Steering Committee

The Alliance is lead by a Steering Committee of 13 market operators and farmers from across the state of California. Members participate in a bi-monthly 1.5hr phone call, and contribute 5-10 hours per month on work related to the Alliance, depending on current activities. Steering Committee members support new membership recruitment, help develop and deliver professional development training, and develop policy positions for the Alliance.
We are looking for market operators from the San Joaquin Valley, Northern Counties, and Sacramento Valley. Interested? Email Madaly (at) Ecology Center (dot) org.
Portia Bramble
North Coast Growers’ Association
Portia Bramble has been the Executive Director for the North Coast Growers’ Association since 2008. Portia earned a Masters Degree in Social Sciences from Humboldt State University in 2009 with a project exploring the implications of California’s Direct Marketing agricultural regulations on farmers’ market management and operations. Portia grew up in Berkeley, CA, and received her Bachelors Degree in Political Studies and Environmental Policy from Pitzer College in 2006.
Elizabeth Bowman
Sustainable Economic Enterprises of LA
Elizabeth Bowman is co-manager of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market – a 25-year old certified farmers’ market with nearly 200 vendors. In 2012, Elizabeth worked with Altadena Farmers’ Market founder to develop the [Sub]Urban Farming Project. In this capacity, she helped local, backyard farmers and gardeners start their farmers’ market businesses. This work culminated in the development of a regulatory guide for first time urban farmers selling at Certified Farmers Markets in Los Angeles. Elizabeth now owns and operates the Altadena Farmers’ Market. Elizabeth has an MA in Urban Sustainability from Antioch University, Los Angeles.
Ben Palazzolo
Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
Ben Palazzolo oversees operations for all Certified Farmers’ Markets run by Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association in Santa Clara County. He has worked with PCFMA since 2011, previously as a farmers’ market manager operating farmers’ markets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and as a regional manager overseeing all PCFMA markets in Santa Clara County. Working with a variety of farmers, city officials, organizations, and regulating bodies, Ben strives to create and maintain spaces in a variety of communities where California farmers can sell produce they grow to the public.
Julie Schwarz
So Cal Farmers’ Markets
For over 12 years, Julie has helped open and establish 7 farmers’ markets in underserved communities, and currently manages the Paramount Farmers’ Market. Julie’s success in the farmers’ market industry is attributed to her 30 years of experience in retail, hospitality, hotel and food and beverage. Julie’s passions include: growing small businesses for people who want to step into the farmers’ market industry; interacting with the community that is created at farmers’ markets; and being a self-proclaimed “farmers’ market junkie.”
Tanya Wolf Small
Agricultural Institute of Marin
As AIM’s Chief Operations Officer, Tanya oversees the operations and management of AIM’s 7 certified farmers’ markets. Tanya grew up in the small town of St. Helena, and got her start in agriculture at an early age picking grapes and helping her family make wine. Tanya has 13 years of market management experience, having managed all 7 of AIM’s farmers markets at different times in her career. She enjoys knowing and talking with the people who grow and raise her food, interacting with the community at farmers markets and helping farmers and vendors grow their businesses.
Erin Tormey
Coastside Farmers’ Markets/Irish Ridge Ranch
In 1997, Erin started Irish Ridge Ranch, a 48 acre ranch south of Half Moon Bay, with 200 threatened or recovering breed hens, and a nascent orchard of rare, pioneer and heritage apples. Erin is also the founder of Coastside Farmers’ Markets, bringing the first Certified Farmers’ Market to Half Moon Bay in 2002, and to Pacifica in 2007. The Half Moon Bay market has been recognized in Gourmet Magazine, Sunset Magazine, the Roots of Change website, the Bay Area A-List. Erin is an inaugural member of the San Mateo Food Systems Alliance, a founding director of The HEAL Project, she managed the Market-Place section of the Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco, and has served on the Technical Review Committee of the CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant program since 2010.
Catt Fields White
San Diego Markets
Catt Fields White is the Director of San Diego Markets, developing thriving farmers’ markets in urban neighborhoods, and consulting with emerging markets throughout San Diego County. She encourages entrepreneurship and value added opportunities for farmers through monthly Vendor 101 classes and writes about food, farms, restaurants and marketing. Serving on multiple Boards of Directors including the California Restaurant Association, the Little Italy Association, Just Call Us Volunteers and now the CA Small Farm Conference she is actively involved with Slow Food Urban San Diego, Les Dames Escoffier, and other professional associations and charitable foundations. Find her at