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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
2012 – 2013 Slow Food Santa Cruz Board
Stephanie Iwanciow Haas – Chair
chair AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
I have been a long time food lover but gained passion for “slow eating” when I began growing my own food in a little garden in Santa Cruz. In that year of growth (in many aspects) I discovered that I actually liked tomatoes! Since then I have grown a passion for gardening, particularly in cooking and eating the food that I grow. My interest in local and organic food brought me to find interest in Slow Food Santa Cruz. In addition to all things edible, I am also a teacher and educator. I received my bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz in Community Studies emphasizing in sexuality education and HIV prevention for high risk youth. In more recent years I have found my second teaching passion in special education, recently completing my master’s degree in Special Education. I have been in the field for 9 years and currently teach young adults with autism skills to help them in their transition to independence, or wherever adulthood will lead them. I have always found a way to combine my passions to produce positive social change. I look forward to a year of education on a new topic, that of slow eating, so that I may further my own education as well as help to spark passion for slow eating in the lives of others.
Mia Farber – Vice Chair
vicechair AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
I am focused on the application of successful business strategies to support vibrant, regional foodsheds, social enterprises, triple-bottom line businesses, entrepreneurs, cooperatives and communities. I believe that Slow Food is an integral part of helping us to stop and appreciate the agricultural heritage and food culture of a region and am therefore excited to contribute as a member of the Board.
I became passionate about sustainable agriculture and various farming techniques as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, following which I worked for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture as an outreach coordinator growing consumer awareness of Pennsylvania-grown products. I recently completed my MBA at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School with a focus in sustainable enterprise and accepted a new position at Foodlink, where my work aims to leverage the company’s technology to increase consumer access to locally and regionally grown foods in grocery stores across the country. I recently moved to Santa Cruz, CA, and in my spare time enjoy visiting farmers’ markets, hiking, cooking and practicing yoga.
Taryn Washburn – Treasurer
treasurer AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
I am passionate about improving biodiversity and balance within agriculture. I grew up alongside the redwoods on Mt. Madonna, where I cultivated my deep connection and respect for nature. I was fortunate to be raised in a foodie household where I was taught to appreciate not only the food on my plate but the source of every ingredient. I received my B.S. in Wine Business at Sonoma State University and worked in the Napa and Sonoma wine industry before giving way to my curiosity to learn more sustainable agriculture.
I traveled to Whidbey Island to spend a year learning every aspect of small farm management and production at Farm Training Center. This experience gave me the practical skills, industry knowledge and drives to pursue transformative work within food production.
I quickly found an outlet for my agriculture acumen during my academic career at Bainbridge Graduate Institute where I received my MBA in Sustainable Business with a concentration in Food Systems. I am very excited to have settled back in my hometown and to begin my career working for California Certified Organic Farmers as a Certification Specialist. I am honored to join the Slow Food Santa Cruz board and am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for Santa Cruz’s Food system.
Andrea Doonan – Gardens
garden AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
Having served as Partnerships Chair on the SFSC 2012 board, I look forward to returning in 2013 as Garden Chair. On top of strengthening local professional and non profit partnerships, during 2012 I was also a member of Edible Gardens Tour Committee and served a significant role in the 1st annual Garden Tour’s success- the well received tour sold over 200 tickets while exemplifying a wide breadth of the edible garden and its many applications. Food and Gardening is a large part of my life – growing up in Santa Clara valley from family fruit orchards, vegetable gardens and rambling hiking trails (foraging) to cooking, baking, canning & preserving in the kitchen. I currently own and run a small landscape design & consulting business out of Santa Cruz and try to integrate some form of edibles in each of my designs – whether a single lemon tree, herb spiral, a raised bed or a mini orchard. I’m excited to take on the newly formed Garden Chair position and share my passion for horticulture and food while actively supporting the community. I enjoy connecting people with the nature, the soil (and themselves) and bridging the gaps between growing, cooking and eating. Roles I hope to take on this upcoming year include serving on the 2nd annual Garden Tour committee, spearheading the SFSC adoption a community or school garden and continuing to help out with misc tasks and events that ’13 has in store. Cheers! Andrea
Kate Purcell – Gardens
garden AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
I am a Landscape Designer, focusing on food education. Through my business, Kate’s Kitchen Gardens, I promote the culture and cultivation of homegrown foods. I am a graduate of UCSC with degrees in Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies. I’ve studied plants, foods and peoples through my service with the United States Peace Corps and continuing education at Cabrillo College Horticulture Department. I believe that gardening is an essential part of eating well and is a perfect partner for SlowFood ideals.
Sonia de la Rosa – Events
events AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
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.
Elizabeth (Liz) Birnbaum – Events
events AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
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.
Kate Pearl – Partnerships
partnerships AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
I grew up in Davis surrounded by agriculture, eating fresh tomatoes from the garden, and riding my bike to school. A passion for the environment led me to study economics and environmental studies at UCSC, but it was still unclear to me what exactly my calling was going to be. What I realized is that if we are going to make an impact on our environment, we need to make better choices, every day. More importantly, we need to make those choices available to everyone. Food is something we all need to stay alive, and it should be a choice that we are all empowered to make; it should be inclusive and not divisive. I moved back to Santa Cruz with the intention to learn about food: where it comes from, how we can increase access and education, and make better choices.
I am thrilled to be on this year’s board. As partnerships chair, I would like to broaden our outreach and cooperation with local organizations and businesses. I would also like to engage our chapter with the local city government, to create policies that encourage the availability of organic and locally grown foods and incentivize the startup of local food businesses.
Michelle Gilkey– Communications
comms AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
I’m a marketer and eLearning developer by day, and a culinary blogger/recipe developer by night. I’m interested in the intersection of food and learning technologies and how to popularize the notions of healthy and sustainable food– and the skillful cooking thereof– to as broad an audience as possible. I have an undergraduate degree in art from UCSC, and have undertaken graduate, professional, and extended study in training systems development, marketing strategy, and culinary education, respectively. In the Communications Chair role with Slow Food Santa Cruz, I’m eager to continue broadening our chapter’s outreach, and deepening our connections in the local sustainable food community.
Katie Lang – Volunteers
volunteer AT slowfoodsantacruz.com
I grew up in a wonderful, food-loving household in the Seabright neighborhood of Santa Cruz. I didn’t know it at the time, but I now consider myself very lucky to live in a community with so much healthy and delicious food so easily accessible in a variety of ways – backyard gardens, farmer’s markets, and CSAs are only a few examples of why we are lucky to live in the Monterey Bay area. Food is a part of my life in both personal and professional ways. Cooking, baking, and enjoying food in general are favorite hobbies of mine. I studied nutrition at Cal Poly and now work as a Registered Dietitian in a clinical outpatient setting where I get to talk about food with patients all day by way of dietary counseling for health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. My first job out of college was working for a community nutrition program, and it was there that I developed a passion for food politics and policy, specifically increasing access to real, healthy food in underserved populations that usually are inundated with tasteless, processed food. I’m very excited to be involved with Slow Food Santa Cruz and looking forward to helping spread the messages of Slow Food in our community.
Slow Food Santa Cruz
P.O. Box 7225
Santa Cruz, CA 95061