Judy Wicks is an international leader and speaker in the local-living-economies movement, Judy Wicks is former owner of the White Dog Café, acclaimed for its socially and environmentally responsible business practices. She is also cofounder of the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), as well as founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia and Fair Food — both incubated at the White Dog Café Foundation and supported by the restaurant’s profits. In her retail career, Judy was founder and owner of Black Cat, which featured locally made and fair-trade gifts for twenty years. In 1970, Judy cofounded the original Free People’s Store, now well known as Urban Outfitters.
Her work has earned numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, the International Association of Culinary Professionals Humanitarian Award and the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Lifetime Achievement Award.
She lives in Philadelphia. Continuing her work to build a new economy, Judy mentors the next generation of entrepreneurs and consults for beautiful businesses. [Judy will be speaking remotely]
Eric Toensmeier has spent twenty years exploring edible and useful plants of the world and their use in perennial agroecosystems. He is the author ofPerennial Vegetables and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens with Dave Jacke. Both books have received multiple awards, including the American Horticultural Society Garden Book of the Year and ForeWord Magazine Home and Garden Gold Medal Book of the Year Award, Garden Writer's Association Silver Medal and American Library Association Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title.
His current project is promoting perennial farming systems, including agroforestry and perennial staple crops, as a strategy to sequester carbon while restoring degraded lands, and providing food, fuel and income, and ecosystem services. He presents on perennial food production systems to groups ranging from Mexican agronomists, Maya villagers, seed bank directors, urban farmers, and aspiring permaculture entrepreneurs. Eric is a founding Board member of the Apios Institute for Regenerative Perennial Agriculture and recently founded the Bosque Comestible project, an online Spanish-language user-generated database of useful perennials for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, with an international team. Eric has worked for many Massachusetts farming NGOs. He started and ran the Tierra de Oportuniades urban farming project for Nuestras Raíces Inc. in Holyoke Massachusetts, served as a program specialist for the New England Small Farm Institute, and organized workshops for NOFA/Mass in the mid-nineties. Eric's writings and photos can be viewed at PerennialSolutions.org. [Eric will be speaking remotely]
Haile Johnston[Business Content Provider] is a Philadelphia-based social entrepreneur who works to improve the vitality of rural and urban communities through food systems reform and policy change. As a father of three, Haile actively pursues his core purpose to “repair the earth for our children and prepare our children for the earth.” Along with his wife Tatiana, he is the Co-Director and a founder of the Common Market Philadelphia, a nonprofit distribution enterprise that connects communities in the Mid Atlantic region to sustainable, locally grown farm food. The two have also teamed up to found the East Park Revitalization Alliance in their community of Strawberry Mansion where they have resided for eleven years. Haile is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business where he concentrated in entrepreneurial management and is proud to have recently served as a Food and Community Fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
Wesley Roe was born in Hamilton, Canada in 1950 to parents who were environmentalists, union members and supporters, political activists and credit union members. He was encouraged at an early age to be involved in community service and studied Urban Planning at McMaster University. Wes opened an Alternative Health Clinic in Santa Barbara, CA in 1981, then moved to Hawaii and lived growing food in a small community. Wes moved to Los Angeles in 1993 and took Permaculture Design Courses with Bill Mollison and Scott Pittman. Wes was involved in launching the South Coast Permaculture Guild and in organizing the the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network. He has been involved with the Permaculture Credit Union since its formation and a board member for the last 3 years.