The Konbit board of advisors is fantastic. They bring to the organization wealth of indigenous wisdom, next-generation economic thinking, and scientific inquiry. This combination challenges our team every day to amplify the impact across Turtle Island and the globe.
Loretta Barrett Oden | Citizen Potawatomi | Advisor Elder
Loretta Barrett Oden, of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, is the food consultant for the exciting First Americans Museum (FAMok.org) opening in Oklahoma City in the fall of 2021. Loretta is a chef, consultant, and Native food historian. She owned the renowned Corn Dance Cafe in Santa Fe, NM, and hosted the EMMY Award-winning PBS series, Seasoned with Spirit – A Native Cook’s Journey”. Her foods include pre-European contact ingredients utilized in cutting-edge menus while still deeply rooted in tradition. She now presents programs on Indigenous cuisine and culture.
Tom Aageson | Advisor Elder
Tom Aageson has been a serial entrepreneur leading multiple initiatives his entire career bringing to focus the importance of the culture and the creative economy. A resident of Santa Fe, he has a vast global network given his experience working at market-based solutions for grass-roots artisans.
Richard Lackey | The World Food Bank
RIchard Lackey founded the Global Food Exchange as a network for emergency food and water supply to fill gaps in large scale emergency response, and presently serves as the Chairman of the World Food Bank where he builds integrated agriculture systems in developing markets.
Maureen McCarthy | Desert Research Institute
Maureen I. McCarthy, Ph.D., is Administrative Faculty in the Department of Physics and Graduate Faculty in Hydrologic Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), and Research Faculty in Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). She is also Affiliate Faculty in the Montana Climate Office at the University of Montana W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation. Her research portfolio reflects her commitment to forging partnerships to anticipate and respond to climate impacts on water resources, agriculture, and Indigenous communities.
Dawn Thilmany | Colorado State University
Dawn Thilmany is a Professor of Agribusiness and Extension Economist with Colorado State University who specializes in regional economic development related to local, organic, and other value-added food market supply chains, as well as the food market analysis and consumer behavior. She is currently President of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA.)
Alec Wagner | Purple Prize
Alec Wagner is originally from Maui, Hawaiʻi, and currently serves as the Director of Mālama, the design and innovation unit of the Honolulu-based Purple Mai‘a Foundation. Programs he oversees include the Purple Prize indigenous innovation incubator and Ka Maka ʻĪnana, an initiative connecting diverse community members to explore Native Hawaiian cultural practices and re-engineer the design thinking process. In his capacity, Wagner has worked with over 40 teams to develop technology-driven enterprises addressing some of Hawaiʻi’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.
Sarada Krishan | Denver Botanical Gardens
Dr. Sarada Krishnan is director of horticulture and global initiatives at Denver Botanic Gardens. She is also a faculty affiliate with Colorado State University in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. She is a coffee genetic resources specialist and was involved in the development of the Global Conservation Strategy for Coffee Genetic Resources. Her broad interests include biodiversity conservation – both ex-situ and in situ, agrobiodiversity, sustainable coffee cultivation, agroforestry, food security, botanic gardens, and economic empowerment of women and girls in developing countries. She currently serves on USDA’s National Genetic Resources Advisory Council and chairs the USDA Coffee and Cacao Crop Germplasm Committee.
Caio Malufe | Hancock Natural Resource Group
Caio Malufe, originally from Brazil, is a leading private equity investment expert for vertically integrated agricultural business. He currently leads initiatives with Hancock Natural Resource Group and has previously worked globally in strategy, M&A all tied to food systems. Having seen the impact of BigAg on Planet Earth, he is currently focused now on impacting the food system through high positive impact, low carbon footprint investments in plant-based meats, vertical farming, cellular agriculture, and FoodTech.