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Meet the people behind Slow Food Lake Tahoe!

Board Member | President | Garden Co-Director 

Board Member Since 2019.  Volunteering since 2018.

Patti moved from Chicago to California in the early 80s.  She is a life-long gardener, learning her love of the earth from her mother, who was a founding member of the Illinois Garden Club She is especially interested in promoting healthy eating habits among low income groups in order to affect social determinants of health. She spearheaded the creation of a raised bed garden on property owned by Children’s Hospital Oakland, where she worked for 25 years. Patti and her family became second home owners in Truckee in the early 90’s, and in 2018, after retiring from her full time career as a physical therapist and hospital administrator, became a full time resident of Truckee. She began volunteering in the garden in 2019 and felt an immediate kinship with the mission of Slow Food Lake Tahoe. Patti is the mom of two children and has three amazing grandkids. In addition to gardening, Patti is an avid skier and ski instructor for persons with disabilities. She enjoys sewing, reading, and creating wedding flowers for friends and family. 

Board Member | Secretary | Garden Co-Director | Volunteer Coordinator 

Board Member Since 2020.  Volunteering since 2018.

Jennifer and her family moved to Truckee 20 years ago and began to learn about the trials and tribulations of gardening in the High Sierra. Her greenhouse home garden has become a labor of love and her tomato plants are cared for like children, getting tucked in cozy and warm on chilly nights. After retiring from Real Estate she has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering in the Food Bank garden and is excited about her growing role in the Slow Food Lake Tahoe program and serving this wonderful community. She rides her bike to the community garden from Glenshire in frost, smoke or shine to join the ever dedicated team of volunteers in getting their hands dirty! Jennifer also looks forward to sharing her passion for gardening with others, particularly with the youngest generation of her family, sharing the magic of gardening with her little granddaughter, Emersyn.

Board Member | Treasurer | IT Systems & Efficiencies Director


Board Member Since 2023

Fritz was raised in Ohio and found a home in California – first in Walnut Creek for over
40 years where he had a vibrant backyard garden, and now in Truckee for the past
several years. His work life has included a wildly varied set of adventures. Starting in Berea Ohio as a paperboy, moving into various office jobs (cost accounting, budgeting, project management), then psychology related work (program management and counseling of day treatment centers), followed by work doing assessments and coaching related work that allowed for overseas travel, and recently product and project management in the healthcare industry.  Fritz likes to cook, eat what he cooks, along with collecting and drinking wine, and as he says, “live life as fully as I know how.”  Of course, food along with wine and the way they are created and curated has been very important. This importance has only increased as his knowledge has grown.

Board Member | Development & Grants Director | Grow-Your-Own Coordinator

Board Member Since 2017.  Volunteering since 2016.

After retiring from a career as a Professor of Psychology and college administrator, Katie spent most of her years since 2010 in Truckee. Coming from a long line of family gardeners, and even farm workers, working in the soil has provided her with much lifelong mindful relaxation as well as healthy food. Katie joined Slow Food Lake Tahoe as its’ Garden Director in March 2016 and a year later joined the Board. Spending 5 years helping to grow the gardens with the help of her husband, kids and grand kids and the Truckee community filled her soul. After a hiatus Katie has rejoined the board in a new role and is excited to use her skills grant writing to help her favorite organization in Truckee thrive. Katie loves the fact that SFLT embodies true community care—we contribute to the physical, mental and social health of Truckee.

Board Member | Marketing & Communications Director

Board Member Since 2022

Em Deane Kelley is a Graphic Designer and proud female business owner of Locals Creative– a boutique design studio. Raised in rural Maine, her love for small towns and spending time outside led her to Truckee, California. When starting her business, she chose to plant her roots in the mountains to keep creative collaboration opportunities true to the nature that often inspires them. Through her work, she uses her business as a platform to advocate for community causes, the environment and human rights while also serving on the Board of Directors for Slow Food Lake Tahoe. Em proudly is a 1% for the Planet and Mountain Area Preservation Business Member along with a member of the Protect Our Winters Creative Alliance. Through joining the board in 2022, she hopes to use her creative skillset to support the organization's mission to provide education, resources and locally grown food to the community.

Board Member | Gardens Manager | Volunteer Coordinator | Grow-Your-Own Coordinator

Board Member since 2024.  Garden Manager since 2022.

Born and raised In Truckee, CA, Joey grew up fascinated by the natural ecosystems of the world. This lead him to pursue a degree in Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences. After graduating he traveled to Maui and worked on an organic farm for 5 months during the winter. He then spent the next 8 years working at the local Truckee Villager Nursery in the summer and traveling and farming during the winters. He joined the SFLT team in 2022 as the Garden Manager and claims it was “One of my favorite summers ever. Being able to be a part of a team that produced 670 lbs of organic food for our local community garden was special. I can’t wait to get my fingers in the dirt each day!”

Salmon Club Coordinator

Volunteering Since 2016

Amy began her journey with the Slow Food Movement in college at San Francisco State University.  There, she studied Holistic Health which included philosophies about health and healing with natural resources and food playing a major role.  These studies led her to be more curious and conscious about food, its sources, and its power.  She moved from San Francisco to Truckee in Fall of 2011.  Once settled, she was inspired by the volunteer opportunities offered by SFLT to learn more about local food resources and the challenge of gardening in the Sierras.  She has been volunteering with the organization since 2016 and on the Board of Directors from 2018-2024. Her goals with SFLT include bringing people together to teach and inspire them about food and gardening – creating a self-reliant and sustainable community for all who live here.  Amy is also a Certified Massage Therapist who loves to travel and come home to Donner Lake.

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