Our Board

Kristen Deshaies

Kristen Deshaies is a brand and marketing strategist who has contributed to the growth of trailblazing values-led brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, and Stonyfield during her 17-year career in Marketing.  A lover of food and cooking, she was pleased to find a thriving local food movement in our area when she relocated to the Seacoast two years ago from near Burlington VT.  Kristen joined the Board of Seacoast Eat Local in the summer of 2013 to contribute to its continued growth.  She lives in Exeter, NH with her husband and elementary school-aged children.
Board member since July 2013

Email:  kristen@seacoasteatlocal.org

Kate Donald, Winter Farmers’ Market Coordinator

Kate Donald is owner of Stout Oak Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Brentwood, NH. She has been farming for the past 10 years, and is an active member of the Seacoast Growers’ Association and NOFA-NH. Prior to farming, Kate spent 5 years in New York City, where she directed “The City Farms” urban agriculture program, and worked with Just Food, Green Guerillas, and The New York Botanical Garden to develop community gardens, school gardens, and garden-based education programs. She has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Kate has been involved with Seacoast Eat Local since 2006. Her recent work includes coordinating the Winter Farmers’ Markets, developing a SARE-funded project to expand New England winter crop production, and contributing to Land For Good’s Land Access Project.
Board member since May 2006

Email: kate@seacoasteatlocal.org

Andy Gagnon

Andy Gagnon, a software engineer for over 25 years,  is a web developer, helping local business and organizations present their unique products and solutions to the world using computer technology.  He also was a local organic farmer for 5 years, vending at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, and a board member of both the Seacoast Growers’ Association and the York County Master Gardener program.  He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire, and lived in Oregon and California for 14 years.  He values good food, healthy living, and is an avid runner.  He lives in Portsmouth, NH,  and has 2 grown sons, in Americorps, and attending school at RIT.  Andy joined the board in the summer of 2013 to help develop a digital strategy to achieve the goals of Seacoast Eat Local.
Board member since August 2013

Email: andy@seacoasteatlocal.org

Sherri Nixon, Treasurer

Sherri spent the majority of her career in retail merchandising/planning management in department and specialty stores including Jordan Marsh, Timberland, and Bed Bath and Beyond.  After retiring from retail in 2010, she worked in an administrative support role at NH Public Radio.  A strong desire to lessen her negative environmental impact and to connect more directly with the local food economy led Sherri to retire completely in December 2013.  She now devotes her time to involvement in environmental causes, support for the mission of Seacoast Eat Local, an increased understanding and adoption of permaculture practices, and the integration of her yoga practice into her daily life.
Board member since February 2014

Email: sherri.nixon1@gmail.com

Sara Zoë Patterson, Board Chair

Sara Zoë is a librarian and technology integrator for the Portsmouth School District. Involved in social justice advocacy in varying forms for the last 15 years, she now volunteers for several area organic farms in the summer months. Her passions for good food and a better future for our planet come together in her volunteer work with Seacoast Eat Local.  In 2009 she was awarded the Andrew L. Felker Memorial Award for leadership in promoting the growth and prosperity of New Hampshire agriculture and named one of the Union Leader’s “40 under 40” young leaders of New Hampshire.
Board member since May 2006

Email: sarazoe@seacoasteatlocal.org

Jean Pauly, Secretary

Jean began working on an organic vegetable farm in 2003, and co-founded Meadow’s Mirth farm in 2004. She is an active member of the Seacoast Growers Association, and is on the Winter Farmers’ Market committee for Seacoast Eat Local. A graduate of Houghton College with a B.A. in art, Jean is also a musician who specializes in growing cut flowers and heirloom beans.
Board member since May 2006

Email: rovingsprout@gmail.com

Robin Schweikart

Robin Schweikart has spent her entire career in the non-profit sector, with a primary focus on membership and database administration. She has worked for such diverse organizations as Earthwatch Institute and Tufts Medical Center. Currently she is database administrator for the Boston Lyric Opera. Robin developed her life-long interest in gardening and cooking as a child, working closely with her father, who began gardening organically in the 1960s. Although her primary residence is in Boston, Robin, her husband, and her sister have spent weekends and holidays in Portsmouth for over twenty years. Her belief that locally and sustainably grown food benefits the whole community by supplying fresh meat and produce as well as keeping land in agriculture has prompted her involvement with Seacoast Eat Local.
Board member since February 2014
Email: rkschweik@comcast.net

Theresa Walker

Theresa Walker and her family live in Durham and raise Romney and Merino sheep for fiber and breed stock.  Theresa has worked with communities in Seacoast New Hampshire for 30 years on a wide variety of land use planning and natural resource protection projects.  Theresa is chair of the Town of Durham’s Agricultural Commission and is vested in strengthening the bond between farms, farmers, and their communities.
Board member since June 2016

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