Our Team

We are a team of hardworking, fun-loving individuals motivated to share how easy it can be to make and eat vegetable-forward dishes at home.

Staff

Maddy Booth Chief Executive Officer

Maddy Booth Chief Executive Officer

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-When I moved back to Philly from the UK, I worked as a server at the first Pizzeria Vetri for its first year. The rest is history!

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

Fortunately, it relates to my job: I will happily talk about food at length. From growing and learning to forage to exploring food cultures from around the world and supporting local Philadelphia restaurants, food is central to everything.

Who would you choose (current or historical!) to be your life mentor, and why?
Michelle Obama for her wisdom, strength, and to remind me to remain kind especially through hard times.

What school or community activity was your favorite growing up?

From a young age through my college years, I spent all of my extra time playing sports - soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. I do think that I missed my calling by not participating in musicals, but there's still time.

Allison Amodea Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

Allison Amodea Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I feel really inspired by artichokes because they have a lot of heart.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-Cats, soup, and duolingo

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-What’s the rush?

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-I love to cook soup! You can use whatever you have on hand, and it makes your house smell like a savory candle. Soup is so warming and comforting.

Tara Bledsoe, MS, RDN, LDN Community Dietitian

Tara Bledsoe, MS, RDN, LDN Community Dietitian

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-Swiss chard because it is dependable. You can plant it in the spring and harvest its leaves over and over throughout the growing season. Even in the hottest part of the summer you can depend on getting chard!

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-Farming! I grew up on a third generation farm in Western New York, where my father still has beef cattle and makes maple syrup. I have also worked on vegetable farms for the last 13 years where I get all my yummy produce.

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-My winding career path led me to be a biology researcher, a vegetable farmer, and then a nutrition educator. In my late thirties, while my children were both under the age of three, I decided to go back to graduate school to become a registered dietitian, combining all of my career experiences and passions. I am proud of completing all the hard work that goes into becoming a registered dietitian, and I am extremely grateful for my family’s support during the process.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-I like to cook pie based on the seasons. Strawberry rhubarb in the spring, blueberry and raspberry in the summer, pumpkin and apple in the fall, and whatever fruit is left in my freezer in the winter!

Elizabeth Bodnar SNAP-Ed Educator

Elizabeth Bodnar SNAP-Ed Educator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-Potato - Solid, Reliable, the MOST versatile, great nutrition profile, more variety than people expect, and everyone loves it!

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-I have been studying nutrition for a decade. I've taught Nutrition Education courses before and was excited for the opportunity to work with kids in Philly. I wish I would've had an experience like VCL offers when I was in school.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-Get me excited about anything and I could go on and on but...FOOD! It is absolutely what I love most about being a person. I love everything about it - Shopping at grocery stores, farmer's markets, or artisan boutiques. I love to cook, try new recipes, and flavor combinations. But most of all I love to eat, to taste, savor, and enjoy the flavors and know how it nourishes my body!

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-Soup! I love the process! All the chopping and preparation, building layers of flavors, allowing it to simmer and cook slowly while filling the space with the best fragrance. Then it all comes together in one pot of hearty, warming, comforting, nourishing goodness

Danielle Brown Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Fiona Brownswell Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Mary Bullock Program Director

Mary Bullock Program Director

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I would be fennel because I'm resourceful and happiest when surrounded by a variety of people and perspectives. Similarly, fennel is an ingredient in many different culinary traditions (very adaptable) and you can use every part of the plant to make something delicious (very resourceful)! Roughly chopped fennel seeds or fennel pollen are for spice blends or rubs. The wispy leaves and bulbs can be eaten raw or cooked. My favorite way to eat fennel right now is thinly sliced in a spunky salad with grapefruit, good feta and olive oil.

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-One of my dearest friends recommended that I join the team in 2016. We met while working at Fork restaurant in Old City, Philadelphia three years earlier. While she went straight from the kitchen to VCP I took the scenic route, in search of new ways to better connect people and their food. Deciding to leave a career in food production years ago was a major shift-- you could even call it a defining moment in my career. But I think the real agent of change is a friendship that began with a shared passion for food.

What school or community activity was your favorite growing up?

-I loved anything crafty when I was young. We used to have Brownies meetings in our school cafeteria after school. I spent so much time on the arts and crafts projects that I was always the last one to leave. Big thanks to my mom who would have to get out of the car line to come remind me that everyone else was gone.

Kathy Cochet Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Dominique Cook Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

Dominique Cook Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-I’m most proud of my children! I love being a mom and all that it takes to raise them to be kind, happy and successful adults. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

What school or community activity was your favorite growing up? i.e. after-school activities

-I always enjoyed after school sports. After a long day at school, I looked forward to being outside, coming together with my teammates, and practicing or playing in a game.

What neighborhood do you live in? What do you like about it?

-I’ve lived in West Mt. Airy for about 20 years. Since I love nature, I feel very grateful to have the Wissahickon so close. I walk there daily with my dogs. The people in my neighborhood are also very friendly.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-I would say Chicken Piccata is my favorite thing to cook! I add white wine to my recipe and love the combination of lemon, shallots, butter, garlic and capers-and don’t forget the pasta!

Lacey Cornell SNAP-Ed Program Manager

Lacey Cornell SNAP-Ed Program Manager

What brought you to Vetri Community Partnership?

-Right out of grad school, I joined FoodCorps and was part of that AmeriCorps program for 3 years in Arkansas and Iowa, teaching children and their families about gardening and nutrition education. After completing my terms of service, my family relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico and I joined Kids Cook! as a nutrition educator and food procurement manager. My family moved to Philly in June 2021 and are excited to lay

If you were a vegetable what would you be and why?

-Rainbow Swiss Chard: I'm colorful and at my best when I've had time to cook for a bit.

What's an interest you could go on and on about?

-Foodways and folklore. I loved it so much I got my master's degree in it.

What neighborhood do you live in and what do you like most about it?

-Swampoodle within Strawberry Mansion. I like looking at all of the rowhouses around my area to see the different architectural stylings from street to street.

Kelsey DeCerchio SNAP-Ed Educator

Kelsey DeCerchio SNAP-Ed Educator

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-When I was in my final year of my undergraduate degree, I was really feeling frustrated and was looking for something to connect my interests (food, culture) and a need for hands-on, giving back type medium. I interned for a similar organization in Philadelphia doing what I do now, and realized that was what I wanted to be doing. It was a mind-expanding experience! I then moved to Italy and taught English for a year, and when I returned, I started looking very hard for an opportunity like my internship, and with perfect timing a position opened up at VCP.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-My mom calls me the bartender from Cheers since I could talk about anything, but I could go on and on about languages and dialects in languages, bicycles, environmental justice, art history, the library, and food justice!

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-I'm most proud of living abroad in Italy twice, and becoming fluent in Italian over time through school and working. Even more so, I can understand and speak some of the dialect of the area where I lived (which is like another language separate from Italian!)

What neighborhood do you live in? What do you like about it?

-I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, went to Temple University (go Owls!), and haven't really lived anywhere since. So I've lived in so many neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and I love it all. Thing I love most is how much I've connected with my neighbors. It's the best thing about Philadelphia; the neighborly love.

Tara Mataraza Desmond Culinary Medicine Program Manager

Tara Mataraza Desmond Culinary Medicine Program Manager

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-A tomato. It's versatile, adaptable to change, gets along with lots of other ingredients. You can make something fancy with tomatoes, but they also stand on their own without a lot of extra.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-Food's impact on mental and physical well-being!

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-Writing and releasing three cookbooks over the same stretch of six years during which I became a parent of three.

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-Quality over quantity... in friends, work, education, and, of course food.

Lexi Donahue Vetri Cooking Lab (OST) Program Coordinator

Lexi Donahue Vetri Cooking Lab (OST) Program Coordinator

What life/school/work accomplishment are you most proud of?

-My senior year of college, I won an environmental studies research award for a project I did on avocado production in Mexico. The paper itself was about10 pages long and it also had an accompanying comic book which explained the details in simpler terms, and for which I pulled an all-nighter drawing and coloring. I still think about it every time I go to the grocery store.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-Anyone in my life knows that I can’t shut up about whatever media I’m consuming at the moment, whether that’s a show, book, videogame, or comic, which is always changing. But one thing that’s consistent is that I love to talk about nature—chances are if we’re outside, I’ll be pointing out and identifying trees, plants, and birds and giving you fun facts like, “starlings were introduced to the states by a man who decided that he wanted all of the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s works to exist in the US.”

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-My favorite thing to cook is whatever I’m making for my friends and family! But for myself, I’ve been experimenting a lot recently with Chinese and Japanese cooking and it’s been super fun. I’ve learned a lot and tried a lot of new flavors and methods of cooking. I think I’d have to say my favorite thing to make is still stir fry because there are just infinite combinations of ingredients and flavors—and I get to use all my favorite vegetables and make crispy tofu.

Fae Ehsan Development & Communications Manager

Fae Ehsan Development & Communications Manager

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-Definitely Harry Potter! I've read all the books multiple times, and I have a series of theories about almost every character.

Who would you choose (current or historical!) to be your life mentor, and why?

-My dream life mentor would be Ida B. Wells, a journalist, educator, and civil rights activist. She was the first journalist in the US to report on lynching, and her brave reporting is upheld as the standard in journalistic reporting to this day. She was also committed to obtaining the right to vote for black women. She is my hero!

What is your favorite food?

-Pasta! Any kind of pasta is my kind of pasta.

What neighborhood do you live in?

-I live in West Philly, and I love it here. There is so much incredible diversity here, and so many great restaurants and parks.

Jamie Giambrone SNAP-Ed Educator

Jamie Giambrone SNAP-Ed Educator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-Probably a Brussel sprout because when I roast them I like to add vinegar and salt to them which suits my personality.

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-During virtual school last year both my kids had 4 weeks of Vetri lessons on zoom. I was able to sit next to them, off of the screen of course so their friends did not see me, and absorb the interesting lesson. I could practically smell the tasty looking food simmering over zoom. I signed up for the Vetri newsletter, tried out several of their recipes and joined a virtual family cooking class one evening with my kids and just knew I had to join the Vetri team!

What neighborhood do you live in? What do you like about it?

-Fishtown/Kenington. I love my neighbors, they are so fun and so supportive! We take block parties seriously! Also there are so many great shops and restaurants to walk to.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-I have two favorites!
My "work famous" broccoli bites. I can't show up to a gathering without them.
The second is I love making pizzelle cookies with my daughter every winter. They also remind me of my Italian great-aunt who made them every year as gifts for everyone.

Timmara Gooden Out-of-School Time Manager

Timmara Gooden Out-of-School Time Manager

Who would you choose (current or historical!) to be your life mentor, and why?

-I would choose Beyonce because she is a humanitarian. She founded BeyGood which is now a PUBLIC CHARITY FOUNDATION. Which supports everything I believe in when giving back to my community by supporting small businesses and people of color. Her influence addresses issues in the world that we are all currently living through; Sexism, Racism, LGBTQ+ rights... this list can go on, besides everything she does for the world she is one hundred and ten percent a leader in women empowerment and this is why I would choose her.

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-I have learned to never give up on anything that I want in life. No matter how long or strenuous the journey is you will get there if you give the effort and believe in yourself. DONT QUIT!

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-My favorite thing to cook would be fish and grits with a special peppers sauce. It's something about the savory spices that gives it a KICK of flavor in every bite.

Megan Reilly Hargrave Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

Megan Reilly Hargrave Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I would be a carrot because they are strong but also a little sweet.

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-I recently completed my certification as a Culinary Medicine Specialist. I was looking for a way to apply those skills and found out about the Vetri Community Partnership.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-My two daughters. I am so proud of them!

What's your real-life super power (talent)?

-Being able to fall asleep within 30 seconds of laying down! I think this is even faster on days I have taught a VCL class!

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-Holiday cookies! I know they are not the healthiest of the foods I make, but they are definitely my favorite indulgence!

Jahiyrah Hawkins Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Jen Holman Community Education Manager

Jen Holman Community Education Manager

What is an interest you could go on and on about?

-Sauna! My grandparents had roots in Finland, and one of the traditions that we hold on to is the family sauna. In Finland sauna is an intergenerational event, preferably followed by a freezing cold dip (or roll in the snow, if you're feeling bold!) One of my cousins even bought an ice saw, so that we can swim in the middle of winter. Our family sauna is in Massachusetts, so I can't use it as often as I like, but I never get tired of talking about the benefits of sitting in a 200 degree room and then jumping into an icy lake!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

-For the last few years I have been part of a team that opened a small grocery store in South Philadelphia. I'm very proud of the success of the store, which managed to stay open and serve the community throughout the challenges of the pandemic. Providing fresh, affordable produce and healthful prepared foods to our neighborhood has been a privilege and it's gratifying to see the impact thoughtful business can have.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-My favorite thing to cook is risotto. It's a dish that has a reputation for being sort of difficult or fussy, but really all it takes is a little patience. A simple parmesan risotto was one of the first recipes I ever picked out and learned to prepare on my own, and making it is kind of a reset for me when I'm feeling tired or in a cooking rut.

Meg Kelly Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Christin Kwasny Development Director

Christin Kwasny Development Director

What brought you to Vetri Community Partnership?

-Out of college, I started working for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. It was there that I realized that my passion for supporting members of my community could be a career. This then paved the way for me to do fundraising for the National Kidney Foundation and after 9 years, happily the joined Vetri Community Partnership team!

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-The Sixers (and probably Eagles too). I love Philly sports!

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-Being a mom to 2 amazing boys!

What school or community activity was your favorite growing up?

-After school, I loved playing soccer with my friends. Early on, we would play on the school yard but as I grew older, I was a member of my school team.

Sam Landsberg Community Education Manager

Sam Landsberg Community Education Manager

Who would you choose to be your life mentor, and why?

-Julia Child! She changed the world without compromising the weird and wonderful person she was.

What school or community activity was your favorite growing up?

-I loved any kind of art class. I was especially focused on drawing and it's still something I do almost every day.

What's the most important life lesson you've learned thus far?

-The most important life lesson I've learned so far is to listen. Everyone I meet knows something that I don't know or has experienced something that I haven't and listening and taking those things seriously has made me more compassionate. I'm grateful to everyone that has taken the time to teach me something!

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I think I'd be a radish, because I'm friendly and adapt myself to most situations (ie. salads, tacos, etc). I'm also a little spicy and go great with butter.

Ericka Lewis Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Tess Mailey Development Coordinator

Tess Mailey Development Coordinator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I think I would be corn because I'm adaptable, reliable, and I thrive in the summertime.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-My favorite thing to cook is linguine with clams. Every summer, I go to Island Beach State Beach to go clamming and then I make this dish right after. For me, cooking this dish marks the beginning of summer!

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-The overall importance of embracing vulnerability and imperfection.

What neighborhood do you live in? What do you like about it?

-I live in the East Passyunk neighborhood and I love how much amazing food is here (including Korshak Bagels - the best bagels in the city!).

Vicki Mines Community Educator

Vicki Mines Community Educator

What is an interest you could go on and on about?

-I am a self taught gardener and absolutely love it, from flowers to food.

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?

-I took a leap of faith when I resigned from my job after 12yrs to return to school and get my BS in nutrition. I received a lot of support from family and friends and still consider it to be one of my life's best decisions

What was your favorite activity growing up?

-I enjoyed going to tennis camp. It was an opportunity to learn something new and hangout with my friends in the neighborhood.

What neighborhood do you live in and what do you enjoy most about it?

-I live in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. It is rich in history and has a lot of scenic areas.

Alexandra Mitrovich Community Educator
Emily Oppenheim Business Intelligence Manager

Emily Oppenheim Business Intelligence Manager

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I would be a sweet potato! Despite my absolute love my veggies, I also have a crazy sweet tooth. This is why a sweet potato is my happy medium between the two while still being an excellent source of nutrients the body. It's nature's candy!

Who would you choose (current or historical!) to be your life mentor, and why?

-I have great interest in animals and the natural world and I would love someone like David Attenborough to be my mentor due to that fact. David has great knowledge about our planet and that which inhabits it. His interests and passion for the subject shines through in his work and I would love the opportunity to learn from him and his vast number of experiences throughout his 60+ years in the field.

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-Never doubt that one person can make a difference.

What is your favorite food?

-Tacos! I love how versatile they are with their many combinations, flavors and toppings. They also remind me of warmer weather which is always a plus.

Caryl Palmer Operations Coordinator

Caryl Palmer Operations Coordinator

What is a topic you could go on and on about?

-Dogs and Ireland.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

-In life, being able to advocate for the care of my parents near their end of life. In work, seeing team members turn around deficient performance after investing in their development. And in school, graduating High school and college at ages 15 and 19 respectively.

If you were a vegetable what would you be and why?

-Spinach because I can be good for you and strong like iron.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-Chorizo with a blush sauce over pasta

Elena Rece SNAP-Ed Educator

Elena Rece SNAP-Ed Educator

What school or community activity was your favorite growing up?

-Growing up I loved to play chess and lacrosse.

What is your real life super power or talent?

-I am able to speak Romanian; it was my first language before English!

Who would you choose (current or historical!) to be your life mentor, and why?

-I would choose Michelle Obama as a mentor because I think she is such a powerful influential female leader of our time.

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-Completing my BA from Bloomsburg University as a first generation student!

Tracy Rogusky Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Mar Sherman SNAP-Ed Educator

Mar Sherman SNAP-Ed Educator

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-No one defining moment, but my passion is in food justice and food sovereignty. I believe everyone deserves access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate, and sustainably grown food. I've spent the last few years exploring the food system, including working on SNAP policy, farming, and working at a farmer's market. I'm excited to take this next step and bring the joy of cooking and nutrition to children through my work at VCP!

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-Roller derby! I've been playing since 2017 and I LOVE it. Don't get me started!

What neighborhood do you live in and what do you like about it?

-I live in West Philly and I LOVE it. There's so much good food here! It also feels like the perfect mix of being close to the city without being too crowded. I can just hop on the MFL and be right in the city in 20 minutes, but there's also trees in my neighborhood!

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-I love making lasagna! It's very versatile, and it requires some assembling but it's not fussy. My favorite to make is spinach and mushroom lasagna, but I'll throw in whatever I have around!

Courtney Smith Community Educator

Courtney Smith Community Educator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I think I'd be asparagus because I thrive in the springtime.

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-Recently, I traveled with a youth non-profit circus as a cook across New England for 10 weeks, and I am super proud to have helped get the show down the road.

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-To have fun with it as often as possible & to never serve meatloaf on a hot summer day.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-Roasted delicata squash! The underdog squash champion! Usually with some sort of warm tahini dressing.

Whitney Smith Marketing Coordinator

Whitney Smith Marketing Coordinator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-If I were a vegetable, I would be a shishito pepper because I'm mostly sweet, but like to add a bit of spice here and there!

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-I'm really proud of the garden my roommates and I built in our backyard - it was a lot of work but so worth it! We've been using it to grow our own vegetables for two years now.

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-Balance is key! To work hard while not taking yourself too seriously, to find joy and presence in everything you do (even if some days are better than others), and to do your best while not getting too caught up in the imperfections.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-One of my favorite things to cook is ramen. I love making the broth from scratch and getting really creative with it. Sometimes I'll use my mortar and pestle to make garlic, scallion, and ginger paste for the broth, add miso, and load it up with lots of veggies! Also, who doesn't love ramen?

Staci Steinfield Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

Staci Steinfield Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I'd be a sweet potato! I have a serious sweet tooth. I love how I can satisfy my cravings with a nutritious powerhouse.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-I am fascinated by how food affects us both physically and emotionally. Emotionally food has the power to bring us to a place and time. It's woven into our childhood memories and our cultural traditions. It can be a way of sharing our love with one another. As I have gotten older my physical connection to food has grown exponentially. I see food as a way to really nourish and take care of my health. I'm currently following a lot of the research connecting the microbiome of the small intestine to overall health.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

-Desserts!!! I don't have any one specific dessert. It's really about what I'm craving at the time. The aromas filling my home when I'm baking bring me almost as much joy as eating.

Dana Stonerock Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Ambrazia Sublett MS, RDN Culinary Medicine Dietitian

Ambrazia Sublett MS, RDN Culinary Medicine Dietitian

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-I feel that I am more of a fruit but if I had to choose a vegetable, I would say I would be a sweet potato. I think sweet potatoes are versatile they can be roasted, sautéed, fried and even boiled. They can be sweet, and savory and I feel that I can be versatile and used for many different things.

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-I worked with Cooperative Extension through the University of Kentucky Nutrition Education program. This position that I worked for four consecutive summers while in undergrad it involved traveling to various counties throughout Kentucky in low socioeconomic communities teaching kids about nutrition through lessons, games and cooking. I knew I enjoyed teaching and showing people how to nourish their bodies. The VCP position was shared by my mentor on LinkedIn and I applied and now I'm here!

What's your real-life super power (talent)?

-Staying positive under pressure

What's the most important (life) lesson you've learned thus far?

-Sometimes you have to be uncomfortable and challenge your comfort zone to grow.

Tom Whitney Finance Manager

Tom Whitney Finance Manager

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-I love music! I have been playing saxophone in & around the Philadelphia area for the past few years, performing anything from Billy Joel to Duke Ellington. My weekends are often filled with performing, going to shows, or jamming out in my apartment.

What life/work/school accomplishment are you most proud of?

-In college, I got my hands on the demo of a video game, and replaced all of the sound effects & music with my own. Getting so see all of the pieces fall into place at the end was extraordinarily satisfying.

Who would you choose (current or historical!) to be your life mentor, and why?

-I would love the opportunity to follow & learn from Ben Franklin. He seemed to have an insatiable curiosity, and wisdom beyond what a person should be able to gather in one lifetime.

What's your real-life super power (talent)?

-I can speed up time! Often on the weekends, I'll sit down to do something I enjoy, and 10 minutes later it'll be dinner time!

Ceja Williams Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Christina Zani Vetri Cooking Lab Educator
Alex Zaremba SNAP-Ed & Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

Alex Zaremba SNAP-Ed & Vetri Cooking Lab Educator

If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?

-If I were a vegetable, I'd be celery, because I'm a crunchy green hippie type. I'm also relatively long (tall). And I'm more of a complimentary piece, good to mix or dip in other things (like humus or peanut butter or different salads).

Is there a defining moment in your career that led you to VCP? How'd you get to us?

-I had volunteered with VCL a couple of times a few years back. I knew I wanted to combine my background working in education with my interest in nutrition and my love for trying new recipes in the kitchen.

What's an interest that you could go on and on about?

-I could talk about basketball all day! Trust the Process! I love hooping and it brings out my inner child running around on the basketball court.

What's your real-life super power (talent)?

-My real life super power is that I can pronounce the English alphabet as if it were one word. I can do this forwards AND backwards.

Founders & Board

Marc Vetri Founder, Co-Chair

Marc Vetri Founder, Co-Chair

Marc Vetri is the chef and co-founder of critically acclaimed restaurants Vetri Cucina, Fiorella, Pizzeria Salvy, MVP, Osteria Fiorella, Vetri Cucina Las Vegas, and Mr. Maurice’s Italian. A Philadelphia native, Marc opened Vetri Cucina in 1998 with Jeff Benjamin and has been the recipient of countless awards and accolades including a James Beard Award for "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic." Marc is a driving force behind Vetri Community Partnership and the author of five award-winning cookbooks.

If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
"That's easy, an artichoke. I can be kind of hard and prickly on the outside but have a fuzzy little heart on the inside."

Jeff Benjamin Founder, Board Member

Jeff Benjamin Founder, Board Member

As co-founder and COO of Vetri Cucina, Jeff has worked alongside Chef Marc Vetri to open many restaurants in the past 25 years including Fiorella, Pizzeria Salvy, and MVP in Philadelphia, and Osteria Fiorella and Vetri Cucina in Las Vegas. Jeff is a driving force behind Vetri Community Partnership and the author of Front of the House: Restaurant Manners, Misbehaviors & Secrets, a behind-the-scenes look at the details that go into an evening out.

In addition to his work with restaurants, Jeff is the CEO and Board Member of Federal Donuts & Chicken and investor in Simply Good Jars, a CPG salad product for the foodservice and grocery industry.

Lisa Dykstra Co-Chair

Lisa Dykstra Co-Chair

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

DaCarla Albright Board Member

DaCarla Albright Board Member

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Kimberley Brown Board Member

Kimberley Brown Board Member

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

Walter Buckley Board Member

Walter Buckley Board Member

Seminal Capital

Jill Durovsik Board Member
Laura Emanuel Board Member

Laura Emanuel Board Member

Brownstein Group

Jaimie Field Board Member

Jaimie Field Board Member

Entercom

Yvonne Osirim Board Member

Yvonne Osirim Board Member

Merck

Jason Ray Board Member

Jason Ray Board Member

Zenith Wealth Partners

Careers & Internships

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Have an interest in nutrition education and cooking? Vetri Community Partnership offers both full-time and part-time positions and internships.

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