Meet the Keynote Speakers for the 2nd Annual Arizona Food and Farm Finance Forum

Collaboration on a regional and statewide scale is key for successes in building the local food movement. These nationally renowned speakers will each deliver a keynote address and assist with facilitating the Local Food Investment Work Session on the last day, a workshop designed to build statewide collaboration in addressing holes and duplicated efforts in the local food distribution system. The Forum will run January 15th & 16th, in Clarkdale, AZ.



anthonyAnthony Flaxxavento, SCALE Inc: Anthony is an organic farmer near Abingdon, Virginia. He has been working on community environmental and economic development in the region for the past 27 years. In 1995, he founded Appalachian Sustainable Development, which became a regional and national leader in sustainable economic development. Anthony left ASD in December, 2009 to found SCALE, Inc, a private consulting business dedicated to catalyzing and supporting ecologically healthy regional economies and food systems. SCALE works with community leaders, farmers, foundations, economic development agencies and others in Appalachia, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, the Arkansas Delta and other communities. Anthony has received a number of awards and honors for his work in recent years, including the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award, and selection by Blue Ridge magazine in 2009 as one of Central Appalachia's most important agents for positive change. He was a Kellogg National Food and Society Policy Fellow during 2007 and 2008, and a Fellow with the Business Alliance for Local, Living Economics (BALLE) in 2010/2011.

vicki_pozzebon-239x300Vicki Pozzebon, Prospera Partners, LLC:  Vicki is the owner and driving catalyst behind Prospera Partners, LLC, a consulting firm practicing bold localism, with a passion for local economic development. In 2012, Vicki helped found Delicious New Mexico with partner Kate Manchester, for the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation. Delicious New Mexico is a statewide organization working to grow the local food industry through the support of local food business and consumer education. She currently serves as a steering committee member for the Bernalillo County Food Forward Economic Development strategic plan, blogs all things local and food related, and has a strong following on social media. For over two years, Vicki hosted Local First Radio on TALK 1260AM in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is the author of the column "The Local Voice" for Green Fire Times, and has written numerous articles and opinion pieces on local living economics. Vicki was chosen for the first cohort of BALLE fellows in 2010, North America's premiere learning and leadership community dedicated to connecting and resourcing the most innovative and visionary local economy leaders.

garyGary Paule Nabhan, University of Arizona: Gary Paul Nabhan is an internationally-celebrated nature writer, food and farming activist, and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He has been honored as a pioneer and creative force in the the "local food movement" and seed saving community by Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Bioneers and Time magazine. As the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, he works with students, faculty and non-profits to build a more just, nutritious, sustainable and climate-resilient foodshed spanning the U.S./ Mexico border. He was among the earliest researchers to promote the use of native foods in preventing diabetes, especially in his role as co-founder and researcher with Native Seeds/SEARCH. Gary is also personally engaged as an orchard-keeper, wild foods forager and pollinator habitat resorationist working from his small farm in Patagonia, Arizona near the Mexican border. He has helped forge "the radical center" for collaborative conservation among farmers, ranchers, indigenous peoples and environmentalists in the West.

bradenBraden Kay, Sustainability Project Manager at City of Orlando: Dr. Braden Kay is one of the first doctoral graduates from Arizona State's School of Sustainability in Arizona. Braden pursued this doctorate in order to become a national expert in creating livable and sustainable communities in urban America. Braden has developed a strong record as a sustainability researcher and practitioner. During his time in Arizona, he served on Mayor Greg Stanton's sustainability advisory board, the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corportation, and was a project manager of the Roosevelt Row Growhouse and Valley of the Sunflowers projects. He is a graduate of the Sidewell Friends School in Washington, DC, Carleton College (MN), and the Teach for America program. He now serves as the City of Orlando Sustainability Project Manager in the Office of Sustainability and Energy with a focus on strategic solid waste programs, urban forestry, and urban agriculture initiatives. His current projects include increasing multifamily recycling, a new commercial food waste composting program, a large scale urban tree canopy improvement project, the City Energy Project, and supporting local food initative, including food forests, urban farms, and an emerging food hub.