One of the parts of my job that I love the most is building an amazing team of staff, board members, volunteers, and community partners to achieve our mission.
These past few months, I’ve been delighted to add two new staff members to our team in two very new roles. First came Liz Joseph, our Communication Coordinator, who started in January. Liz has already made tremendous progress towards improving how and why we communicate with various constituent groups. It has been a goal of mine ever since I started with SEL three years ago to have a dedicated staff member in this role. With Liz on the team, we will have a clear and consistent voice along with a stronger ability to think strategically about messaging, resources, and our online presence.
As you may already know, members of the Seacoast Growers Association voted in early January to dissolve after 45 years of operating farmers’ markets. With this decision came the transition of management of the Durham, Dover, Exeter, and Portsmouth farmers’ markets over to SEL. Just a couple of weeks ago we also hired Ian Lupica as our new Market Manager to help lead a successful first season of managing summer markets. Ian comes to us most recently from Heron Pond Farm where we managed their CSA program and staffed their booth at the Portsmouth Market. His ability to build relationships with customers and vendors as well as his desire to help people understand the importance of supporting local farms will enable him to excel in this role.
It feels so rewarding to be leading SEL through some very significant steps in growing our organization.
When I was hired in 2019, SEL was in a state of transition. We were an organization that had been largely volunteer and board driven for so many years and were still trying to adjust to having multiple year-round staff to handle the work. After three years and a global pandemic, we’ve gained a greater understanding of how and why we needed to evolve as an organization.
While our mission and focus remain the same, the scale of what we do and the way we can achieve our goals has grown more over the past three months than perhaps any other three-month period in our history. I’m excited to continue watching this growth unfold and share with you the way it will have a positive impact on our local food and farming economy. At the end of the day, I’m grateful for the team working around me and I hope you enjoy the products of their work as much as I do.
In food and community,
PS — Even with the new staff, we are still always looking for volunteers to help out at Farmers’ Markets and to distribute Seacoast Harvest in a few weeks. Please visit here to learn more about volunteering and to sign up for our volunteer email list.