Meet the passionate people behind Slow Money SLO that bring their energy and expertise to help strengthen our local food system.
FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Since founding the local network of Slow Money in July 2012, called Slow Money SLO, Jeff enjoys meeting and working with food, beverage and farm entrepreneurs as well as folks who want to invest locally to create a better food system. Advising, facilitating financial support and helping to grow the local food system is rewarding, and the group continues to grow, feeding the soil and building the SLO region food economy. Jeff has 40 years of experience in engineering, software marketing and sales and small business industry consulting. Jeff shares his time working as a Lead Consultant with the SLO Small Business Development Center. Jeff has advised the National movement by serving on the Slow Money Kitchen Cabinet and stays in touch with other Slow Money local leaders.
Communications Director &
Farm to School Coordinator
After leaving the food science industry, Claire moved back to the Central Coast and immersed herself in the SLO County food system through volunteer work, and research for her masters program in sustainable food systems. After completing her degree, she joined the Slow Money SLO team and is focusing on promoting the Slow Money message and name to the food and farming community. She is also doing outreach to the county school districts and area farmers to bring local food into cafeterias and take-home meal boxes. Claire is passionate about finding food system solutions that bring balance, health, and resilience to the land and community.
Ben Thomas has worked for the past 7 years in nonprofit management focused on farmer, school district and other direct wholesale buyer technical assistance. He worked for various years serving as Program Director for the Farm to Market program at the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, where he oversaw the organization's Farm to School initiatives. Ben also manages Shared Plate Strategies, a firm focused on supporting food systems projects around California. He relocated to San Luis Obispo in 2021 with his partner, Becca, and their guard-chihuahua/terrier, Salchi Sourdough Toast. In his free time he can be found performing with the improv comedy ensemble of Central Coast Comedy Theater.
Advising Slow Money SLO since the early days of 2013 has been a group of avid Slow Money believers, most of whom are investors themselves and/or provide advice in various areas of business expertise. They come from Agriculture, Education, Technology, Non-Profit Leadership, Financial Management sectors and are Entrepreneurs, Community Leaders and Consultants. We are very grateful for their time, advice and direction of the years of growing Slow Money SLO.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Erin creates the menus, marketing, and nutrition education experiences for the students in her school district. She is a passionate Farm to School advocate and believes in educating youth about how food gets to their plate, while building respect for the greater food system. Erin’s beliefs align with the values of Slow Money SLO. and connecting farmers with consumers is a shared goal. In her free time, Erin enjoys exploring the Central Coast with her husband and two small children.
As an advisor for Natural Investments, LLC. Scott works as an Accredited Asset Management Specialist. He has worked in the investment industry for over 20 years and spends his days assisting with portfolio management, wealth accumulation for individuals and organizations, and retirement income planning. Scott is glad to draw from his experience to work with community groups like Slow Money SLO. When he's not in the office, he enjoys connecting with nature and getting out on his mountain bike on the many trails along nearby Cuesta Ridge or Cal Poly Canyon.
Susan has over 25 years of financial and operations experience. Her resume includes companies like Glu Mobile, DirecTV, Polygram, and Capitol Records. She now owns Segue Consulting Services, providing interim CFO and finance and operations management for early stage or growth companies. Susan has also developed a practice supporting early stage cleantech and sustainable products companies. She holds a BA in accounting and a pilot license, swapping out her car for a Bonanza. She and her husband enjoy travel, and have visited over 20 countries on 6 continents. Today, Susan works as CFO for All Good in Morro Bay, and with the Hothouse and Cal Poly’s CIE program.
Danielle is a jane-of-all-trades bringing personal and professional experience from a variety of different sectors and geographical locations. Her love is in the food and farm world where she has spent the last 10 years playing in the dirt building urban farms, educating youth and convincing people that beets out of the ground (instead of a can) are the best thing ever! Danielle is excited to work alongside some of the most brilliant and creative minds within our community to help grow our local food and business economies.
Larry is the owner and farmer at Kandarian Organic Farms. He has been farming on the Central Coast for over 20 years and has been a supplier for Farm to School since 2018.
Since 2013 Jake has been the co-owner and CFO of Whalebird Kombucha which has been an awesome adventure and has allowed him to leverage his MBA and hone his business skills. Slow Money SLO was pivotal in enabling Whalebird Kombucha to grow into a flourishing business and it is Jake’s pleasure to help support the organization in its efforts to enhance our local food economy further. When he’s not slinging 'booch, you can find Jake spearfishing, beach camping, and/or playing games around a campfire.
Mike is a former Slow Money SLO board president, and has advised on and launched dozens of new products in the natural and organic food space.
Stacey Hunt, CLA, CAS is a graduate of the Fresno City College paralegal program and works in the Collections Department at SESLOC Federal Credit Union. She is the co-author of three books for paralegals. Ms. Hunt currently teaches several courses online at both Cuesta College and at Fresno City College. She is a past-president of the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations and the Central Coast Paralegal Association. She is a co-founder and CEO of Ecologistics, Inc., a San Luis Obispo-based environmental and social justice nonprofit. She has also served on the boards of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival and the Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries.
Born and raised in North East Ohio, Eric has found a new home here on the central coast. After graduating with a doctorate in physical therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Eric and his fiancé moved to Morro Bay to work at Movement for Life Physical Therapy. Eric’s passion for helping people is not just about working through pain, but getting people back to doing what they love to do. This passion carries over into his new role as a board member of Slow Money SLO. He is excited to play a part in building the community’s small businesses. When Eric isn’t at the clinic, he’s probably on the golf course, paddle boarding in the marina, or hiking with his fiancé Amanda.
Baylee is the Branch Manager at Coast Hills Credit Union in San Luis Obispo. She is passionate about assisting all her clients with excellent banking services. Baylee is an enthusiastic supporter of local food and beverage and is glad to extend her support as a member of Slow Money SLO's board!
We have been honored to have outstanding board members since we formed in 2012! These community members have lent their time, talents, and expertise to our nonprofit and we thank them for their years of service and dedication!