Who We Are

Staff

Staff support the Council and work groups. They convene, communicate, coordinate, and fundraising for high priority implementation projects that they implement in partnership with core partners across the state and region, as well as state agencies.

Nessa J. Richman

Executive Director

Nessa J. Richman

Executive Director

Nessa leads the Council in achieving its mission to promote a more accessible, equitable, and sustainable food system in Rhode Island. Externally, she represents the network in a variety of settings. Internally, she cultivates leadership within each of the organization’s staff. She works closely with Rhode Island’s Director of Food Strategy and other state leaders to advance good food policy and implement the Rhode Island food strategy, Relish Rhody, which is a comprehensive five-year plan unveiled in May 2017 to grow and sustain markets for locally grown food for the good of communities, the environment, and the economy. Nessa is a native Rhode Islander who returned to her hometown of South Kingstown ten years ago after living and working in Austin, Texas and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Nessa has earned a self-designed degree in Political Economic of Natural Resources from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Josh Daly

Associate Director

Josh Daly

Associate Director

Josh helps build the capacity of the organization: managing and overseeing internal operations, coordinating the Council, and serving as the secondary liaison to the Board. His work is central to RIFPC’s strategic growth and sustainability.  He served as an active Council Member for four years (the maximum term), and was a founding board member and treasurer. Most recently serving as Director of the Southern Region for the RI Small Business Development Center at URI, Josh specialized in small business development and smart economic growth. His tenure as a Council and board member has given him a deep understanding of the impacts of food systems advocacy, legislative engagement, and network resilience. Josh holds an MBA from Loyola University New Orleans and honed his professional skills in great cities like NOLA, San Francisco, and Ottawa, Ontario, before returning home to Rhode Island. He’s community-minded and passionate about creating social change and benefits for our communities through social enterprise and shared entrepreneurship/employee ownership.

Rachel Newman Greene

Food Access & Nutrition Security Program Director

Rachel Newman Greene

Food Access & Nutrition Security Program Director

For nearly two decades, Rachel has been working with policymakers, community-based organizations, and under-represented communities to increase equitable access to and control of the resources we need to live healthy lives. Food policy and food equity have been strong threads throughout Rachel’s career, from developing and managing community gardens in Boston and Providence, serving as the founding staff member of Sankofa World Market in Providence’s West End, and most recently driving health policy and programs as Acting Director of the City of Providence’s Healthy Communities Office. Rachel earned her MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and lives with her family on the South Side of Providence.

Isaac Bearg

Food, Climate and Environment Program Director

Isaac Bearg

Food, Climate and Environment Program Director

 Isaac Bearg, Program Director – Food, Climate and Environment: Isaac is excited to join the RIFPC to focus on the myriad of ways we can make our food systems more sustainable from seed to soil. Prior to joining RIFPC Isaac was a founding member and Vice President of the NJCC. He received an MBA in 2017 from Boston University Questrom School of Business in Energy and Environmental Sustainability. After receiving his degree, he completed a research project for Impact Venture Capitalists Mission Point Partners on investments supporting the anaerobic digestion and composting industry understanding the challenges and opportunities to supporting the industry. 

Moving back home to NJ with a new understanding of the organics space he helped form and serves as the VP of the NJCC and chair of the advocacy committee. He traveled frequently to the state capital to advocate for better policy and served as a compost and organics diversion educator across the state. Isaac was also instrumental in the NJCC being awarded federal USDA, statewide Department of Environmental Protection, as well as private foundation grants. Serving on the project team for these grants he helped teach backyard composting, completed university-wide waste audits, wrote official progress and final grant reports, and worked collaboratively on university-wide educational programs designed to increase food scrap diversion. To further his education in the field he has taken and is certified by the NJ Compost Operators Training Course and the USCC Principles of Manufacturing Course. 

Isaac is working to form the Waste Food Solutions Action Network and Plan as well as promote municipal composting and advocate for better food waste reduction and recycling policy in RI. 

Rozie Schleinig

Food Business & Economic Development Program Director

Rozie Schleinig

Food Business & Economic Development Program Director

Rozie leads Council activities that support the success of Rhode Island farmers, seafood businesses, and processed food entrepreneurs. Her love for food supply chains and growing local and regional capacity has developed through her work with food hubs, including both Red Tomato and Farm Fresh RI. In addition to working in New England food systems, and at one point serving as a member of the RIFPC, she also completed her Masters in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration at the University of Denver and most recently worked as a federal government consultant in Washington, DC. Rozie now lives in Narragansett and is making her way through every nature walk Rhode Island has to offer.

Max De Faria

Food Access & Nutrition Security, Senior Program Associate

Max De Faria

Food Access & Nutrition Security, Senior Program Associate

Max is food justice researcher and policy advocate, based in Pawtucket, RI. They recently completed a Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy at Vermont Law School. Before coming to RIFPC, Max worked with the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic and Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, researching food safety for donation laws, legal requirements of SNAP access at farmers markets, and equity in USDA agricultural programs. Prior to Vermont Law School, they served as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center, advocating for greater inclusion of people with lived experience in research, advocacy, and program implementation based on their own experience with childhood hunger and poverty. Max earned their B.A. in Geography and Spanish with a minor in Political Science from Clark University in Worcester, MA. They have also worked on urban farms and organic farms domestically and internationally. In their free time, Max enjoys cooking, reading, and learning languages.

Allison Montagnon

Engagement Manager

Allison Montagnon

Engagement Manager

Allison supports the Council’s growth, leading activities that strengthen capacity, foster learning and collaboration, uplift advocacy actions, and drive results and successes of partners and other stakeholders across our projects and initiatives. She has been a part of the local hospitality, food, and nonprofit sectors for over 18 years, including work with Hope & Main, local farmers markets, small food businesses, and WaterFire Providence. Allison is a Connecticut native, but after graduating from Johnson & Wales University she remains a proud Rhode Islander and currently lives in Warren. She is also an ambitious home cook, a spirited Bully breed advocate and owner, and a hopeful porch gardener.

Ella Zalewsky

Produce Prescription Intern

Ella Zalewsky

Produce Prescription Intern

Ella is a senior attending the University of Rhode Island majoring in sustainable agriculture and food systems, specializing in food and society. She is one of the eight pilot Agriculture and Food Systems Fellows at URI, and is planning on furthering her work experience and education in the field after graduation. Ella has previously interned with the Providence Public School District working on farm-to-school related progress. Her interest in food systems stems from a mix of work, family, and community experiences. Throughout high school and college, she worked multiple food service jobs and noticed issues within the overall industry. From pizza slices to smoothie bowls, a wide awareness of social, environmental, and economic justice has sparked her interest in reforming the system to benefit all.

Camryn Kennedy

Food System Literacy Intern

Camryn Kennedy

Food System Literacy Intern

Cam is identifying and documenting the status of food system literacy education in Rhode Island’s public schools and researching potential gaps in food education offerings related to geographic, age-based, and topical areas.  She is majoring in Sustainable Food Systems at Johnson & Wales University, focusing on policy and advocacy, and holds an Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. 

Cam believes education is a right and cares deeply about making food education more accessible, aiming to create learning pathways that are comprehensive, holistic, and positive. She has great respect for food, and works to minimize and divert food waste, by advocating for the full utilization of ingredients as well as food safety. She has also previously served as the student leader of JWU’s food waste recovery program and has work experience in a variety of food service environments.

Cam is a northeast Ohio native, currently living in Providence, who enjoys spending time with friends and family, stays active with running, and is formerly a traditional Irish dancer.