Art Berman


Art has extensive executive leadership experience as a successful nonprofit CEO at Twin Cities RISE! (TCR!), and as a long-time senior financial and organizational strategy leader at American Express and Ameriprise Financial. Art currently serves as Interim Executive Director at Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul. Art also currently serves on the Boards of Better Futures Minnesota and Marnita’s Table.In 2011 Art was named “One of 200 Minnesotans You Should Know” by Twin Cities Business. Art has an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA (magna cum laude) in Economics from Bowdoin College.

Kristine Igo


Kristine Igo has served is the Associate Director for the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute at the University of Minnesota. Highlights of her involvement with the Institute to-date include: facilitation and drafting of the MN Food Charter; participating in writing the USDA sponsored ESCOP Science Roadmap for Food and Agriculture; convening a multi-disciplinary Foodshed conference; working as a task force member with the Grains for Health Foundation; coordinating the University’s 4 annual Food Day activities; and developing both undergraduate and University staff cooking & wellness courses. Kris is a member of the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council and school garden coordinator for Seward Montessori. Prior to completing her Masters of Public Policy from the University of California-Berkeley, Kris worked in Twin Cities restaurants and wine shops as a buyer and wine educator.

Gavin Kaysen

Chef Gavin Kaysen, inspired by the frenetic seasonality of the upper Midwest, was beckoned home to open Spoon and Stable in the North Loop of Minneapolis, a 2015 James Beard Award Finalist for Best New Restaurant. The award-winning chef has cooked in the US and Europe’s top kitchens, but gravitates toward traditional Heartland dishes—the kind he grew up eating and cooking. After graduating from the New England Culinary Institute, Kaysen worked at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, CA; L’Auberge de Lavaux in Switzerland; and L’Escargot in London, before El Bizcocho in San Diego, where he was named a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef. In 2007, he joined Chef Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud in New York City, where he earned the James Beard Rising Star Chef award and a Michelin star.  Today, Gavin helps the next generation of young culinarians refine their skills with the nonprofit ment’or BKB Foundation. He serves as Team USA’s head coach in preparing for the biennial Bocuse d’Or showcasing the world’s best up-and-coming chefs. In 2007, he proudly represented the US team, and in 2015, he successfully led Team USA to a record-breaking Second Place victory, the first medal for the US,

Marcus Owens

Marcus Owens was born and raised in North Minneapolis, and currently lives here with his wife and three children. He is pursuing an M.B.A. from St. Thomas University (expected completion 2016). He’s the Executive Director of (NEON), the Northside Economic Opportunity Network whose mission is to expand economic opportunities and build wealth for North Minneapolis residents through the creation, growth and development of small businesses in the North Minneapolis area. Before coming to NEON Marcus had an 8 year career in various departments of Target, worked in the financial services industry and he’s an entrepreneur himself.

Lester Royal III

Lester is a founder and owner of Tri-Construction and possesses over 15 years of expertise in the areas of construction and carpentry. His leadership and experience on various multi-million dollar construction projects enables him t maximize worker productivity, exceed women and minority goals, and successfully complete projects on time and on budget.  Lester provides leadership and direction for all aspects of construction throughout the company, inlcluding project management, negotiations and building community partnerships.  He teaches at Summit OIC, and has many years experience mentoring young people and working in community.

Harvey Rupert

Harvey currently works as a strategic sourcing manager for Wells Fargo negotiating contracts for Wells Fargo and managing certain key vendor relationships. Prior to working at Wells Fargo, he worked in a similar role at United Healthcare with marketing vendors. Prior to both, he was a supplier diversity champion at Target corporation. Harvey practiced law at Faegre and Benson LLP after graduating from Hamline Law School.

Jennifer Tacheny


Jennifer Tacheny is Co-Director of Celeste’s Dream a ministry of the Sister’s of St. Joseph of Carondelet in St. Paul. She has a M.A. in Pastoral Ministry, and over 15 years of experience in religious studies, social justice, and spirituality education. As graduates of the Land Stewardship Project’s Farm Beginnings program in sustainable agriculture, she and her husband Steven run a small organic vegetable business on their family farm in Mankato during the summer months. Jennifer brings her education and experience in sustainable agriculture to Celeste’s Dream as coordinator of the community garden and mentor for the Food Justice Coalition at St. Catherine University. Food is a passion that Jennifer cultivates in a variety of ways including five years of cooking, baking, and managing at St. Martin’s Table restaurant and bookstore. Jennifer and Steven play music together when they can sneak it in amidst work, farming, and raising three young children.

Amy Zaroff

Amy is the Creative Director of Amy Zaroff Events + Design. She began her career in television production and then she and her husband opened and operated Zaroff’s Delicatessen Restaurant in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Amy is active in the Minneapolis Women Presidents’ Organization and serves on local and national nonprofit boards including The Birthday Project whose mission is to celebrate homeless children through the magic of birthdays.