Local Concepts, LLC

Local Concepts, LLC provides network management support for the Chesapeake Foodshed Network

Local Concepts, LLC is a social enterprise with the goal of building networks to accelerate the pace of change.

The team is comprised of experts in a wide range of sustainable development and natural resource fields committed to working with communities, organizations, and businesses to address sustainable development challenges.  Local Concepts works with clients to strategically identify the best combination of services and tools to support the development and growth of their network, community group, organization or business.

Local Concepts, LLC provides network management services to the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, a multi-state initiative, designed to strategically build connections and foster collaborations to catalyze food system reform. Food system reform requires a network approach because no one organization can address the inherent complexities in the food system. If we want to see big change, we have to intentionally work together. The Chesapeake Foodshed Network provides communications, education/training and collaboration infrastructure to bring people together to drive change.

At Local Concepts we believe that strong relationships and mutual trust form the solid foundation needed for transformation. As our relationships grow and trust increases the opportunities to align and collaborate with others dramatically improves. It is at this point that we can unite towards the common goal of food system reform.  Local Concepts aims to magnify the impact of individual organizations and businesses by creating more cohesion among those working towards common goals.

Christy Gabbard

Christy@ChesapeakeFoodshed.Net

Network Manager 
With over twenty years of experience in the fields of agriculture, food systems, and natural resources, Christy works across diverse geographic scales (local to multi-state) developing programs and services to strengthen connectivity and drive collaborative action for change. Under Gabbard’s leadership, Local Concepts, LLC provides network management services to the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, a multi-state initiative, designed to strategically build connections and foster collaborations to catalyze food system reform.

Sonia

Sonia Keiner

Sonia@ChesapeakeFoodshed.Net

Communications & Programming 
Sonia has worked at the intersection of social justice, food justice, education and the arts since 2001. Her work across many sectors has helped her build a diverse skill set including grant-writing, community building/organizing, programming, communications & outreach. Sonia has a BS in Psychology and a MA in Education Policy & Leadership. As a seasoned photographer and beginning videographer, she is especially interested in new media, designing information for beauty and accessibility, and visual storytelling for social change. A permaculture practitioner, Sonia lives on an historic farm in Upper Marlboro, MD where she spends as much time as she can growing food, herbs and flowers.

Ayron Walker

Ayron@ChesapeakeFoodshed.Net

Foodshed Network Assistant

Ayron is a graduate student at Virginia Tech where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Community and Behavioral Sciences. She received a B.S. degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in 2017. Ayron developed a ten-week nutrition and wellness program for youth and worked with Virginia and North Carolina Cooperative Extension as a Family Consumer Sciences Intern. As an undergrad, she led a food policy committee and has supported many food policy groups including the Watauga Food Council. Ayron also helped create a local foods guide for North Carolina Cooperative Extension services. Ayron enjoys CrossFit, cooking, volunteering at gardens and farmer’s markets, traveling, reading, writing, crafting, water sports, and hiking Appalachian trails.

Liz Howard

Liz@ChesapeakeFoodshed.Net

Communications Intern 
Liz is studying Environmental Horticulture, Civic Agriculture & Food Systems in addition to Material Culture & Public Humanities at Virginia Tech. Liz is passionate about food sovereignty and culinary justice. She has conducted ethnographic research in Southwestern Virginia and is currently interested in storytelling around community food work. When she’s not studying or working, Liz can usually be found in the garden or in the kitchen!