The Southern SAWG Board of Directors is a diverse team of dynamic individuals providing the organization unique perspectives from academic, government, agriculture, other nonprofit and the private sectors all working together to accomplish the mission of the organization. Their dedication to the cause and insights in leadership help SSAWG to be what it is today.
Camille Cody comes to the SSAWG board with 10 years experience in small scale vegetable and flower farming. A native of Asheville, NC, pursuing a degree in Holistic Nutrition introduced her to farming and she hasn’t looked back. She has WWOOFed and interned across the U.S. and Canada, and briefly farmed in Liberia, West Africa, before she began managing a small farm in Tennessee to be closer to family.
Currently a manager at The Old School Farm in Nashville, a non-profit dedicated to providing employment for adults of all abilities, Camille oversees a farm crew growing vegetables and flowers on a two-acre plot for farmers markets, restaurants, and a CSA.
She is a former farmers market manager and also helped found the East TN Young Farmer Coalition. She is passionate about furthering the reach of sustainable agriculture and seeing farms and communities in the Southeast thrive.
Shavaun Evans brings to the Southern SAWG board nearly a decade of coalition-building experience and a deep understanding of the power of grassroots networks to change systems and policies. She is the Membership Director for the New Economy Coalition, a national coalition of more than 200 organizations imagining and building a future where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive. Shavaun previously worked on national agriculture policy campaigns—including the 2014 Farm Bill, Food Safety Modernization Act, and the Farm to School Act—on behalf of sustainable and organic farmers with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. As the Program Director at Community Food Advocates, she collaborated with parents, teachers, and students in Middle Tennessee to build and connect community-led food and farm projects. She has been a participant and presenter at multiple SSAWG conferences since 2009. Shavaun currently lives in her hometown Louisville, KY where she teaches yoga.
Stephan Juliusburger fell into a culinary wonderland as a child and hasn’t found his way out yet. The elder son of working parents, he would come home from school and pick dishes from his mother’s cookbooks, preparing them for dinner that night. Impressed, his mother started to lend him to friends for their dinner parties!
A native of London, England, he attended university in Connecticut, ostensibly towards a degree in organic chemistry. Cooking for extra money at a local bistro, he was plucked out and asked to head the kitchens at a new seafood restaurant opening in Stamford. When five months later a NY Times review gave it two stars, he knew his life would never be the same. Over the next four years he experimented, opening small restaurants for investors in Connecticut and Colorado.
It was while in Colorado that Stephan was asked to cook one night for the Grateful Dead, a chance meeting that became a six-year relationship. In the mid eighties he left his restaurant behind and went on the road, providing the band and its crew with gourmet cuisine in some very unlikely locations. From this work, he was asked to direct the hospitality for the largest events of the eighties, including The Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Concert, The Statue of Liberty Centennial Concert, Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic, and Bill Graham’s Biggest Party in History.
When the band stopped touring for a while in 1986, Chef Juliusburger turned to the hotel industry, desiring to continue to design complex environments. For fifteen years he held executive positions with Marriott, Westin, and Sonesta Hotels worldwide.
Stephan left the hotel industry in 2003 to write the Le Cordon Bleu Masters in Gastronomy, within the University of Adelaide. He then created Syntuitive Ltd., a company that consulted with the Bermuda government in the areas of gastro-tourism and culinary education. Most recently, he has programmed the food and beverage content for the 1,500-acre tourism development Baha Mar in Nassau and redesigned the operations of the Seven Stars Resort in Turks & Caicos.
Nikki Seibert Kelley is a local food systems leader passionate about empowering food-based non-profits by providing them with the tools for success. Along with 13 years of non-profit experience and a Master's degree, Nikki brings a critical mind, quick wit, and passion for connecting people and ideas to every project she is involved in. In the last five years Nikki has trained 142 aspiring farmers, launched South Carolina’s first incubator farm “Dirt Works” and coordinated 40+ farmer workshops. She is the owner of Wit Meets Grit and co-director of the SC Herbal Society. Mrs. Kelley is also on the Board of the SC Food Policy Council, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, The Green Hearts Project, and Unique Places to Save. Nikki was also one of Southern Living's 2016 Top 50 Innovators of the South.
Kavita Koppa manages RAFI’s Farmer Leadership Network, an initiative that helps farmers effectively serve on committees for agricultural decision-making groups. She also manages reporting and technical assistance with rural cooperative development clients in North Carolina. In 2014, she oversaw RAFI’s initiatives related to North Carolina’s farmer-veterans and conducted research to better address their specific barriers to success. Prior to joining RAFI in 2013, she managed a beginning farmer program in South Carolina. Kavita is a proud native of South Carolina and is passionate about working with historically underserved farmers in the region. She holds a BA in Geography and Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Dr. Ayanava Majumdar is an Extension Entomologist who leads the integrated pest management (IPM) projects for vegetable and peanut crops statewide. He is also the State Coordinator for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE program) and Team Leader for Commercial Horticulture Extension Programs. He has over 15 years’ experience in conventional and alternative pest management systems with over $4 million in federal grants and industry funding. He is also the editor of the Alabama IPM Communicator newsletter that has 2,000 subscribers. Dr. Majumdar has received numerous awards from the Southern Region IPM Center, the National Association of County Ag Agents, and the American Society of Horticultural Science for his impactful projects.
Jonathon Mohr’s affection for agriculture and conservation began early. He grew up on a horse farm in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Each summer he worked on other farms, baling hay, planting and harvesting crops, even tending beehives. Over the years Jonathan jumped at any chance to try a new agriculture adventure. These opportunities took him custom combining across the Midwest, working on a coffee farm and cattle ranch in Costa Rica, and, eventually, attending college for agricultural economics and rural sociology at Clemson University.
Wherever he worked, and with whatever he was doing, sustainability was never far from Jonathan’s mind. He saw firsthand how good farming practices and management make for a more productive farm.
After graduating from Clemson with a degree in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, he spent nine years working for a dairy and beef genetics cooperative, first as a breeding specialist in central Pennsylvania and then as area manager in northern New England. Through his connection with the farms, he became more involved with the industry, including serving as a board member for Maine Beef Industry Council for almost a decade.
Jonathan left the breeding cooperative to pursue a self-employed career concentrating on agriculture, land management conservation. To stay involved, he attended agricultural seminars and found volunteer opportunities. Three years ago, after a move back South, Jonathan was appointed as a board member for the Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group.
Elisa Muñoz-Miller is the co-chair of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee and works in the field of public markets and food justice. Hailing from Louisiana she began her food work in Birmingham, AL, starting a food policy council and community garden, working at Pepper Place Farmers Market in exchange for a CSA share, and co-founding the Bici Bicycle Cooperative. She felt the call to return to New Orleans where she has worked in farmers markets and food policy for six years. Elisa is currently the Director of Public Market Development for the Historic French Market and a W. K. Kellogg Community Leadership Network Fellow, focusing on racial equity and healing and creating a child-centered city where all have access to healthy, culturally appropriate, and delicious food. Elisa enjoys eating, gardening, riding her bike, and cooking with her husband Zack and son Rowan.
Michelle Namer is a Georgia attorney and homesteader dedicated to using the law to build better food systems. She is passionate about the positive impacts of growing sustainable food on individuals, communities, and the environment. Michelle is the managing partner of The Law Office of Michelle Namer, LLC, and she founded The Law Farm to develop novel ways to increase legal representation amongst farmers and food entrepreneurs. The Law Farm provides legal education through a blog, a podcast, and workshops, all with the goal of growing strong, diverse food system enterprises. Michelle received her B.S. in Biology from Georgia Tech and her J.D., with honors, from Georgia State University College of Law.
Hana Newcomb is a full time vegetable farmer in Northern Virginia, on the farm that her parents established 55 years ago. She has taken on the role of managing that complex operation (two farms, a large CSA, multiple farmers markets, dozens of employees), with lots of help from longtime co-workers and family members. Hana is married to Jonathan Groisser, who also works on the farm, and they have three children who have grown up and gone on to other work that suits them better.
John Patrick retired in April 2010 as a program analyst for the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Inspector General in Washington DC. He recently completed an EPA grant as principal investigator for the Cumberland River Compact that encourages sustainable farming methods in this watershed. He also has taught a graduate course, Sustainable Food Practices, at Lipscomb University's Institute of Sustainable Practices. John has completed his doctoral course work focusing on environmental corporate management and sustainable farming methods. He serves on the board of the Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group, Tennessee Organic Growers Association, and the Beaman Park to Bells Bend Conservation Corridor, and serves on the Nashville Food Policy Council.
John Patrick was raised on a poultry and cattle farm and is currently a co-owner of Foggy Hollow Farm (a small, organic vegetable, livestock, poultry, and blueberry farm) near Joelton, Tennessee. He currently has the only USDA-certified, organic laying and breeding operation in Middle Tennessee. He is implementing, with the collaboration of other farmers, a sustainable poultry network focusing on the economics of locally breeding and growing heritage breed chickens on pasture for meat and eggs in Middle Tennessee.
Sera Deva is the Curriculum Coordinator and Farmer Programs Associate at the Organic Growers School based in Asheville, NC. She has a B.S. in Genetics and Agroecology from The Evergreen State College and has been intimately involved with the small-scale agriculture world for over nine years as a student, farmer, and agricultural support specialist. She’s specifically passionate about human and animal nutrition, plant breeding and seed saving, and racial equity in the food system. She has been in WNC for the past 3.5 years working on continuing farmer education.
Dana York retired from the USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service in January 2011 after a 34-year career with the Agency. She started as a soil conservationist in Tennessee working with farmers to plan and install conservation practice and through her career held numerous state and regional leadership positions in TN, GA, OH, MD and DC. She ended her career in the NRCS National Headquarters as the Associate Chief for the Agency operating a $3.4 Million dollar budget.
She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science from Tennessee Technological University and a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University with an emphasis in organizational design and measurement, training, survey administration, business planning and leading organizations and employees through change. She currently has a consulting company, Green Earth Connection, to bring her expertise to the agricultural and environmental communities with a focus on keeping agriculture sustainable ad local foods available.
Since moving back in 2015 to her family farm in TN, she serves the Chairman of Jonesborough Locally Grown that runs the Farmers Market and a farmer’s Market cooperative grocery—Boone Street Market. She is a facilitator for American Farmland Trust-Women’s Learning Circles, helping farmer’s widows and daughters plan for the continued operation of their farm. A favorite project for her is implementing a Beginning Farmer School in East Tenn. teaching new farmers of all ages how to start an agricultural venture.
Elizabeth Young is the Director of Farm and Sustainable Initiatives at the Murphy Arts District (MAD) in El Dorado, AR. She is responsible for managing Farmers Market at MAD, assisting with the farm-to-table movement in Griffin Restaurant, development of school and community gardens, grant writing and other programs. Prior to MAD she was Winrock International's Director of the Arkansas Women’s Business Center, farm manager for a Certified Naturally Grown vegetable farm in North Carolina, and horticulturist at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. Young fell in love with Southern SAWG at the 2009 conference in Chattanooga, TN and has been hooked to SSAWG's programs and services ever since. She serves on the Southern SAWG Board of Directors and serves in the El Dorado Service League. She received her B.S. in horticulture from the University of Arkansas. Young enjoys hiking, live music, farming, and playing outside with her two children.