Our Staff

jillJillian Hall, Ed.M, Director of Programs

Jill joined Seacoast Eat Local in October of 2015 as the organization’s first ever full-time Director of Programs. Her commitment to advocacy and education surrounding issues of local food security and availability matches well with Seacoast Eat Local’s mission to connect people with sources of locally grown foods and to advocate eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture, and economy.
Prior to her role at Seacoast Eat Local, Jill established her career with a strong background of experiences in social services; community and civic engagement; and education. She received her graduate degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2012. She holds a Master’s of Education from HGSE’s Special Studies Program, where her academic work focused on principles of place-based education in rural communities. Jill served as the Program Coordinator for the Strafford County 4-H Program in New Hampshire for three years, an experience which would eventually lead to her path in non-profit management.
In addition to her professional responsibilities with Seacoast Eat Local, Jill is a board member of New Hampshire Agriculture in the Classroom, a Farm Bureau member, a member of the Dover Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, an alumna of Leadership Seacoast (Class of 2013) and a founding member of the Strafford County Development Professionals Working Group.

Contact: jill@seacoasteatlocal.org


Shelly Smith, Program Coordinator

Shelly comes to Seacoast Eat Local from a background in research and plant biology with experience in the local agricultural community as a founder of a local no-spray farm operation.  She is deeply committed to making local food increasingly accessible to communities in the Seacoast by improving viability of our small farm operations. 

Her passion for local food has been shared at farmers’ markets (at times with a small child in tow), and is furthered in her role as manager of the Winter Farmers’ Markets.  Shelly is responsible for administration of the SNAP incentive program and serves as a Regional Lead in the New Hampshire Nutrition Incentive Network, helping to expand the reach of SNAP incentives (Granite State Market Match) at farmers’ markets and farm stands in the Seacoast region.  Shelly is also the Gleaning Coordinator in both Rockingham and Strafford Counties as part of the NH Gleans network, functioning to reduce food waste by re-routing local produce to food pantries.  

Shelly can most always be found chatting it up with customers at markets and spreading sunshine on cold winter mornings, often while munching on something leafy and green (baby kale being her favorite!). Her smile and laugh are legendary and dear to all those who know her – make sure you say hello to Shelly at the next farmers’ market!

Contact: shelly@seacoasteatlocal.org


celestevannsmallCeleste Gingras, SAMM Coordinator

Celeste moves from Board Member and Co-Chair to SAMM Coordinator with Seacoast Eat Local as we launch this new and exciting project. Long passionate about food access and hunger alleviation, and with a strong background in both food businesses and social services, we know that our fledgling program could not be better served than with her leadership and skill.

As a business owner with over 25 years of experience, she has been a part of creating 45 Market Street Bakery and Cafe, Currants Cafe and Grille and Shore Bites. In this regard, her experience and local relationships have been nothing short of instrumental in creating the operational plans and product sourcing abilities of the mobile farmer’s market. Her hard work and get-down-to-business attitude have given SAMM the strong start it needs to be a successful program. Plus, she looks great behind the wheel!

When she is not driving SAMM around the Seacoast or whipping up a batch of fresh salsa, you might find Celeste sitting on her porch engaged in a mean game of Scrabble with friends. She hopes to live in a world where everyone is kind, generous and happy, where strawberries grow in every garden and everyone works a 4-day week. We can’t promise all those things will happen, but we do know that with her help, SAMM will be increasing access to fresh, local foods to all people of the Seacoast– no matter where they live or how much money they earn.

Contact: celeste@seacoasteatlocal.org

Emily Hennessy, Market Outreach and Support 

Emily joins Seacoast Eat Local after years supporting farmers’ markets, CSA’s, and Local First initiatives in the Boston area. A strong believer in supporting local food production and independent business in order to improve our health, strengthen our communities and build our local economies, Emily is thrilled to return to her home state of Maine and advocate for eating locally in the Seacoast region. Emily comes to us with a background in university program management and is excited about the opportunity to connect people with the food they eat and the farmers who grow it. She spends her free time these days on her bike, in the garden, or dreaming about the chickens she will own one day!

In her work with Seacoast Eat Local, Emily will work to support and promote farms and farmers’ markets in our service region. This includes bringing her expertise in program development and management to bear as well as increasing our connections in various communities and community groups across the Seacoast through her active and enthusiastic participation style. Emily’s position is made possible through grant funds of the Farmers’ Market and Promotion Program, a competitive funding program of the USDA.