Making excellence accessible

The Swette Center team has had the privilege to work and learn from Deb Eschmeyer, known as ‘the human exclamation point’ for a reason. Her high energy and enthusiasm have propelled and inspired our work. We are sad to see her leave us, of course, but excited to see all she will accomplish at Original Strategies. I will miss our daily interactions my lifelong friend! - Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director 

From Deb Eschmeyer:

After nearly two years of working part time for the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, I am embarking on a new adventure. My decision to leave is due to months of reflection on my personal ambitions and wanting to dedicate my energy to my family and my new business, Original Strategies.

What brought me to ASU was the promise of making excellence accessible. I am so proud of the progress we’ve made on that front, including:

  • Establishing the premier professional development food policy and sustainability program to enable the groundswell of talent the world requires
  • Collaborating with Google and Compass to train chefs in sustainability resulting in 250 chefs receiving ASU credentials
  • Creating a farmer citizen policy training in partnership with the National Young Farmers Coalition for 250 majority BIPOC farmers
  • Partnering with the Organic Trade Association to build the continuous improvement plan for Organic

There are no words to express my sincere gratitude to the leadership of ASU and the Swette Center, specifically to Dr. Kathleen Merrigan and Suzanne Palmieri, who lead with incomparable experience, endless compassion, and indefatigable energy. This combo of talent and kindness is rare. There are few as dedicated to growing the pipeline of the next generation of leaders, to strengthening organic, and to working towards a world where all communities enjoy nutritious food produced from thriving and environmentally sustainable food systems.

No matter where I sit, I will continue as a champion of ASU as together, we drive social progress, economic productivity and ecosystem resilience through food systems transformation. I am excited to see where the Swette Center takes the food system!