The Recirculating Farms Coalition is a collaborative group that grew into a formal organization over the course of several years. Our Advisory Board members and Staff bring expertise from various disciplines and have been involved with the Coalition since its inception in January 2009. We intend to expand the Board and Staff over time to include diverse people and interests. Please contact us if you would like more information about being on the Board or working with us.
SANJAY KHAROD is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Food and Farm Network (NOFFN). Mr. Kharod is a nonprofit and government professional with over 25 years experience as an academic, activist, and administrator, focusing on community development, community health, and social justice. He is adept at non-profit management and public outreach and is an experienced facilitator. Prior to NOFFN, Mr. Kharod worked as a City Planner in Lafayette, Louisiana where he initiated a number of neighborhood revitalization projects — community gardens, neighborhood-managed parks, and market farms. Mr. Kharod also worked for the community development/social justice organization Just Food creating programs relevant to food systems including those on hunger, poverty, land use, farm loss, nutrition and environmental impacts from agriculture. Mr. Kharod taught as an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University, Temple University, and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Additionally, he has experience as as a Community Outreach Coordinator, Community Development Consultant, Community Coordinator and Fundraiser, a Researcher and an Environmental Planner/Scientist. He regularly presents to wide audiences and appears in print, radio, and television internationally. Mr. Kharod is the President and Board Chair for the Coalition.
PATRICIA “PATTY” LOVERA — Ms. Lovera is the Assistant Director of Food & Water Watch, where she coordinates the food policy team. Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC, that works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced. Ms. Lovera has worked on food policy for a decade, especially on issues including food safety standards, organic standards, and food labeling. She also has many years experience in developing and running successful non-profit programs. Ms. Lovera has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Lehigh University and a master’s degree in environmental policy from the University of Michigan. Before joining Food & Water Watch, she was the Deputy Director of the energy and environment program at Public Citizen and a researcher at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. Ms. Lovera is a Board Member for the Coalition.
MARTIN P. SCHREIBMAN, PhD — Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biology at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College, Dr. Schreibman helped perfect a model for sustainable urban farming using cutting edge technology, recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), to grow fish. Professor Schreibman is the founder and Director Emeritus of Brooklyn College’s Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center (AREAC), a research facility devoted to the study of aquatic organisms — how they grow, adapt, reproduce, and live in all temperatures and environments. He and a multidisciplinary team of researchers seek to answer questions about medicine, nutrition, pollution, aquaculture, fisheries, and marine ecology. AREAC’s projects include bivalve and fish aquaculture, breeding horseshoe crabs, educational outreach, and product commercialization. Dr. Schreibman has devoted the past eight years to developing urban aquaponics — growing both fish and plants together in a symbiotic water re-use system. Over the past 15 plus years, his recirculating farming techniques have been used for assorted projects — even in outer space. In 1998, on the space shuttle Endeavor, he worked with Dr. Volker Bluem of Germany to develop a small system to test whether growing fresh food in space could be an option for lengthy trips. Dr. Schreibman is a Board Member for the Coalition.
MARIANNE CUFONE, Esq. — Marianne is the Executive Director and Founder of the Coalition. She is an environmental attorney, and long time healthy, affordable food advocate. She is also a professional chef, trained by the Natural Gourmet Institute, a leading facility on health supportive culinary arts and theory. Marianne has worked in natural resources management, focused on oceans, fisheries and seafood for the past 12 years. She directed the fish and oceans program at Food and Watch (2007-2011), managed the Gulf, South Atlantic and Caribbean fisheries program for the Center for Marine Conservation (1999-2003), and runs Environment Matters, a consulting firm that provides legal, policy and communications support to non-profit organizations (2003-present). Marianne taught law and graduate college courses and many guest lectures at assorted academic institutions. She maintains positions on management advisory committees for Hillsborough County (Florida), the State of Florida and the federal government. Marianne appears in print, television, radio, and other media, is published in various magazines and professional works and testified before Congress. She is a member of: the Florida Bar; the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida; the U.S. Supreme Court; the American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources; and the American Fisheries Society.
AMBER GRIFFITH — Amber is a graphic artist, web and print designer, and photographer for the Recirculating Farms Coalition. She is based in New Orleans, LA. She has years of experience providing photography and design services for a diverse clientele that includes retail businesses, non-profits, political campaigns and many others. Additionally, Amber is an experienced social media manager, building and maintaining social media platforms and expanding client’s on-line presence through Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and other social networking tools. Amber earned a B.A. in Art with an emphasis on Graphic Arts and Photography from the University of Arkansas in 2007.
CHRISTINA LIZZI — Christina is a researcher/writer for the Recirculating Farms Coalition and creates various products, including fact sheets and reports. She lives on Maui in Hawai’i where she is focused on promoting sustainable aquaculture practices both through the University of Hawai`i’s Aquaponic Workforce Development Program and as a founder of the Pono Aquaculture Alliance. She previously served as a community organizer and policy analyst for the Fish and Oceans program at Food & Water Watch, based in Washington, DC (2008 – 2011). Her passion lies in finding socially, environmentally and economically just solutions to increase food security and strengthen communities. She received her Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University.
ALEXANDER “SASCHA” BOLLAG — Sascha does outreach, legislative, policy, and legal work for the Recirculating Farms Coalition. He received his J.D. from New York University and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association. Sascha has worked extensively on various human rights and labor issues, with a range of groups and organizations, including the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Center for Constitutional Rights. Prior to attending law school, Sascha was an Organizer and Legislative and Policy Coordinator for the Fish and Oceans Program at Food & Water Watch in Washington, DC. He has a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
EMILY POSNER — Emily is a policy and legislative coordinator for the Recirculating Farms Coalition, in New Orleans, LA. She recently earned a J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Law. Prior to law school, she worked on various environmental justice and criminal justice initiatives. Emily has also been a long time supporter and organizer for the Angola 3. In 2004, she co-founded the Winter Cache Project in Portland, Maine, and then resided for years at After the Fall Farm, an off-grid rural farm and homestead. She earned a B.A. from Colby College in Latin American Studies.
ICA CRAWFORD — Ica Crawford is the founder and executive director of Our Garden. Crawford holds a degree in horticulture science and has formal training in the Culinary Arts. While in residence with the New Orleans Botanical Garden, she cataloged the park’s tropical and indoor plants, worked on fertilization schedules and developed maintenance guides for site managers. Today, her gardens and greenhouses can be found in vacant lots and backyards around Orleans Parish, and NOLA Brewery’s 7th Street Wheat Beer wouldn’t be the same without her homegrown lemon basil. She has cooked under renowned chefs at August, Muriel’s, Jackson Square, Chez Panisse and Mr. B’s Bistro.
JACOB POHLMAN — Originally from Monroe, LA, Jacob attended college at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. There he cultivated his knowledge about the environment and all the issues and solutions within it. He studied renewable resources, community sustainability, resource conservation, and permaculture. He has been a novice monka at a Buddhist temple in New Iberia, LA, and interned in Costa Rica taking a 1 month permaculture course. After school he began his farming career on a 5 acre organic farm/restaurant in south Florida. He then moved back to New Orleans in hopes of feeding the community fresh healthy food.
JULIA RAMSEY — Julia manages the RFC’s communications and media outreach efforts. A New Orleans native and proud product of the Orleans Parish public school system, she has experience in a wide variety of nonprofit storytelling,brand-building and community outreach campaigns. After completing a BA in English at the University of Rhode Island, Julia began her career in the online market industry and transitioned into nonprofit work in 2012.
JUSTINE WILLIAMS — Justine does research for the Recirculating Farms Coalition, and collaborates with the organization on work in Latin America/the Caribbean. She is a doctoral candidate in sociocultural anthropology with a specialization in food and agricultural politics. Justine is also involved in research on local food system development in North Carolina and is writing her dissertation on social frameworks for agroecology in Cuba. Her primary interest lies in supporting sustainable food systems that are fair for all producers and consumers. Before beginning her graduate work, she was Researcher and Policy Analyst for the Fish and Oceans Program at Food & Water Watch in Washington, D.C. (2007-2010). Justine holds an MA and is ABD at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and a BA in anthropology from the George Washington University.