• Dave Seddon, MBA RD LD

MFSC Launches Membership Engagement and Marketing Team


Along with all of Maine, the officers and staff at Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative are working remotely on grant funded work during the pandemic. Since our lead event of the year, BikeMaine 2020 in September was postponed, we found ourselves with time to invest in the Cooperative instead of running from one project directly into the next. Seldom have we taken the time to tell the story of what we are doing to our members, much less the public.

In January, the Board of Directors held a strategic planning meeting hosted by UNE Portland through our past Board member, Stuart Lecki. There the need to engage and communicate with our members and the public was approved for action.

A team of board members, past board members, and other people intimately connected to the mission of the cooperative was put together to develop and roll out the new communications initiative. The team consists of:

Ron Adams, President and COO as team leader.

Ron Adams was formerly the Director of the Portland Public School Food Services Program overseeing sixteen kitchens serving 5,500 meals daily. He is a prominent advocate for the farm to school movement and food security. He worked with a team of school and community resources in Gorham to reinvent the Maine Harvest Lunch and helped expand it into a statewide event.

Dave Seddon, CEO

With 20+ years building and managing organizations, providing nutrition expertise, and developing strategic business plans, Dave continues to integrate best practices to increase sustainable agricultural and seafood products as a means to promote economic growth and to drive healthy outcomes throughout Maine and New England.

Joanna Benoit, VP

A recent Mainer coming from the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts in early 2019. She has a decade’s worth of experience in many facets of the regional food system ranging from large institutional local food procurement, working with new American farmers on sales and marketing, to helping to run a shared use commercial kitchen space. She strongly believes that local food is a key to resilient and connected communities. She is excited to help usher the Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative into its fifth year by helping to tell the stories of the incredible work that has been done and the work planned ahead.

Outside of the cooperative, Joanna is a full time graduate student at the University of Southern Maine, working towards her Masters in Policy, Planning, and Management, with a focus on Geospatial Information Systems where she is discovering a passion for visualizing and mapping data to make it more impactful.

Tom Reeve, Former MFSC Board Member

Originally from too many places to list, Tom and his family have settled on the Trenton Peninsula. He is the Co-owner of Old Dog Baking Company, a small bakery that specializes in wood-fired sourdough breads and bagels. Previously, he was the Director for the Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce and the Relocation Manager for the Blue Hill Coop. He has been working with MFSC since 2016, including working long, hot hours at two BikeMaine events.

Jeremy Bloom, the Internet Farmer

Jeremy came to Maine in 2004 by way of Detroit, NJ, LA & NYC. After beginning a career in website development in 1995, and working on a small organic farm in 2008, he created Internet Farmer offering E-commerce Coaching and Production Services.

In recent years Bloom has worked directly with farms and food organizations as a marketing coordinator and sales rep. You will also find Jeremy in the kitchen having love affairs with local foods of Maine. He’s worked in restaurants, for catering services, and high-end kitchens as well as teaching classes and offering a CSF(community supported fermentation) at times. Sharing the good ingredients is what he loves.

Here with the Maine Farm & Sea Coop he helped create the website & video used in our launch in 2015 and has worked with several co-ops around Maine. Back in the saddle for MFSC now, Jeremy brings his web production skills and marketing planning and implementation to the rollout of a new communications effort to announce these important changes to the co-op.

The team is developing systems for both member engagement and marketing with the debut to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Cooperative.

Membership engagement will range from quarterly meeting notices requesting member input, questions and community concerns for the board to review. It will have important access to the bylaws, BOD minutes and membership training options. Nominations will open in the fall for the BOD so info will be forthcoming. Also look ahead to educational content on our vendors and seasonal nudges for what should be on your menu next month.

Marketing will beef up the website for the history of our work since the UMS bid to bring the maximum amount of local foods to Maine institutions. The basis of our work is still to provide strategic thinking and action as we consult with institutions, processors, growers, and fishers on how to source, cook, and serve the foods of Maine.

Reconnect with the cooperative. See how we have been carrying out our mission to serve more Maine food!

Ron Adams

President, Board of Directors

COO


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