Gorge Grown Staff

Gorge Grown Food Network is managed and operated by our dedicated year round staff and our wonderful volunteers.

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Liz Oberhausen
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Sarah Sullivan

Executive Director

As former Executive Director of both Hawaii SEED and The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, Sarah has extensive experience in movement-building, organizational management and agricultural policy. She directed the award‐winning school-garden program at Abernethy Elementary in Portland, and trains teachers in garden-based education as an adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark College. She is a trained Permaculture designer and has dabbled in plant breeding and seed saving. Sarah believes in the power and practice of collaborative leadership.

Todd Dierker

Co-founder and Food Access Consultant

Todd Dierker managed the Gorge Grown Farmers’ Market from 2008-2012 and was instrumental in developing the Mobile Farmers’ Market project. Todd launched and led the Veggie Rx program through its first year of growth. His 2 terms of service with the US Peace Corps in Southern Africa and Thailand provided a solid foundation for the community development work he continues today. Todd completed a Masters degree in Environmental Education and believes that the dinner table is the best place to start conversations about living sustainably. Todd is an active community volunteer in Hood River, where his family feels fortunate to have settled. He is thrilled by the enthusiasm in the region around local food and loves that his 2 kids are growing up surrounded by farmers and fresh food. 

Hannah Ladwig

Communications and Outreach Manager
Hood River Farmers Market Manager

Hannah joined Gorge Grown as the 2014-2015 a JVC Northwest AmeriCorps Volunteer and became part of the year round staff after her year of service. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she attended Marquette University and studied International Affairs, Peace Studies and Spanish. Hannah moved to the Gorge in 2013 and has since worked in areas of youth development, Latino outreach and food access. Her work with Gorge Grown is fueled by her passion of building community through healthy food. Hannah loves the great outdoors and is happiest when hiking, camping, and gardening. 

Alyssa Melendez

Food Access & Outreach Assistant

Alyssa joined Gorge Grown as the 2016-2017 JVC AmeriCorps Volunteer. Alyssa is from Milton, Massachusetts and graduated from Fordham University in New York City with a degree in Environmental Policy and Humanitarian Studies. From a very young age, Alyssa was instilled with a passion for environmental and social justice, especially issues involving food insecurity. Food has had a huge impact on her life, both culturally and professionally, and she is passionate about working toward a local food system that combines equity, education, and sustainability that is accessible for everyone. Alyssa is excited to put her passions into action as the Food Access and Outreach Support for Gorge Grown, especially through her work managing the Mercado del Valle in Odell and supporting school garden projects in the Gorge. In her free time, Alyssa loves to spend time outdoors, cook, eat, play guitar and piano, travel and read.

Liz Oberhausen

Food Security Coalition Program Manager

Liz’s interest in the impacts of food systems on the health and well-being of communities was first sparked by her participation and research in the Whitman College Fair Trade Club in 2005. After college, she spent several years working in outdoor education, youth development, and wilderness therapy. Through her work at a horticulture-based wilderness therapy program on the Big Island of Hawaii, she learned to farm, and the joys of teaching others to farm. Liz’s experience in wilderness therapy also led her to pursue mediation. She has served as a mediator in juvenile victim-offender cases, small claims courts, and community mediation cases. In spring 2015, she combined her background as a Politics major with her passion for seeking creative and collaborative solutions to conflicts by beginning work at Oregon Solutions. That fall, she began her Master’s degree in Public Administration, focusing on Natural Resources and Collaborative Governance. In August 2016, Liz joined the Gorge Grown team as the Gorge Food Security Coalition Program Manager.

Sarah Lange

Farmers Market Assistant Manager

Originally from New York, Sarah earned her B.S. in Community Health from the University of Maryland and her Master of Science in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Her studies and previous work have focused on nutrition education and food systems, and she loves getting youth excited about vegetables, cooking, and gardening. Sarah moved to an organic farm in Hood River in the fall of 2015 to gain firsthand experience growing nutritious food. After leaving for a few months to farm in southern California, Sarah is excited to be back in the Gorge as the Assistant Manager of the Hood River Farmers’ Market and feels lucky to live in a community that supports a vibrant food and wellness culture.

Andrew Cushman

Mosier Farmers Market Manager

Andrew joined Gorge Grown Food Network this spring as the 2016 Mosier Farmers Market Manager. He brings experience in youth and adult education focused on ecological and project-based learning. Andrew lives in Mosier with his partner Giulia and their 2 year-old daughter Isla.

Emily Reed

Local Food Marketing Consultant

Emily Reed is a brand strategist with a passion for spreading the word about local food. She has helped with several Gorge Grown projects over the years including the Let’s Talk Food discussion groups, the Eat Local Challenge, a Why Local report, Gorge-wide parades dressed as veggies, community-wide focus groups on branding, and the launch of the Mosier Farmers’ Market with a team who created a series of unique events that highlighted the benefits of local food (including the Farmers Dating Game and the Fast Food Smackdown).

Bonnie Cox

Fill Your Pantry Event Coordinator

Bonnie Cox moved to Hood River from the Willamette Valley where she worked in various agricultural extension projects with area vegetable farmers and also farmed organically with a friend. Her two years of Peace Corps work in Bolivia further developed her interests in community development and marketing as she trained farmers in modern beekeeping methods and helped them get their new products to market. Bonnie earned a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and an MS in Horticulture and Soil Science from Oregon State University. She loves to find the meeting ground of farm production, technical assistance, and marketing to strengthen the local food movement. Bonnie and her husband are grateful to be raising their two daughters in such a vibrant and diverse community.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Gorge Grown Food Network Board of Directors reflects a wide section of our communities interests.  Everyone serves because they all believe in supporting our communities agriculture and food needs.  Our directors include food professionals, business professionals, vendors, food advocates and others.

 

CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS

Lauren Kraemer, Board Chair

Field Faculty Extension Agent

OSU Extension Service

 

Kathy Watson, Vice-President

Chef, Writer, Co-Founder of Fresh Start 

Former Owner of Nora’s Table

 

Gladys Rivera

Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital 

 

Laurel Bourret

Farmer, Owner/ Operator

Wildwood Farms

 

Cindy Brown

4-H Youth Development and Healthy Living

OSU Sherman County Extension

 

Suzi Conklin

Chef, Writer, Film-Maker…

Started Mosier School Garden

 

Steve Seymour

Lavender Farm Owner, Lawyer

Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP 

 

Buck Jones

Cayuse/ Umatilla Tribal Member, Salmon Marketing Specialist

Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission