Food Works is governed by a seven-member board of directors, each of whom brings unique individual insight into farming, research, policy, and food-related business practices in Southern Illinois. The board operates using a Policy Governance model that empowers organization staff to execute the mission, while empowering its board members to fulfill their responsibilities for accountability. The model has been used extensively with cooperatives and other non-governmental organizations. It creates clarity and focus which reduces the mountains of paperwork boards often feel obliged to review while allowing them to effectively steer the organization’s course. Board decisions are made on a consensus basis so that it speaks with one voice and establishes clear expectations for the organization.
Jill Rendleman (President)
Jill Rendleman owns and manages All Seasons Farm, a biointensive vegetable farm near Cobden Illinois. Following a career in banking, including agricultural finance in commercial and government sectors, and an active partnership in a cash grain family farming operation, Ms Rendleman began All Seasons Farm to produce vegetables using organic and small scale sustainable farming practices. Innovative practices on the farm include the use of rolling high tunnels, raised beds, and intensive natural soil amendments. Holding a Masters degree in Agricultural Industries from Southern Illinois University, she is also a graduate of the Central Illinois Farm Beginnings program and a member of the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance. The Rendleman family was one of the first to settle Southern Illinois and with other early farm families worked to develop it as a major fruit, vegetable, and grain market in the region.
Brad Genung (Vice President)
Brad Genung is the owner and President of Owl Creek Vineyard, the founding producer of wine grapes in the Shawnee Hills, makers of Owl Creek wines and Apple Knocker Hard Cider. He is a strong advocate of locally grown value-added products with an eye toward sustainable practices and social responsibility to the community. After careers in journalism and capital markets/brokerage, he moved to Southern Illinois in 2002 to help develop the fledgling Shawnee Hills wine region. Owl Creek and the region have flourished, going from a handful of operations to almost 30 wineries and 60 commercial vineyards. Brad holds an MBA in finance and a Bachelor’s degree in English/Political Science from Illinois State University. The Genung family settled in the southern regions of Illinois and Indiana in the 1790s and have been farmers, business owners and trades people that have been engaged in the economic development of the region.
Kim Hamilton Miller
Kim Miller holds a Ph.D in Health Education from Southern Illinois University. She retired in 2016 after over twenty years in faculty positions at University of Kentucky and SIUC. A strong focus of Kim’s academic work has been on holistic approaches to health, including the role of community and community design in fostering health. Kim has long been an advocate of local foods and locally produced goods and believes that these are important not only to physical health but also in building strong community alliances. Other personal interests include belonging to the Saluki Master’s Swim Club, cooking, hiking, and reading.
Marika Josephson is the co-founder and head brewer at Scratch Brewing Company, a farmhouse brewery that makes beer and food with ingredients sourced in Southern Illinois, most of which are from the brewery's working farm. Marika is also the author (along with Scratch's co-founders) of The Homebrewer's Alamanac, a book on brewing with farmed and foraged ingredients, released fall 2016 from Countryman Press.
Karen Schauwecker is a Carbondale native, returning home to graduate with a Master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Resources from SIU. While at SIU, Karen co-managed the LOGIC organic garden and completed the Master Gardener’s program. She spent a year teaching K-8 standard curriculum, nutrition, and agriculture in a garden setting in Birmingham, AL, with the Jones Valley Teaching Farm. After that, she worked as the assistant manager of the University Farm in Sewanee, TN. She also has registered voters in Arizona, landscaped with native plants in California, built hiking trails in Montana, and bartended in Seattle, WA.
Kathryn is a Southern Illinois native and her upbringing on the family’s homestead rooted her interest in provisional farming. Her BSN from University of Evansville was steeped in holistic nursing. Over time, Kathryn has become an advocate of Functional Medicine, which treats the underlying root cause of “dis-ease”, food being foundational. Synchronicity manifested in Kathryn’s life when her food/farm co-housing was realized upon her move to a (nearly) “tiny house” on Countrysprout Organics Farm south of Carbondale. Not only does she enjoy a thriving neighbor relationship, she also makes a point to support the planting, picking, weeding and bouquet making aspects of the farm. Kathryn currently holds a position within the SIH Employee Wellness Program as a certified Nurse Coach and Health and Wellness Coach. She views the gap between education and action is best filled with coaching support empowering clients to transform from unconscious consumers to owning their own health.