Kiel Schmidt - Operations & Development Manager
Kiel Schmidt brings a creative problem solving approach to the team. He has extensive experience across industries including: architecture, construction, marketing, and urban farming. Community building and the human dimension of Fresno are his passions. To that end he has developed strong skills in outreach and participatory design. He is emerging as a community leader focusing on the issues of the smart growth, access to healthy food, and promoting quality design for the San Joaquin Valley’s health and economic vitality. In 2012, he helped found Tower Urban Family Farm with his brothers. TUFF now farms 3 acres and supplies seasonal produce to local restaurants.
Daniel O’Connell - Co-Director of Food Commons Fresno
Daniel was previously the first Farmland Conservation Director for the southern San Joaquin Valley with Sequoia Riverlands Trust and is currently the San Joaquin Program Manager for American Farmland Trust. He has a PhD in Adult Education and Extension from Cornell University and a MS in International Agricultural Development from the University of California at Davis.
Karen Schmidt - Co-Director of Food Commons Fresno
Karen is also a member of the national Food Commons executive team. Additionally, she is leading a USDA-funded farm-to-school program to bring locally grown foods to school districts in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, and serves as executive director of the non-profit Ventura County SOAR (Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources) organization. Karen has worked on sustainable agriculture, food system development, and renewable energy for nearly 20 years. She holds an MS and a BS in biology and environmental earth sciences from Stanford University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Food Commons Fresno Trust Board
Karen Schmidt, President
Allysunn Walker-Williams, Treasurer
Daniel Mourad, Secretary
Food Commons Fresno Community Corporation Board
Warren King, President
Blong Lee, Secretary/Treasurer