Join us at Delaware Valley College's series of multi-disciplinary sustainability symposia, where we will explore how we can adapt human networks to reduce and reverse trends of environmental degradation, economic instability and social disparities.


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Panelists from 2010

Lou Cooperhouse
Rutgers Food Innovation Center

Lou has extensive business and technology experience in the prepared food industry in both entrepreneurial settings and in larger corporate environments. Earlier in his career, he held senior management positions at Campbell Soup Company, ConAgra, and Nestlé-funded Culinary Brands in areas of business development, product development, quality assurance, and operations. Most recently, he was Co-Founder, President and CEO of MenuDirect Corporation, a venture capital backed nutritional foods company, which was chosen by its peers as one of the top 10 Industry Innovators by Nutraceuticals World Magazine in 2000. Additionally, he has consulted for leading manufacturers of value-added food products, innovative industry suppliers, progressive food retailers, and government and allied organizations, including projects throughout North America, and in Europe, China and Africa.

He received a MS in Food Science and BS in Microbiology, both from Rutgers University.

Sam Earle
Local Food Systems, L3C

In the last two decades, Sam has worked as an entrepreneur, consultant, and information systems architect in the communications, sales, and financial sectors. His clients have included Hewlett Packard, Nestle, and many finance firms.

In 2008 Sam moved to Philadelphia to pursue a union between his love of food and business acumen. Subsequently, he has built relationships with key stakeholders in local (organic, bio-diverse, sustainable) agriculture, evaluated the business processes of industrial food systems and processing (value add), volunteered with local food organizations and producers, and studied the Philadelphia regional food economy.

Sam has a unique ability to bring people together to work for a common cause with a mutually beneficial end. Based on these experiences and his knowledge of industrial sector technologies, Sam founded Local Food Systems, L3C (LFS) in 2010. The mission of LFS is to develop enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and other solutions for local agriculture and its consumers. The technologies will leverage the logistical efficiencies large companies and institutions have found, thereby enabling local agriculture to become a larger percentage of the regional food economy.

Peggy Fogarty-Harnish, M.S.
Penn State Cooperative Extension, Lancaster County

Peggy is an educator at Penn State Cooperative Extension, Lancaster County. As the county’s agricultural economic development educator, she serves as a resource for farmers and agricultural businesses to develop and implement their innovations into financial benefit. She specializes in agricultural business development, farmers market management, value added product development, niche marketing, cooperative development and farm business profitability.

As a cooperative development specialist she worked with Keystone Development Center to establish Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, whose 75 farmer members serve Eastern Pennsylvania, New York City, and most of the tri state area by connecting the farmer and customer, delivering the best local organic produce, value added products, and humanely raised and pastured animal products to retail establishments, co-ops, restaurants, and institutions. She also focuses on farm energy projects as a way for farmers to reduce costs and produce revenue.

Alison Hastings, PP, AICP
Senior Environmental Planner
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)

Alison manages DVRPC's Regional Food System Planning work, among other environmental planning projects. Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive Metropolitan Planning Organizations. DVRPC is the regional planning forum for the Greater Philadelphia region, with a focus on transportation, land use, the environment and economic growth.

Alison received a BS from Cornell University and a Master’s in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Christian R. Herr
Executive President
Pennag Industries Association

Christian R. Herr is the Executive Vice President of PennAg Industries Association. In his position, he and his staff of seven represent the interests of more than 570 agribusiness and production agriculture operations. PennAg is a full-time, full-service membership association that represents businesses of all sizes and types and advocates and lobbies for its members in government, public and media affairs. Around for over 130 years, PennAg is the premier agribusiness association in Pennsylvania.

Before joining PennAg, Chris served 18 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, eight of those as Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs. He served in the administrations of six different governors. Chris grew up on a family farm in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. The Herr Family currently operates farms in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Delaware.

Chris is a 1985 graduate of Penn State University and has a degree in Agriculture Education.

Chad M. Kimmel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
Shippensburg University

Chad teaches courses in Community Sociology, Criminology, Deviance, and Juvenile Delinquency. His 2004 dissertation, “Levittown, Pennsylvania: A Sociological History,” chronicled--with the use of oral histories of original residents--the development of one of the more famous postwar, mass-produced suburbs. His current research and writing pursuits include a grant-funded evaluation project of Main Street programs in Pennsylvania, research on the two-year life story of the Carlisle Area Central Farmers Market, and a community building initiative—The Shippensburg Area Time Bank—that uses a complementary currency (Time Dollars) to strengthen the relationship between town and gown (

Chad received his B.A. in Sociology/Criminal Justice from Millersville University, an M.A. in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University.

Ana Carolina C. Murphy

Carolina has extensive experience in raising funds and managing the day- to-day operations of organizations in the public and private sectors. For the past 10 years, prior to starting, she has worked for private sector institutions in Brazil and in the United States. Additionally, she is an independent researcher and who has conducted research projects for Dalberg Global Development Advisors as well as the Inter-American Development Bank. Throughout her career, Carolina has lived in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Houston (US), Theoule Sur Le Mer (France), New Delhi (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), and currently she resides in New York City.

Carolina completed her Masters in Economic and Political Development at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University where she received the Walter N. Maguire Honor fellowship.

Mathew Sanderson Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Lehigh University

Matt is directing Lehigh's Southside Community Gardens Project this year. His recent research investigates the relationship between population dynamics and development processes, focusing largely on the causes and consequences of international migration. He teaches courses on international migration, globalization, and food, agriculture, and the environment.

Matt received his B.S. Finance (minor in Economics), Kansas State University, M.A. Sociology, Kansas State University, and his Ph.D. Sociology, University of Utah.

Xiomara Sinisterra-Hunter
Research Consultant on Biotechnology Trends and Applications

Xiomara has over ten-years of experience working with the development, applications, and social acceptance of plant biotechnology, genomics, and molecular biology used to solve problems associated with plant diseases and hunger. My professional training has resulted in completion of advanced degrees in Microbiology, Plant Physiology, and Plant Pathology. Much of the research and most of the biotechnology programs involved include international agreements which must address the many hurdles of political, regulatory, and societal understanding and acceptance of these emerging solutions. Thus, past and current experiences also involve coordination of international multidisciplinary research initiatives, and extensive program management in the areas of biosafety, biotechnology research, and human capacity building.

Xiomara received her B.Sc. in microbiology from Universidad de Los Andes, Columbia, M.Sc. Plant Physiology from National University of Colombia, and her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida.

Ansley Watson
Operations Associate
Peeled Snacks

Ansley has worked on projects ranging from the cattle industry’s affect on the environment to the benefits of rendering practices. Ansley is an expert in industrial food waste in urban areas. She is currently a Dartmouth Fellow. Her research on American agricultural studies and polyculture will coalesce in a policy paper, recommending subsidies for diversified, low-impact farms. Ansley recently took a position as the Operations Associate at Peeled Snacks, a purveyor of organic dried fruit.

Ansley received her under graduate degree in Anthropology from Dartmouth College and received her master’s degree in Food Systems from New York University.

Russel Redding

Governor Rendell nominated Russell C. Redding to serve as Secretary of Agriculture in September 2009, and was confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 16, 2009. He previously served as Executive Deputy Secretary for the Department. Redding brings with him an innate understanding of production agriculture, stemming from his youth on his family’s dairy farm in Gettysburg and his time as a dairy farm operator with his wife, Nina.

In this post, he oversees the day-to-day management of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for issues related to Pennsylvania's number one industry. A part of the Department’s leadership team since 1995, Redding previously provided oversight and guidance to Bureaus as a Deputy Secretary.

Redding also has extensive experience as a public servant, having spent more than 20 years serving Pennsylvania in Harrisburg and in Washington D.C. Through his work as the Vocational Student Organization Coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Redding provided leadership to the Pennsylvania FFA Association.

As a member of the Department of Labor & Industry’s executive staff, Redding helped shape policies that kept Pennsylvania businesses thriving and bolstered the state’s workforce.

Expanding his service to Pennsylvania beyond the state’s borders, Redding served as Agricultural Policy Advisor and Executive Assistant to United States Senator Harris Wofford. In this role, Secretary Redding provided leadership to the agriculture industry for the state and the nation, and was able to support Pennsylvanians on critical issues such as community and economic development, volunteerism/community service and national agriculture policies.

Redding is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, having earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agriculture and Extension Education. In 2005, he was named an Outstanding Alum by the university. Redding was also a Pennsylvania State FFA Officer, serving as Vice President for the agricultural education organization. In recognition of his support, Redding has been awarded the Honorary Keystone Degree and the Honorary American Degree. In 2009, the Pennsylvania FFA Association recognized him for his 30 years of committed service to the organization.

Redding, his wife Nina and sons Garrison and Elliot reside in Adams County, where the family is active in the Upper Adams 4-H Club.

Brian Snyder

Brian SnyderBrian Snyder is Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), a position he has held since 2001. Mr. Snyder hails originally from the state of Indiana where both of his grandfathers had been dairy farmers, and his family operated a purebred hog operation on a small farm. Brian holds two masters degrees, from Harvard University (Theological Studies) and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass/Amherst (Business Administration).  In addition to writing and speaking in a number of venues on the subject of sustainable agriculture, Mr. Snyder also serves on several related boards, including the Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations and the FoodRoutes Network, where he currently holds the position of board chair. He also serves in an advisory capacity for the Pennsylvania Dairy Task Force, the Northeast Sustainable Ag Working Group and the School of Hospitality at the Penn College of Technology in Williamsport, PA.

Kevin Matthews

Kevin MatthewsKevin Mathews is the Director of Health and Environmental Affairs for Nestle Waters North America where he is responsible for all regulatory, health and environmental programs. Prior to his current role, Kevin was the Director of Quality Assurance for the company. With over 30 years of operational and technical management experience in the food and beverage industry, he serves in leadership positions on many industry association and customer committee work groups including the International Bottled Water Association, Grocery Manufacturer Association, Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable and Walmart Food and Agriculture Sustainable Value Network.  Kevin is a frequent speaker on water and environmental sustainability topics around the country. 

Maurice M. Sampson II
President & CEO, Niche Waste Reduction and Recycling Systems, Inc

Maurice M. Sampson II is a sustainable waste management expert with forty years of experience as a recycling advocate, bureaucrat and consultant. Nationally recognized as one of the pioneers in municipal recycling, he served as the first urban recycling coordinator on the US east coast for the Cities of Newark, New Jersey, (1982 -85) and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1985 – 87). Over the past two decades Mr. Sampson has lent his expertise to cities across the country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Milwaukee, Chicago, among others. He has also served as a consultant to the Institute for Local Self Reliance, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Environmental Protection for Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Prince George County Maryland.

Currently, Mr. Sampson is the President and CEO of Niche Recycling and Waste Reduction Systems, Inc. providing business to business expertise to make waste management more efficient, reducing costs and designing programs for waste reduction, recycling and composting. Niche Recycling designs sustainable waste management programs that are good for the bottom line and the environment.

Specializing in small, on-site organic waste collection and composting systems, Mr. Sampson oversaw the installation of the regions first, in-vessel” composting “Earth Tub” to service restaurant food waste from the White Dog Café in West Philadelphia. He also represents organic waste systems popular in Europe and the Far East.

Mr. Sampson is the Chair for the Recycle NOW Philadelphia Campaign, a city wide citizen’s education and civic action campaign credited with Mayor Nutter’s commitment to expand Philadelphia’s recycling program.