Ann Karlen, Executive Director
Ann Karlen is the Executive Director of Fair Food, founded in 2000 to build a sustainable and humane local food economy for the Delaware Valley by connecting regional family farms to the Philadelphia marketplace. In 2003, she opened the Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia’s first all-local food retail grocery store. She was a member of the Management Team that launched Common Market Philadelphia in 2008, a food hub specializing in distributing local food to institutions. Ms. Karlen is Faculty Director of the University of Vermont’s Food Hub Management Certificate Program, and is currently a member of Philadelphia’s Food Policy Advisory Council, and the Penn State Cooperative Extension Advisory Committee.
Alyssa Klavans, Deputy Executive Director
Alyssa joined Fair Food in 2014 after spending time in our office volunteering and falling in love with our mission and team. Prior to joining Fair Food, she completed a master’s degree in Conservation Biology at Columbia University in New York City with a focus on effective communication strategies for engaging the public in local sustainability issues. With a professional background in both small business entrepreneurship and foundation administration, she brings a unique skill set to the team. When not in the office, she lives out in the Valley Forge area where she enjoys spending her time exploring the countryside, cooking, and hiking with her dog.
Peggy Paul Casella, Communications Associate
Peggy joined Fair Food in the summer of 2011. She is an editor, writer, recipe developer, gardener, and local foods enthusiast (among other things). She is the author of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook, and the creator of ThursdayNightPizza.com, where she shares pizza recipes based on whole, seasonal ingredients.
Emily Whitted, Development Coordinator
Emily joined Fair Food in September 2016. Living on a Southwestern Virginia sheep farm for most of her childhood gave her a taste of locally grown and humanely raised food. Only when she moved to Richmond, VA to complete her bachelor’s degree did she realize how difficult it is to find, afford, or distribute that food. Emily is excited to grow Fair Food’s Double Dollars program and work towards a more connected and collaborative food access network here in Philly. When she’s not working at Fair Food, she’s designing knitwear, resisting the urge to take home every stray cat she finds, and getting lost in the woods.
Mary Pham, Assistant Manager
Mary joined Fair Food in November 2016, after a year working as a researcher and policy fellow in Washington, D.C. Her background in Environmental Public Health has allowed her to focus on many aspects of the food system: sustainable agriculture, food policy, and food access. She previously worked as a manager of Stockton University's Sustainable Farm and was a Food Policy Fellow at the Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. In her free time she plays cello, explores the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and eats anything new that comes her way. Her favorite vegetables are garlic scapes and peas.
Zoe LaFemina, Farmstand Associate
Zoe started working at the Farmstand in December of 2015, after moving to Philadelphia from Maryland. When she isn’t working at the Farmstand, she really isn’t doing much. She loves to ride her bike and go to shows. She hopes to go back to school in the fall to study dental hygiene, but she doesn’t have any money right now. That’s why she’s working at the Farmstand! Just kidding, kind of. She’s very passionate about the ethical analysis and guidance for human conduct in the production, distribution, and consumption of food. Her favorite vegetable is broccoli.