CT NOFA Board & Staff
The CT NOFA Board of Directors meets monthly to conduct business of the organization. CT NOFA members are always welcome to attend the meetings.
Bettylou Sandy, President - Bettylou Sandy is the owner of “Bettylou’s Gardening” in Manchester Connecticut. Since 1987 Bettylou has been helping both adults and children learn to relax in the natural world around them by teaching gardening skills. As adjunct faculty since 2002, Bettylou teaches a variety of gardening classes each semester at Manchester Community College, founder and manager of the community garden on campus, which serves as an outdoor classroom and a community resource. Bettylou is President of the board of CT NOFA and member of the board of the Connecticut Community Gardening Association, Manchester Agricultural Preservation Association, South Windsor Food Association, Connecticut Food System Alliance and helps with the Edible School Yard program at Manchester schools. She lives in Manchester with her husband Bruce. She may be reached at email@example.com. Phone: 860-647-7097, or toll free: 866-647-7097
John Turenne, Vice-President - Founder and President of Sustainable Food Systems, was one of the lead innovators in sustainable food practices during the creation of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Realizing the impact of food service decision-making on the world around us, John transformed a conservative university food service model, of which he has 25 years experience, to create a sustainable dining program through careful planning, teaching and development.
John continues as a leading innovator and consultant for bridging the gap between conventional and sustainable dining programs working with the Culinary Institute of America, Harvard Medical School, The New Hampshire Department of Education, Kaiser Permanente as well as several public hospital and school systems. Check out his Facebook page here.
Howard Shafer, Treasurer - Howard's interest in NOFA's mission was cultivated while he was the owner and sole proprietor of The Whole Hog, a charcuterie business focused on using locally raised heritage breed pigs. Currently he is the Chief Operating Officer of Robinson & Cole LLP where he has responsibility for the business planning and operations of a 450 employee law firm with offices in six states. Howard has a BS in Statistics from the University of Michigan; an MBA with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Boston University; and a Grand Diplômefrom the French Culinary Institute.
Janet Heller, Secretary - A retired special education teacher, Janet is now an avid gardener and actively promoting sustainable living, environmental justice and local organic food, farming and landcare in her town (Manchester), in her UU church, and statewide.
Jane Maher - Jane is the former owner of SnootyFood: specialty foods, a great home cook, and sometimes caterer. She loves growing, pickling, fermenting, and storing her own food and teaching others about it. Jane founded the annual "Made in Connecticut" Fair in Oxford five years ago to promote CT made crafts, food, art, and farms. It is the only fair in the state that does not allow vendors with foreign made and mass produced products.
Greg Hazleton - Greg is a NOFA Farmers Pledge farm owning Copper Hill Farm in West Suffield. Specializing in pastured nitrate free pork products, heirloom vegetables and pastured laying hens, Copper Hill Farm can be found at both the Ellington and East Granby Farmers Markets.
Sven Pihl - Sven is a Permaculture Designer/Teacher and founder of LAND Consulting & Design. LAND is a ‘Whole Systems Planning’ ecological landscape design service which harmoniously integrates Landscapes, Agriculture, Natural systems, and Dwellings. Services include Permaculture Site Design, Eco-Edible Landscape Design, and Homestead Planning, including all subcategories.
His ongoing project is tracking the seasonal aesthetics of useful functional plants (edible, medicinal, insectary, etc.) so they can be incorporated into sustainable and productive residential and corporate landscapes. Recent projects include the planning and design of a 21 acre agricultural education facility for CT NOFA, and an Eliot Coleman style four season growing operation for a local farm.
He has taught at Boulder Knoll Community Farm in Cheshire, CT, Urban Oaks in New Britain, CT, the Kimberton Waldorf School in Kimberton, PA, and at the Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden within the botanical garden at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. He is actively engaged in educational food production programs, school gardens, Community Resilience, local food and farming, and Veteran to Farmer programs. See his Facebook page here.
Rosemary Morretta - Rosemary is a co-founder of GoingGreenie, a social enterprise whose mission is to transform the local organic food system in CT to be more secure, prosperous, and just. The company will connect organic food providers directly to consumers, restaurants, grocery stores and institutions in every neighborhood in Connecticut through an aggregation center, community kitchen and eco-friendly delivery service. Rosemary is currently developing technology to support an online organic marketplace that provides tools to facilitate sales, manage buyer and seller relationships, and streamlines distribution of organic foods. The site includes consumer-facing educational tools with a “Meet Your Farmer” section as well as information on a vast array of topics, including multimedia instruction on all our organic product categories, production methods, demonstrations of food preparation, food safety training and more. Customers may use the site to get recipe recommendations based on their tastes or they may search through thousands of recipes which can be filtered by ingredient, diet, allergy, nutrition, holiday, price, cuisine, time and course.
Rosemary has been working with a number of food-related non-profit organizations for more than a decade. She has extensive experience in non-profit operations, marketing and fundraising. Her last company, Uppstuff, developed collaboration and engagement software technology for non-profits. She spent her early career as a technology marketing executive with companies such as Apple, Linotype and Pantone
Steve Munno - Farmer Steve Munno is originally from Long Island, and is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. After graduation in 2001, Steve’s work in field science and wilderness skills education took him to California, where he lived for five years. During this time, Steve began to hone his skills in agriculture. Always a food lover, and a long time supporter of local farms, Steve found his work in the wilderness continually pointed to the importance of healthy food and its connection to healthy communities, and healthy land. Inspired to be more involved with food and farming, he volunteered with a local farmer for two years, before enrolling in the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. Upon completion of this Apprenticeship, Steve stayed on for second year at UC Santa Cruz, serving as a teacher and assistant manager in a 2+ acre market garden growing a tremendous variety of vegetables, flowers, fruit and perennials. He then returned to the east coast to work for The Food Project in Lincoln, MA. Steve managed the greenhouse on this 30-acre farm, and helped provide for a 400-member CSA, supply food to farm stands in Boston, donate produce to hunger relief organizations and offer educational opportunities to youth and community of the greater Boston area. At the end of 2009, Steve came to Massaro Farm to help revive the land and bring the fields in to production.
Debra Sloane - Debra’s experience with local agriculture began with a winter project at the Martha’s Vineyard Conservation Society where she mapped the existing farm land on the island, using skills learned as a graduate from UMass, Amherst with a degree in Geography. After working on several other land-use mapping projects on the east coast, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a high technology career. Even within the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, however, she was able to maintain a year-round vegetable garden and her ties to the land.
Coming back to Massachusetts annually to visit family, she realized that New England was still home and decided it was time to fulfill a life-long dream of owning a farm in New England. After a two-year search, she found her perfect spot and is now the proud owner of a 4-acre farm in Washington where she intends to specialize in mushrooms and nut trees, as well as maintaining a year-round vegetable garden for her own personal use and to share with friends and neighbors.
John Pittari, Jr.
Eileen Hochberg, Executive Director - Eileen has broad experience in local food systems and at non-profit organizations. She was director of Conservation Outreach for Westchester Land Trust for eight years. During that time, she created new initiatives in farmland preservation and agricultural retention including a Farmers Network of over 300 local food and agriculture stakeholders. Eileen also initiated a Farmer-Landowner matching program. Prior to working at the land trust, Eileen was Executive Director of the March of Dimes Northern Metro Chapter and Associate Director for Corporate Alliances at the National Office of the March of Dimes. She is currently on the board of Slow Food Metro North and a member of the Bedford 2020 Coalition Food and Agriculture Task Force.
Bill Duesing, Organic Advocate - For over 35 years, organic farmer, author and environmental artist Bill Duesing has been
working to promote organic agriculture and greater local food sufficiency in Connecticut
and the Northeast through lectures, writings, media and community work. He is
the current president of the NOFA Interstate Council and former Executive Director of CT NOFA, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of
Connecticut . He is author of Living on the
Earth: Eclectic Essays for a Sustainable and Joyful Future. He was founding president of
CT NOFA and founding chair of the New Haven Ecology Project and its Common Ground High
School, located on a farm in New Haven.
Deb Legge, Chief Administrative Officer
Teresa Mucci, Program Coordinator
Debbie Semonich, Administrative Assistant
Kristiane Huber, Events and Outreach Coordinator
Jenna Messier, Organic Land Care Program Director
Rita Schlitter, Bookkeeper