LEADERSHIP CHANGE AT FONDY FOOD CENTER
MILWAUKEE, WI – After a year of unprecedented accomplishments, Fondy Food Center’s Executive Director, Young Kim, announced his resignation.
According to Laura Maker, President of the Fondy board, “We have been aware for some time that Young was considering making a career change. He has been the executive director at Fondy for the past 13 years and he has led the organization with creative vision as Milwaukee’s ambassador to make reasonably priced, healthy food options available in communities that are historically underserved.”
Moving forward, Jennifer Casey, who has a background in community health and nutrition, will assume the role of Executive Director. Stephen Petro, a longtime advocate for sustainable agriculture with a gift for details, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Working closely with the board, the new leadership team will continue to grow Fondy’s projects to work together to improve fresh, local food for all Milwaukeeans while supporting small farmers. Maker said, “While Young is a close friend and we will miss him, he has built a great team that will drive the organization forward. Jen Casey has helped to grow the organization programmatically since she came on in 2014, and in his five years as Fondy’s Farm Director, Stephen Petro has been a steadfast asset to the organization.”
Young Kim has been the Executive Director of the Fondy Food Center since 2003. Under Kim’s leadership, Fondy opened a farm in Port Washington in 2011 to support Fondy Farmers Market farmers, became known as a national pioneer in matching Women, Infants and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers at the Fondy Farmers Market, and opened a “pop-up” famers market at Schiltz Park. Over the past few months, Fondy successfully assumed the operation Milwaukee County Winter Farmer’s Market at the Mitchell Park Domes.
Prior to coming to Milwaukee Kim spent eight years in Seattle working with the city’s homeless population. He is the recipient of the Doug Jansson Emerging Leadership Award (2012), and the Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative Owner of the Year (2013). According to Young, “I obviously have mixed emotions about my decision to leave Fondy, but I’m excited about exploring my next chapter in trying to make Milwaukee a more just and fair city. Fondy has been such a big part of my life for the past thirteen years, but the timing just feels right to make a change. The Winter Market is humming along, we just received good news from the city regarding their intention to renew the lease and make improvements at the Fondy Farmers Market, and lots of new ways of encouraging people to eat local are in the pipeline. I’d like to thank everyone that had a hand in Fondy’s success, especially the residents of Northside Milwaukee, who welcomed me with open arms in 2003.”