Currently in her second run as President of the Friends, Vikki served as the first president of Friends for two and a half years. A longtime resident of Evanston, she taught 7th and 8th graders for 30 years, 18 of those at King Lab School in Evanston. She and her husband, Sheldon, have been Evanston farmers market shoppers since its earliest days and welcome the chance to support the mission of Friends.
Although they leave the farming to two of their sons, their home in northwest Evanston is the site for a weekly summer CSA pickup and a community herb garden. Vikki enjoys working with D65 teachers at the market, cooking recipes and researching farm and food issues for Friends’ website. Recently, she took a course, US Food Policy, from Johns Hopkins Univ/Coursera and would highly recommend this avenue of study! She hopes her involvement with Friends will promote healthier eating and the conservation of our valuable farmland.
Originally from Chicago’s northwest suburbs, it was on a serendipitous trip east down Dempster St. that she landed in Evanston and fell in love with its lakefront, trees, energy and the pre-July Fourth territory settlements on Central St.. She always loved to cook and entertain, so she pursued a degree from Kendall College’s culinary school when it was still in Evanston. That degree, and her love of food and wine, propelled her to many happy years working in commercial kitchens of restaurants, gourmet shops, a seafood market and caterers. She made a career switch in 2002, and is now a program manager for Executive Education Programs at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. It is a position she describes as catering with people and paper instead of with people and food. Cindee also is involved with philanthropic activities of the Woman’s Club of Evanston.
As Community Liaison for Friends, Cindee helps connect the community with ways to cook the delicious produce from market farms by organizing Chef Demonstrations. She knows you will love the joy of simple homemade meals using beautiful, fresh ingredients available at Evanston’s market.
Jane joined the Friends board as Grant Coordinator, and this past year has added the job of Treasurer to her job description. An Evanston resident for 13 years, she has served as co-chair of the Evanston Garden Fair and on the Evanston Garden Walk committee. Originally from Michigan, Jane spent 20 years in Chicago where she developed a passion for growing. A former board member of the Sheffield Neighborhood Assn., she was also treasurer of the Sheffield Garden Walk, which features over 100 city gardens. She completed two certificate programs at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Treekeepers and Master Gardener. In recent years her focus has shifted from ornamental gardening to local food initiatives.
With an education in finance, her career was in commercial lending, the derivatives markets and customized training. She was also on the faculty and instrumental in designing the Financial Markets and Trading Masters degree program at Illinois Institute of Technology.
In 2011, after a career in the finance world, Sheldon joined the founding board of Friends as treasurer. His expertise aided in getting the organization 501C3 non-profit status. Currently he is serving on the board as Secretary.
A long time market shopper, he has widened his agriculture skills and knowledge by spending time over the last 7 years working on sons Chad and Gareth’s family organic farms in Benton Harbor, Michigan and Evanston, Illinois. He has learned first hand how to clear, plow, plant, and harvest many varied crops, amid bugs, rain, mud, cold and heat. Laboring on a farm creates a much better understanding of how much work it takes to produce our produce.
Laura, our Communications Director, has long believed in food as medicine, but became even more convinced after spending two years trying to figure out her own food sensitivities. As a marketing communications strategist, Laura helps for-profit businesses to grow by creating and disseminating messages that build awareness among new audiences and increase engagement among existing clients. She joined the Friends board in 2015 to apply these skills toward the goal of helping to build a healthier community by promoting education about the benefits of eating wholesome foods.
Mia Mouratis, an Evanston resident for 26 years, is proud to help advocate for Evanston Farmers Markets. This year, she will enlist the help of both new and old members in advancing the FEFM program’s volunteer base. Knowing how rewarding it has been for her personally, she will be encouraging these community activists in their work at the market and with our annual fundraising.,
Mia is delighted to continue her passion of supporting local farmers. She is continually excited to reap the benefits of knowing where food is grown for her friends and family, and she looks forward to sharing it with new community members! Originally hailing from northern Illinois, Mia has a liberal arts education from Beloit College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology.
Mark Dolnick manages the website you’re visiting right now. In his mundane life throughout the week, he is an editor of film and video who has been compelled to expand into many other forms of communication. Including websites. He hopes you enjoy visiting this one. He also writes the weekly Friends newsletter with the advice and input of the entire board.
On Saturdays he is transformed into a jolly purveyor of vegetables and fruit for Green Acres Farm of North Judson, Indiana. He is still overwhelmed every week by the transformation of an ugly parking lot into a venue of wonderful colors, textures and aromas. “The market is magic,” he says, “and I’m proud to have been a sorcerer’s apprentice for the last eleven years.”