ReTreeUS Advisory Committee Members
Daniel Feller received his PhD in Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University and is the Director of Data Science at Rightway Healthcare. He advises ReTreeUs on digital strategy and marketing. Dan enjoys adventures outdoors, including hiking, swimming, skiing and surfing.
Jonah Fertig-Burd is a Community Partner at the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation providing leadership for the Food Systems. Over the past 20 years, Jonah has worked in restaurants, food pantries, and farms; advocated for food and farm policies; and helped to grow racial equity in our food system. Jonah previously worked at the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) with farmers, fishers, cooks and food producers to form cooperatives, particularly New American farmers in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine and the Northeast. He helped start New Roots Cooperative Farm, Maine’s first New American owned co-op, and Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative, the first multi-stakeholder foodservice co-op in the country. Prior to CDI, he co-founded Local Sprouts Cooperative, a worker-owned cafe and catering business. He’s on the board of the Cooperative Fund of New England, Land in Common Community Land Trust and Maine Inside Out. He was a 2018 BALLE Local Economy Fellow, 2016 Democracy at Work Institute Worker Cooperative Developer Fellow, Food Solutions New England Network Leadership Institute graduate and Sustainable Food System Leadership Institute graduate. He loves to cook, make art, play music and walk in the woods. He is also a farmer and co-owner of Celebration Tree Farm & Wellness Center a multi-stakeholder cooperative in Durham, Maine, where he lives with his wife and two children.
James Ford is the Restorative Practices Coordinator for the Lewiston Public Schools. He is the former Restorative Practices Coordinator for Lewiston High School. He is a Black male who can trace his lineage to the middle passage and an owner of land in Georgia where his ancestors were once slaves. He has lived in Maine for 40 years. James has been a Board member of Breakwater school, Abyssinian MeetingHouse, Curtis Memorial Library and Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention Program and onced served on the vestry at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. He is currently a member of the State of Maine’s Board of Education. He taught in Brunswick, Auburn and Portland before coming to Lewiston in 2018. He has a wife, 2 sons and 3 grandchildren who keep him smiling. He loves walks, good conversations, coffee/tea and a happy, mindful discussion.
Willie Sawyer Grenier has been an avid gardener inspired by her grandfather many years ago. She grew up on a small dairy farm in rural Maine. For over 20 years she has worked as the Director of Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, introducing agricultural concepts to teach conventional subject matter in grades Pre K – 12 to educators across the state. Willie is a strong promoter of the Agriculture License Plate that enables grants, curriculum development, teacher training and awards impacting up to 200,000 Maine school children annually. The website www.MaineAgintheClassroom.org contains extensive curricula, Maine specific Books, video and hundreds of activities. Willie and her husband Mike have 2 children and live and garden in Albion on a section of the original family farm.
Waite Maclin is a native of North Carolina, having lived in Portland since 1977. In 1979 he and his wife, Christine took ownership of her family’s property in Cushing on the mid-coast. First planting a few apple trees because of his love of gardening, he was hooked. His orchard is populated by primarily disease resistant cultivars such as Enterprise, MacFree, Jonamac, etc. The orchard also has a number of heritage trees such as Ashamed Kernal, Opalascent, etc.
In 1980 he began working with elementary schools in Portland and Cushing through Cultivating Community. During that time we have established small orchards at Reiche, Riverton (Talbot) East End and Longfellow, Cushing Community School.
Ryan Parker is the Maine Program Associate Director for FoodCorps. After graduation from the University of Maine with a Bachelors of Music in Performance, Ryan landed a job with the United States House of Representatives. He left the House to start his own commercial, micro-scale, diversified far, which grew to become the largest year-roud CSA in Maine. While building his farm business, Ryan became interested and involved in food and agriculture policy, and has lobbied and written extensively about both. Ryan joined FoodCorps after working with the Natural Resources Council of Maine to establish Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and writing the book, literally, on school food waste reduction.
C.J. Walke works with MOFGA's Farmer Programs department as an Agricultural Specialist, focusing on technical services for organic tree fruit growers, as well as educational programing around organic orcharding, gardening and composting. He has worked with MOFGA since 2006. He and his family live in Swanville, ME, where he grafts and grows apple trees and native trees/shrubs for Fedco.