Board of Directors
Mark B. Lapping, President
Mark B. Lapping in the Distinguished University Professor and Executive Director of the Edmund S. Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Previously he served the University as its Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs from 1994-2000 and 2007-2009. Prior to that he was the founding Dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University where he was also the Associate Director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. He also served as the founding Director of the School of Rural Planning and Development at Ontario’s University of Guelph and as Associate Director of the Environmental Program at the University of Vermont. He has served on the Board of the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and many other farming-related bodies. He is the author/co-author of 10 books and many journal articles, reviews and monographs.
Roger Allbee grew up on a small hillside farm in southern Vermont. He served as the Vermont Secretary of Agriculture and the State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency. His accomplishments are extensive and vary from serving as a Senior International Business Consultant for agricultural trade policy to serving as a professional staff member of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. His previous experience includes Vice President of the former Farm Credit Banks in Springfield, Massachusetts and as an Extension specialist at Cornell University.
Patrick Field is the managing director of North American Programs at CBI and Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program.
Patrick has helped thousands of stakeholders reach agreement on natural resource, land use, water, and air issues across the United States and Canada. Patrick is listed on the roster of conflict resolution professionals of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution. He holds an M.C.P. in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is co-author of the award-winning book, Dealing with an Angry Public, as well as numerous journal articles and research papers.
Asia Hampton comes to the table with over 10 years of experience working in all areas of the food system to increase equitable access to food and opportunity, from working food service in Southern California to running an aggregate CSA and value-added pickle company that sourced exclusively from farmers of color in the Bay Area.
She currently works as a Business Skills Advisor with California FarmLink to connect agricultural business owners of marginalized identities to the resources they need to build long-term stability and wealth in their communities.
Originally from San Diego, Asia moved up the California coast to attend UC Santa Barbara where she earned a B.A. in Sociology. She holds a Master’s in Food Systems at NYU.
Jack Kartez is a professor of Planning, Development and the Environment at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine. Professor Kartez teaches Planning Theory & History, Land Use Modeling with GIS, Citizen Involvement & Dispute Resolution, and Local Environmental Planning. Extensively published, he has served two terms each on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Planning Association and the Journal of Planning Literature. He takes a special interest in incorporating principles of dispute resolution as alternatives to nonproductive conflict in community planning and environmental issues.
Dr. Kartez provides training in consensus building and leadership to many of the Muskie School’s external constituencies through programs such as the joint Muskie/Maine Municipal Association Leadership Program and the Smart Growth Education Initiative of the New England Environmental Finance Center, for which he is Associate Director.
Lorraine Stuart Merrill
Lorraine Stuart Merrill, lifelong dairy farmer and writer, was New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture, Markets & Food from 2007 through 2017. She is a partner in Stuart Farm LLC, a multi-generational, family-owned and operated dairy farm in the New Hampshire Seacoast with a herd of Registered Holstein and Brown Swiss cattle. Over more than 30 years she was an independent journalist specializing in agriculture, business and the environment—a columnist and field editor for Hoard’s Dairyman, and contributor to numerous regional, national and international farm and general interest publications. She also did technical writing and editing in the planning and environment field, and co-authored a book with Peter Francese,Communities and Consequences: The Unbalancing of New Hampshire’s Human Ecology and What We Can Do about It.
A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Lorraine served a total 18 years as Trustee of the University System of New Hampshire, and was elected to two terms on her local school board. A founding member of the NH Coalition for Sustaining Agriculture, she has held leadership roles in many agricultural organizations, including eight years as USDA Farm Service Agency State Committee Chair. Lorraineand her husband John were recognized with the American Farmland Trust’s nationalSteward of the Land Award in 2003. She was a 2007-08 Food and Society Policy Fellow, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Thomas Jefferson Institute of Agriculture.
Neal Rodar has over 16 years of experience in professional mediation. He was Director of the Woodbury Dispute Resolution Center for ten years. Neal’s Board and Committee memberships include the Professional Responsibility Board of the Vermont Supreme Court, the Vermont Board of Bar Examiners, the Environmental Mediation Center, the Oversight Committee of the Vermont Family Court Mediation Program, and the Vermont Environmental Court Mediation Program. Neal has worked extensively developing mediation programs with State Governments and serves as Mediator-in-Residence at the Woodbury Institute at Champlain College in their Masters in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies program.
Peter was President of The Keystone Center, which applies consensus-building and scientific information to energy, environmental, and health related policy problems. Peter’s specialty is multi-party negotiation and problem solving. He has worked extensively on water management, resource planning, agricultural issues, land planning issues, and marine and coastal affairs. Prior to Keystone, Peter held executive positions with the Hawaii Justice Foundation, the Hawaii Supreme Court’s Center for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), and the Neighborhood Justice Center. He has served as President of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. Peter has written extensively in the field of mediation and conflict resolution. He is the author of Eye of the Storm Leadership (2008); co-author of Managing Scientific & Technical Information in Environmental Cases (1999); Building Trust: 20 Things You Can Do to Help Environmental Stakeholder Groups Talk More Effectively About Science, Culture, Professional Knowledge, and Community Wisdom (National Policy Consensus Center, 2002); the author of Beyond Paradise and Oxtail Soup (Ox Bow Press, 1993 and 2000) and numerous other articles and monographs.
IN MEMORIAM — Kathy Ozer, 1958-2017
Kathy Ozer was the executive director of the National Family Farm Coalition and worked on farm, rural, and fair trade policy for over 20 years. In the mid-1980s, she worked for the United States Student Association (USSA) on education access issues. She represented NFFC on the boards/coordinating committees of the Citizens Trade Campaign, Jobs with Justice, and the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. Kathy was part of the farmer delegations at the WTO in Seattle and Cancun and at the United Nations. Her work addressed the credit and global food crisis; holding onto farmer wins to restore fairness and competition in farm and food policy and efforts to address the ongoing dairy farmer crisis. Kathy received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and enjoys living in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood in DC.