June 8, 2022
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
When I first began Fair Food Network in 2009, I could not have imagined where we would be today. Our small pilot programs in Michigan farmers markets have yielded game-changing initiatives, new public policy, and on-the-ground impact from coast to coast. Our growing staff has spurred real progress as we work in the Midwest to create national results. The team inspires me daily with their passion, resolve, and dedication to our mission: to grow community health and wealth through food.
As we celebrate all that we have achieved and look to a future grounded by a new theory of change, I am excited to share that our current Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Kate Krauss, with our board's unanimous and enthusiastic support, will become Fair Food Network's next Chief Executive Officer starting in January 2023.
Since joining Fair Food Network in 2015, Kate has demonstrated galvanizing leadership-first as Chief Operating Officer, and, for the past three years, as our Executive Director. She has been a driving force in our nearly fivefold budget growth and threefold team expansion; she's focused on building strong foundations for the organization by maturing our organizational systems, cultivating a vision that has broadened our horizons, and affirming our unwavering belief in food as a path to common ground. Kate has also guided our recent efforts to clarify Fair Food Network's story, our reason for being, and our long-term vision. Today, this work is reflected in a simple idea that draws on our history and sets the course for our future work: Start with Food. We know that when we do so, everything else is possible.
Kate is the leader we need to meet this moment. Her experience working in food systems and climate change is matched by her commitment to equity and her dedication to fostering meaningful results. Kate sees food as a source of joy and a path to justice, which is exactly what's needed for the road ahead. She will ensure that Fair Food Network remains an impactful, effective, and enduring organization.
With this transition, I will be taking on a new role as Fair Food Network's Founder & Resident Champion. I will be working with Kate and our Board to be a steward, thought partner, and movement mentor.
I plan to continue my life's work to harness the potential of food to bring about a more fair and resilient future. Through writing and public speaking, I hope to be a champion for the many food-based approaches to environmental stewardship. Just as Fair Food Network is doing with nutrition incentives and impact investing, I am eager to explore other ways that we can transform how resources flow through the food economy for immediate impact and systems change. I will also continue to mentor the next generation of leaders, as I collaborate with partners, funders, and policymakers to help bring about the change we seek.
Founding and fostering the growth of Fair Food Network has been an incredible honor. I am beyond grateful to our team, partners, and supporters who have believed in us and made our work possible. I know the journey continues, and I can't wait for what's ahead.
Oran B. Hesterman, PhD
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Soon-to-be Resident Champion
Fair Food Network