Upcoming Event: Food Systems Career Panel on March 18

Join the ASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems for our annual career panel on Friday, March 18th, from 1-2pm AZ via Zoom.  This event will give students pursuing careers in food systems, sustainability, and agribusiness a better understanding of their career options after graduation. We are honored to have panelists with experience in private, non-profit, and government organizations to share stories of how they built their job paths and offer insights into current trends in the field. For more information on the panelists, read their biographies below. 

To RSVP for this event, click here. A zoom link will be emailed to you after you register. 

Ashley Schimke: Ashley is a part of the Food Acquisitions and Nutrition Systems (FANS) Team with the Arizona Department of Education, Health and Nutrition Services and authors the Food Systems Editorial. With eleven years of experience studying Arizona's agriculture systems, procurement regulations, accessibility of fresh foods to Child Nutrition operators and leveraging USDA-funded assistance programs to support the field across all Child Nutrition Programs, Ashley is passionate about fresh food access for Child Nutrition operators. Ashley has spent time reviewing reports like USDA's Census of Agriculture, USDA's Farm to School Census, DoD Fresh purchasing trends, and USDA's Market News to name a few. Ashley has also spent time learning from operation and industry partners on how food moves across the supply chain.

Cameron (Cam) Petersen: Cam grew up in El Cajon, a short drive away from San Diego and the US/Mexico border. He graduated from SDSU with a degree in History and English thinking he'd become a teacher, but an interest in public service and an insatiable appetite for travel lured him into serving 27 months in the U.S. Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa. There he discovered a deep-seated passion for food systems, community development, and civic engagement. Since then he's worked at non-profit organizations, helped carry out a regional farm to school campaign, taught nutrition and gardening curriculum at a rural primary school as a FoodCorps service member, and briefly lived on a coffee farm in the mountains of Nicaragua. All of these experiences have taught him how central food is to society, and he's excited to apply the knowledge from this program to help advance communities and build resiliency around issues concerning food security, the environment, and much more. He currently lives in Washington, D.C. and works as the Afterschool and Summer Meals Program Coordinator for the Capital Area Food Bank.

Kenneth Steel: Kenneth is the Healthy Communities Programs Manager at Pinnacle Prevention, a Chandler, AZ based non-profit dedicated to cultivating a just food system and opportunities for joyful movement. Kenneth has worked on food systems and active living policy and advocacy in Arizona since 2013. Prior to joining the Pinnacle Prevention team, Kenneth was a Health Policy Analyst at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, where he was recognized as one of the “40 under 40 in Public Health” across the country by the de Beaumont Foundation in 2019. Kenneth holds a Master of Public Health degree from the UTHealth School of Public Health and a BS in Advertising from the University of Texas in Austin.

Sarah Nathan: From startup brand to National retailer, Sarah’s seen more than most. She began her time in the industry as the VP of Business Development and first employee at ReGrained - a Bay Area Food Startup making the world a better place through Upcycling spent grain into delicious, nutritious snacks. She then had the great fortune of helping to guide a diverse set of entrepreneurs with a shared drive, determination, and the mission of bringing better food to more people through the Chobani Incubator. In her work, she had the unique opportunity to mentor start-up companies and provide them with access to resources and education to grow all aspects of their business, from branding, sales, operations, logistics, and more. Post Chobani, she went on to serve as a Category Manager at National Co+op Grocers, working with brands to help them succeed at over 200 stores nationwide and help the organization better understand how to communicate with small brands to set them up for success. She now helps Women and Minority Owned businesses with all manner of strategy and hands-on execution and helps VCs and Retailers create programming to better serve the needs of diverse, underserved founders - the true future of the industry.