technology consultant interested in the intersection of food and learning technologies and how to popularize the notions of healthy and sustainable food and wine– and the skillful cooking and appreciation thereof– to as broad an audience as possible. I have an undergraduate degree in art from UCSC, and have also undertaken graduate, professional, and extended study in training systems development, technology entrepreneurship, marketing strategy, and culinary education, respectively. In the Vice Chair role with Slow Food Santa Cruz, I’m eager to continue deepening our connections in the local sustainable food community.


Liz Hodges – Communications

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Julia Bell– Events

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Sonia de la Rosa – Outreach

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Sonia de la Rosa has enjoyed participating as a Member of Slow Food SC and welcomes the opportunity to serve a more active role by participating on the Board. She appreciates the work that Slow Food SC is doing to build awareness and community surrounding the issue of healthy attainable food for all.  Sonia is interested in how we can cultivate new systems/opportunities that truly serve our financial and public health needs, particularly on the local level where business, healing, community, and creativity can more easily overlap.

Currently, she works as a freelance bookkeeper, providing Quickbooks training, services and support to small-businesses in SC County. Prior work experience includes non-profit program management, event planning, and customer service/sales/marketing roles for small-to-mid-size manufacturing firms. She holds a BA in Business Management Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Sonia has lived in the community since 2007, enjoying active membership in various organizations including: Transition Santa Cruz, TimeBank Santa Cruz, Friends of the SC Library, Kuumbwa Jazz, and the UCSC Alumni Association. She has been involved in some form of volunteer work over the past 25 years, more recently with organizations such as Homeless Garden Project, Reskilling Expo, Trips for Kids, Girls on the Run, and Ride-a-Wave. She is a nature lover, outdoor sport enthusiast, and healthy food faithful.



Audrey Matheson – Gardens

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I was fortunate to grow up with “slow food” in the rural small town of Sierraville, California.  A large garden of raspberries to rhubarb, honey from our bees, and warm chicken eggs from our “girls” make up the food memories of my childhood. As a result, I’m passionate about  local, sustainable food systems like gardens that create and sustain our communities. While I currently work in retail at Anthropologie, my background is in the nonprofit sector, working in communications, development and client service. With the recent passage of the California Cottage Food Law and completing a business class at the Food Craft Institute, I am encouraged to continue working to combine my background in nonprofit  management with my passion for healthy food into a “snail approved” food craft business that provides youth with job training and the public with sweet and savory, vegetarian hand-pies. As the new Garden Chair for Slow Food Santa Cruz, I’m excited to support our wonderful Edible Garden Tour committee as well as explore other ways to celebrate and encourage gardening as a way to connect our community around good, clean and fair food.  In my free time, I enjoy cooking, running, volunteering at the Ecological Farming Association and exploring on the beach with our love-a-bull pound pup, Poppy.


Anna Zivian – Treasurer

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Anna Zivian has been a Slow Food member for over twenty years, since a friend in Italy introduced her to it when she was visiting the Veneto. She recently moved back to Santa Cruz, where she had earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at UCSC (something of a change from her BA in Russian and Soviet Studies many years prior). She is currently Associate Director of Knowledge Management at Ocean Conservancy, bringing together expertise, information, wisdom, and knowledge to try to solve complex ocean issues. Previously, she served as Senior Manager for Ocean Conservancy’s ocean use planning program. At Ocean Conservancy, she has also addressed transgenic aquaculture policy and aquaculture labeling. In addition to her work on ocean issues, Anna’s past research looks at the intersection of environmental policy, science, and society, and, in particular, issues of democracy and public participation in science. She has published articles on the role of subnational government in regulating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Europe and the United States. Annacomes by her interest in subnational government organically, having been an elected official in Colorado for ten years. She is passionate about food and food policy, and is excited to be part of the Slow Food Santa Cruz board.


Stephanie Webb- Snail of Approval

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Upon completing my Master’s Degree, I took a position with AmeriCorps’ Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) Program at Port Orford Ocean Resource Team (POORT). This experience heightened my awareness of funding and implementing community-based conservation and social justice initiatives. During this time, my career motivations turned towards using education to preserve (access to) natural resources, and using entrepreneurial approaches to create fair wages for producers. Within in this role, I became passionate about conservation and sustainable agriculture and seafood and immersed myself in understanding various hurdles within our supply chain and how to overcome them.  I used my finance expertise, applied and academic education, and strategic planning skills to develop, finance, and staff a community-supported fishery (CSF) – the first CSF in Oregon. A rising model among producers derived from the agriculture sector also known as a community supported agriculture (CSA) where consumers pay prior to the food being harvested, processed or distributed. Currently, I work as a freelance fund development and business consultant for various community-based social justice, conservation and (sea)food system initiatives. In this role, I facilitate project development and management among various stakeholders, in various locations in Central California. I recently moved to Santa Cruz, CA to enhance my quality of life, expand a place-based consulting business and participate in a community with like-minded individual for which I could call home. In my spare time enjoy hiking, surfing, cooking and practicing yoga.


Mailing Address

Slow Food Santa Cruz

P.O. Box 7225

Santa Cruz, CA 95061

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