Executive Assistant to the Executive Directornatalie@chesapeakeharvest.com
Tracy Ward - Executive Director
Tracy Ward was hired in April 2014 to make great things happen for Easton Economic Development Corp. Tracy has over 27 years of experience as an economic and community development leader, devoting her career to urban transformation through collaborative public/private partnership and cross-disciplinary strategies. Tracy has led major housing and neighborhood development initiatives throughout the Baltimore region. She was instrumental in the creation of over 1,000 housing units in downtown Baltimore, implemented the nation’s first combined residential and commercial special taxing district, helped hundreds of families transition to home-ownership, and has created community master plans that are still being used today. Later, at Fannie Mae, Tracy provided technical assistance to communities in five states, originating and underwriting over $100 million in debt and equity investments for transformative housing projects in targeted communities identified for growth.
In 2004, Tracy founded Urbanite, an award-winning glossy magazine with a circulation of over 60,000 in the Baltimore metropolitan area. During her tenure, Urbanite’s circulation tripled and annual revenues grew by double digits each year. In 2013, Tracy took a “sabbatical year” to travel and work on farms to learn about agriculture and the production of local food. Tracy holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition & Foods from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is also a graduate of Leadership Maryland.
Elizabeth Beggins - Production Manager
Elizabeth Beggins has spent over a decade as a market farmer on Maryland’s Eastern Shore before becoming a food-focused freelance writer, educator, and vegetable garden consultant. As director of the You Food Project, an initiative rooted in school and community gardens, Elizabeth facilitated increased awareness of the connection between personal and environmental health. She helped launch the St. Michaels farmers market in 1998 and has served in many capacities including market manager, producer, volunteer and adviser. A graduate of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, she moved to the Bay Hundred in 1993. She continues to be active in management of the St. Michaels Farmer’s Market and helps the market navigate growing industry challenges. Her work is key to the market remaining viable and accessible to families in today’s ever-changing food marketplace and sustaining its position as an important part of a healthy community
Deena Deese Kilmon - Sales and Marketing Director
Deena Deese Kilmon grew up in southern coastal North Carolina, where she learned at her grandmother’s knee how to scratch cook and use local ingredients. After attending college at UNC-Chapel Hill she moved to the Eastern Shore of MD to raise her family with her husband. Over the years, she owned a 75-seat waterfront restaurant in St. Michaels, MD and worked for SYSCO foods, selling the ingredients that make kitchens run.
Over the years Deena has served on the board of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center in Tilghman Island and helped to educate the public on the importance of a sustainable seafood harvest. As the Sales and Marketing Director for the Chesapeake Harvest, Kilmon is combining her love and belief in fresh, healthy foods for all and her desire to help preserve the rural and agricultural heritage of the special community she now calls home.
Natalie Slater - Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
Natalie Slater serves as the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and the Chesapeake Harvest team. She brings years of administrative, marketing and project management experience to her role.
As a former Eastern Shore retail store owner, Vice President and Co-Founder of a Delmarva magazine, non-profit volunteer and former board member of the United Way of Queen Anne’s County, she understands the responsibilities and challenges of business ownership, non-profits as well as the corporate world.
Natalie’s entrepreneurial propensity gives her the ability to embrace the fast-paced environment of Easton Economic Development and Chesapeake Harvest. With her passion for learning, she is eager to tackle the newest software programs to bring efficiencies in to the work-place.
Natalie loves all things nature and enjoys cooking vegetables and herbs from her garden. When not in the garden, you can find her on the golf course or reading a good book.
Lindsay Gilmour - GAP Consultant
Lindsay is the owner of Organic Planet LLC, and the GAP Food Safety Educator and Group GAP Consultant. Lindsay plays two roles professionally, as a personal chef and culinary instructor specializing in sustainable and healing diets; and as a consultant and educator in regional food systems and Value Chain Coordination, helping farmers meet the demands of the wholesale marketplace. Her current focus is GAP Food Safety education, working with produce farmers, helping develop food safety programs that make sense for them. Lindsay has a particular interest and expertise in helping farmers work together to achieve food safety certification as a group. Currently, Lindsay is working on projects for the Wallace Center at Winrock International, implementing a USDA approved ‘single-entity management’ food safety model as a viable solution for under-resourced, small farm cooperatives. For Chesapeake Harvest, she is helping farmers become Harmonized GAP certified, and working on an initiative to develop a regional Group GAP program.
Pam Skillings - Bookkeeping
Pam Skillings is a native of Pennsylvania. She spent 26 years in corporate sales, working with customers throughout Pennsylvania, and in parts of Ohio, West Virginia, and New Jersey. During that time, Pam held various positions in Marketing, Sales, and as a Sales Instructor in the classroom and over the internet. After retirement, Pam wanted to experience different types of jobs and other ways to use her skill set. One of her main interests since 2010 is studying and learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating and using only organic products. She researches how produce is grown, animal welfare and meat quality, and what seafood is sustainable wild-caught. In addition, she researches the ingredients of other foodstuffs, beauty, and household products that she uses, to continuously educate herself about healthy living. Pam holds a Bachelor of Science degree In Spanish Education and a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Zack Schlag - Tech Consultant
Zack Schlag was born and raised on a farm in Talbot county with views of the Chesapeake Bay. With his older brother set to follow in his father’s farming footsteps, he opted for a different path, pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Salisbury University. After graduation, Zack spent the next 6 years working at Horn Point Laboratory in Cambridge,MD, part of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences. Here he worked on computer models simulating several species in the Chesapeake Bay as part of multiple grants and research papers.
As years went by, Zack tired of spending his life in front of a computer. He seeked a healthier, more active lifestyle and returned to the family farm to help as his father gets older and nears retirement. He was referred to Chesapeake Harvest when they were in need of technical assistance. Zack’s unique farming and computer background made him a perfect fit to work with Chesapeake Harvest.
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