Meet the 2013-2014 Fellows

The face of the local economy movement is evolving and so is BALLE – the 2013 BALLE Local Economy Fellowship is comprised of food justice leaders, independent business conveners, and community capital innovators, each of whom is creating systems that promote real prosperity by localizing their economy. Together they will grow their personal leadership skills, advance their regions’ capacity to localize, and help transform the local economy movement for all of us. This is the next generation of leadership in the BALLE Local Economy Fellowship. 

Individually these leaders are transforming their communities and their industries; together, there are no boundaries to the impact they will have on our work, our communities, and our movement.  This next group of innovators also brings into clear focus BALLE’s commitment to prosperity for ALL and a commitment to ensuring that all populations are brought into the fold of Localism, not just those in the center. These sixteen new Fellows are localizing food systems, reversing long-term unemployment trends, and transitioning the workforce toward new economy jobs in communities from Detroit to Vancouver to Oakland to Appalachia.  

Toby Barazzuol

Board Chair; President, Strathcona Business Association; Eclipse Awards, Vancouver, British Columbia
Toby Barazzuol was born and raised in the rainforests of Vancouver, BC. He is the president of Eclipse Awards, a recognition company he founded in 1998, and also serves as the Chair of the Strathcona... [Read More]

Harper SE Bishop

Legislative Assistant, Delaware District, Buffalo Common Council - City of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York
Harper SE Bishop is formerly the executive director of Buffalo First!, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster a more just, sustainable, and local living economy in Buffalo and Western... [Read More]

Jess Daniel

Co-founder, FoodLab, Detroit, Michigan
Jess Daniel is co-founder and chief enabler at FoodLab Detroit, a growing community of food businesses who work together within a broader movement to make healthy, fair, ecologically sound food a... [Read More]

Andrea Dean

Owner; Executive Director, Sustainable Initiatives LLC; Hawai'i Alliance for a Local Economy (HALE), Kapaau, Hawaii
Andrea Dean is a SocioEcoPreneur who initiates and partners on projects that enhance the environment, economy, and community of Hawai‘i—with an emphasis on growing local, sustainable food... [Read More]

John Ennis

Economic Development Officer, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, Edmonton, Alberta
John Ennis is an Economic Development Officer at Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC). He joined EEDC in 2010, and prior to that, had enjoyed a career in marketing and sales with Ford of... [Read More]

Christine Hanna

Director, Seattle Good Business Network, Seattle, Washington
Christine is an entrepreneur, nonprofit manager, and experienced marketer. After receiving her MBA from the University of Washington (focus in entrepreneurship and innovation, 1996), she spent six... [Read More]

Angie Hawk Maiden

President and CEO, Appalachian Center For Economic Networks (ACEnet) and ACEnet Ventures, Athens, Ohio
Angie Hawk Maiden has served as President and CEO of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) and ACEnet Ventures since 2006. Maiden  joined ACEnet in 2004 as Director of Business... [Read More]

James Johnson-Piett

Principal and CEO, Urbane Development LLC, New York, New York
An expert in neighborhood scale development and the revitalization of urban commercial and retail assets, James Johnson-Piett, principal and CEO of Urbane Development, provides technical assistance,... [Read More]

Erin Kilmer-Neel

Director; Partner, East Bay Sustainable Business Alliance; One Pacific Coast Bank Foundation, Oakland, California
Erin Kilmer Neel is the director of Sustainable Business Alliance, based in Oakland. Erin recently worked as program officer of One PacificCoast Foundation, helping to build programs and provide... [Read More]

Mickki Langston

Executive Director, Mile High Business Alliance, Denver, Colorado
Recognizing the need to reclaim our power to create community wealth, Mickki cofounded the Mile High Business Alliance in 2007. Currently serving as Executive Director, Mickki combines her passion... [Read More]

Matthew Raker

Vice President of Entrepreneurship and AdvantageGreen, AdvantageWest, Asheville, North Carolina
Matthew Raker serves as the Vice President of Entrepreneurship and AdvantageGreen at AdvantageWest, a regional economic development partnership in western North Carolina. As director of AW’s... [Read More]

Amy Robinson

Executive Director, LOCO BC, Vancouver, British Columbia
Amy is passionate about business sustainability. For 15 years she has worked as a researcher, trainer and consultant in sustainable procurement, waste management, and greenhouse gas management with... [Read More]

Sarita Role Schaffer

Director; Regional Coordinator, Viva Farms; WSU Immigrant Farming Program, Mount Vernon, Washington
Sarita Role Schaffer cofounded GrowFood, a nonprofit that connects new farmers to internships, apprenticeships, and hands-on education on more than 2,600 sustainable farms and food projects in the U.... [Read More]

D'Artagnan Scorza

Executive Director and CEO, Social Justice Learning Institute; Urban Agriculture Enterprises, Inc., Los Angeles, California
D'Artagnan is a UCLA graduate with a BA in the study of religion and also has a BS in liberal studies with an emphasis in business management from National University.  Currently a Ph.D.... [Read More]

Nikki Silvestri

CEO, Green For All, Oakland, California
Nikki Silvestri is the Executive Director of Green for All in Oakland, CA. Over the last ten years, Nikki has worked as an advocate for environmental and social equity for underrepresented... [Read More]

Malik Yakini

Executive Director, Detroit Black Food Security Network, Detroit, Michigan
Malik Kenyatta Yakini is a founder and the executive director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, and a member and former chair of the Detroit Food Policy Council. He views the... [Read More]