May 30, 2023
Hello, allies and advocates. I hope everyone is having a good spring. Below is an update from me, followed by one from Vivien Morris, the Collaborative’s Steering Committee chair.
After more than seven years of working with all of you in my role as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, I am moving on. I have been appointed Deputy Commissioner/Legislative and Policy Director at MDAR and look forward to working with many of you in my new role there. My last day at the Collaborative will be June 23.
I have learned a tremendous amount from all of you, and I am grateful that you have given me the opportunity to participate in this important work and that you have supported the Collaborative so generously.
Massachusetts’ local food system is a model for the nation. That’s because of you – because of the ways you grow and produce food, the ways you feed your communities, the ways you tell your stories, and the ways you advocate for wise policy. Your work has transformed the local food system and educated policymakers in ways that will have a lasting impact. There’s much more to do, of course, and it’s often hard to see the progress when there’s still so much inequity and room for improvement. But the successes are real and you should all take pride in the roles you have played in them, even as you redouble your efforts toward greater changes.
The Collaborative is well equipped with the resources it needs as it considers its next opportunities. A staff of the most thoughtful and committed people I have ever been lucky enough to work with. A dedicated steering committee, each of whom are food system leaders in their own right. A track record of successful campaigns and programs. And all of you, a supportive and vibrant community of advocates and practitioners who believe deeply in the need for a healthy food system and who have creative and innovative ideas for how to make it happen. I look forward to seeing all of the Collaborative’s successes in the future.
Thank you for all that you do to create an equitable, sustainable, resilient, and connected local food system in Massachusetts.
Dear MFSC Supporters and Friends,
We and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are fortunate to have Winton Pitcoff as the new Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ Deputy Commissioner/Legislative and Policy Director. Winton has worked very hard through the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative to encourage and support positive changes in our state’s food system and will continue those efforts and more in his new role.
As Executive Director of the Collaborative since its creation, Winton has worked with his wonderful staff, our steering committee, many organizations across the state, and local and state political leaders to realize the goals of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan. The path has not been straight or simple, but he has done an incredible job of moving us forward. We will deeply miss him in his role as our Executive Director.
We have already begun the process of finding a new director. The Collaborative is working with Eos Transition Partners, a national executive search firm, and hopes to begin the recruiting process in the next few months. We will likely be reaching out to you for your ideas and support as we move forward in this process.
Many, many thanks to Winton and to you all,
Vivien Morris, MS,RD,MPH,LDN