Our Staff

Celeste Gingras

Education Programs Manager (she/her)

A favorite food or farming memory is… I was about 9 years old and it was the first time I remember going to a farm for PYO strawberries with my family. I put as many in my mouth as I did in the bucket. I was in heaven!

A dish I’m famous for is… I can hardly wait each year for all the salsa ingredients to be in season, so I can make it and enjoy it. I might be persuaded to make you some!

When I’m not working you can find me… hanging on our front porch, working in our gardens, reading or sketching by the ocean but mostly laughing with my wife.

Before SEL… I have had many jobs. I have worked as a bartender, prep cook, baker, cashier, ice cream shoppe manager, camp counselor, art instructor, lifeguard, bus driver, social worker, nurses’ aide, but most recently a bakery and cafe owner.

Contact me if you want to know more about… nutrition equity, education about the mobile market, collaboration with SEL, where to buy local food, what to make with local ingredients and how to stretch your food dollars.

Celeste served on the SEL Board in 2011 before joining Staff in 2016

Morgan Morani

Community Engagement Programs Manager (she/her)

A favorite food or farming memory is… conducting food demonstrations as both a nutrition intern at UNH and a staff member with SEL at local farmers’ markets. My favorite demonstration and recipe was peach salsa with homemade tortilla chips, yum! Also, starting a garden with my kids for the first time.

A dish I’m famous for is… chicken thighs in the dutch oven with a bunch of local veggies and some fresh herb bread.

When I’m not working you can find me… spending time with my 2 kiddos, husband, and two dogs, or lost in a good book.

Before SEL… I was a retail store manager, and attended UNH and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. I had an unconventional undergraduate education journey, and have experience in the fields of cultural studies, nursing, and biology along with nutrition!

Contact me if you want to know more about…  Food access and food security in the Seacoast of NH and ME and our programming relative to community engagement. That includes but is not limited to SNAP/EBT and Granite State Market Match, Cooking Matters, volunteering with Seacoast Eat Local, Seacoast Harvest, and our Seacoast area farmers’ markets.

Morgan joined SEL in 2017

Shawn Menard

Executive Director (he/him)

A favorite food or farming memory is… learning about traditional recipes and native crops while volunteering on St. John, USVI in 2009. Local people in the Caribbean are so passionate about their food and land. I think that experience is what first sparked my interest in local food.

A dish I’m famous for is… shrimp and grits with collard greens and fried okra.

When I’m not working you can find me… playing with my son, nephews, and nieces to stay young at heart. I also enjoy tending to the flowers, herbs, and fruit trees in my yard.

Before SEL… I spent 7 years working in Management of Food Co-ops in Maine and NH. I graduated from UMaine Farmington with a degree in Psychology and Environmental Studies then went on to earn a Masters in Management with a Sustainability concentration from New England College.

Contact me if you want to know more about… our mission, impact, and strategic plan. I also oversee our fundraising and sponsorship efforts. As a member of the Network Leadership Team for the NH Food Alliance, I enjoy making connections throughout the NH and ME food systems.

Shawn joined SEL in 2019

Naomi De Palm

Communication Coordinator (she/her)
A favorite food or farming memory is… Creating a victory garden for my parents during the pandemic. I looked forward to tending to the crops everyday and when we harvested our first cucumber the whole family was buzzing with excitement! During such an uncertain time, this garden brought me healing.

A dish I’m famous for is… my miso ramen!

When I’m not working you can find me… reading, taking an afternoon stroll on the beach, or experimenting in the kitchen.

Before SEL… I received my Bachelors degree in Nutrition from the University of New England where I am currently pursuing my Masters degree.

Contact me if you want to know more about… how to stay informed about our work, media requests, our photo and video library, or anything you see on SEL’s blog or social media channels.

Naomi joined SEL in 2022

Ali Fleming

Market Coordinator (she/her)

A favorite food or farming memory is… when I was a student at Keene State I was a part of the Student Nutrition at Keene State (SNAKS) club. We partnered with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters club on campus and did a food science night! We made yummy food to eat and played with food products too. I loved watching the kids play with oobleck (cornstarch and water) but it was really cool to introduce them to fruits and vegetables they didn’t know! 

A dish I’m famous for is… a sausage balsamic pasta dish that my mom always made us growing up. I’ve made it my own over the years and would argue all of my changes are for the better!

When I’m not working you can find me… outside with my dog, hanging out with my husband or going to visit family!

Before SEL… and after finishing my Health Science Nutrition degree at Keene State, I headed to South Carolina to achieve my dream of becoming a chiropractor! After graduating in 2020 I was back in Keene working as an associate chiropractor. Last year I bounced around doing some coverage work before moving to the seacoast in June 2022. Then I opened my own chiropractic practice in Exeter in October 2022! My yearning to be a bigger part of the community and my love for local foods (especially cool veggies!!) lead me to the opportunity of volunteering at the farmers market before applying to be a part of the SEL team!

Contact me if you want to know more about…participating in our Farmers’ Markets as a vendor, sponsor, customer, or musician.

Ali joined SEL in 2023

Skyler Amsden

Market Assistant (she/her)

A favorite food or faSkylerrming memory is… I remember one specific early morning I headed into “sunflower-ville” for the first time by myself to cut sunflowers for the market that day. As I cut flowers and got into a rhythm, all of a sudden my stomach dropped and I stopped and slowly looked around, realizing I was surrounded by hundreds of bees. I had never heard the buzzing and humming of bees so loud before, nor had I ever seen so many bees in my life. Initially I was terrified, but that hum of busy bees became one of my most favorite times of the day that I enjoyed for years to come

A dish I’m famous for is… my homemade chili!

When I’m not working you can find me… Anywhere outside! If I’m not outside, I’m likely trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.

Before SEL… I grew up farming in the Seacoast area, where my passions for creating a just and equitable food system evolved. I most recently headed south to pursue my Bachelors degree in Sustainable Community Development, where I helped manage campus community gardens and much more! After taking some time to travel and work in water conservation out West, I am very excited to be home.

Contact me if you want to know more about… our Seacoast area farmers’ markets & volunteer opportunities.

Skyler joined SEL in 2024