Sharon Feuer Gruber, Co-Founder
Sharon is a proven leader in creating cutting-edge programs addressing food access, food recovery, economic development, and urban agriculture, and also in establishing standards and practices for nutrition- and sustainability-focused food distribution systems. She has created nutrition education curricula for many organizations and was a member of the Nutrition Advisory Board for the Capital Area Food Bank. Sharon also participated on the committee initiating the formation of Washington, D.C.’s first Food Policy Council.
The D.C. Primary Care Association recognized Sharon with its “Unsung Hero” award for her work with Bread for the City, where she created and was the long-time adviser for their nutrition initiative. In this capacity, she spearheaded their farm-to-food pantry program, launched the nation's largest urban agricultural project managed directly by a food pantry, and conceived of their nutrition education campaign. Sharon was also distinguished as a “Game Changer” in the D.C. food system by Edible DC magazine. She was an expert reviewer for the Environmental Working Group's new publication, Good Food on a Tight Budget. Her innovative, sustainable approach to addressing food access issues has been featured numerous times in the Washington Post and on NPR, among other media outlets.
Previous to her career in the food system, Sharon was a non-profit communications manager; she served as creative manager for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and editor of the National Head Start Association’s award-winning Children and Families magazine.
Sharon is also the co-founder of the Wide Net Project .
Wendy Stuart, Co-Founder
Wendy specializes in providing comprehensive, long-term solutions for sustainable food, agricultural, and environmental issues. As an economist, she advances customized approaches for businesses to promote their vision while maintaining financially successful business practices. And as a local food systems specialist, Wendy’s expertise provides a comprehensive framework for assessing the feasibility of triple bottom line solutions, and specializes in the development of entities that support local food systems. She has consulted on the feasibility, build-out, and launch of multiple commercial kitchens, and participated on the committee initiating the formation of Washington, D.C.’s first Food Policy Council. She also managed the inaugural Food Day campaign for the Washington, DC area, for which she was directly responsible for 120 events supporting healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.
Previously, Wendy founded and managed a successful 3D visualization firm that created powerful tools to communicate technical, legal, scientific, and promotional information for her clients. She has worked as a consultant in both the sustainable food and renewable energy arenas, including as a manager at KEMA Consulting. She has also worked as a chef, and on farms around the globe, as well as an instructor at the university level. She has written multiple successful grant applications and business plans that have led to effective start-ups and business expansions. She holds a master’s degree in economics, a master’s degree in sustainable food systems from the Universita di Scienze Gastronomiche in Italy, and a degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America.
Wendy is also the co-founder of the Wide Net Project .
Lauren Brownstein, President, PITCH: Fundraising and Philanthropy Consulting
Lauren has worked in the non-profit community for nearly 20 years as a fundraiser, educator, and program manager. She has raised millions of dollars for museums, workforce development programs, student support organizations, community centers, and other initiatives. She specializes in helping grant seekers develop meaningful partnerships with funders, as well as crafting outstanding grant proposals.
After honing her solicitation skills with United Jewish Appeal (now JFNA) and negotiating extensive corporate sponsorships with the Information Technology Association of America, Lauren served as a Grants Officer and the founder and director of the Corporate Partners Program at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. While at the museum (a federal government agency), she managed more than 70 foundation relationships and created the museum’s first corporate membership program. She then served as Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Hillel, raising money for domestic and international programs for college students. Lauren sits on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations and established her consulting practice in 2003, where she works with an array of clients including arts organizations, social service providers, children's advocacy groups, public interest law groups, and more. Food Works Group clients benefit from her savvy in strategic planning, partnership development, and fundraising.