Slow Food USA has elected a new chair of its Board of Directors. Katherine Deumling previously served as vice chair of the Board and is currently chair of the Finance Committee. She is also a former southwest regional governor of Slow Food USA and prior to that, was a chair of Slow Food Portland. Deumling succeeds Chris Carpenter, who served as Board chair since 2008 after being a long-time leader of Slow Food in northern California.
As board chair Deumling will help guide the strategic direction of the organization, including creating visibility for Slow Food’s network of volunteer-led chapters across the country. She will remain an active member in Slow Food Portland, where she brings her expertise and passion for bringing urban and rural communities together for the sustainability of both to support local farmers, and engages in policy workaround land use in the metro area, which is home to a rich, diversified farm community as well as a thriving urban center with ongoing development pressures.
A Portland native, Deumling founded and runs a cooking school and blog in Portland, Cook With What You Have, focused on making cooking with fresh, local produce an accessible, fun and creative part of people’s lives. She also works closely with area farmers markets to promote local produce, and collaborates with non-profits and public agencies to empower people to create healthy meals. Deumling lends her expertise to a handful of Community Supported Agriculture farms as well, creating weekly, customized recipes packets for their members.
“We are so fortunate to have Katherine step into this role. She embodies Slow Food’s values in her life and will be instrumental in guiding our work. I cannot imagine a person better suited to chair our board in this important time in the life of our movement and our organization,” said Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA. “These last three years working closely with Chris have been extraordinary, and he leaves the organization in a strong position for the future. Going forward, I know he will stay deeply involved with Slow Food, and I look forward to working with him, even as his role changes.”
“I am honored and excited to be taking on this role within Slow Food, a movement I have been part of for more than a decade. I am particularly interested in broadening our partners, collaborators and members to more effectively influence the political discourse and policy implications around food. We must use the pleasure of the table and the right to good, clean and fair food to improve the health and happiness of our communities, locally, nationally and globally,” said Deumling.
“The understanding that the food system has an impact on many of the issues we face in the world today — healthcare, environmental degradation, resource distribution to name a few — has put Slow Food and its understanding of these issues in an unique position of leadership as we attempt to affect these challenges. As I move on and Katherine steps in as chair, I can think of no one better to lead the board in its role to help guide Slow Food USA through this work with the staff and membership,” said Carpenter.