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A new stage of growth: GFN launches an executive transition!

After spending over 5 years founding and directing Grow Food Northampton, first as a community organizer, then as board president, and finally as executive director, Lilly Lombard will step down from her position at the end of 2014.  Grow Food Northampton is undertaking a search for a new executive director this Fall.  PLEASE NOTE: THE APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED.

“My skill set as an ‘igniter’ has been put to great use in GFN’s early years,“ said Lombard under whose leadership Grow Food Northampton galvanized broad community support to purchase the Bean/Allard farmland in Florence and establish the state’s largest community farm and garden.  “Now it’s time to let a leader with different skills and energy add new dimensions to GFN and bring the organization more fully into the fabric of our community.  I leave on the warmest of terms with GFN’s board, staff, volunteers, and farming community.”

Lombard announced her intended departure to the GFN Board a year ago, and together, she and the Board have spent 2014 solidifying the organization’s systems and structures including completing a strategic plan, establishing a downtown office, adding a Volunteer Coordinator position to GFN staff, and undergoing board and staff training.

“The board and staff are profoundly grateful for her indelible leadership in creating GFN and her extraordinary efforts to make it the strong and vital organization it is today.  We will miss her dearly, but we honor her desire to move on.” said Adele Franks, Board President,  “We are thankful to have had so much time to prepare for a transition and are fortunate to be so well poised for a new director to take us to the next phase of organizational capacity and community outreach.”

“This is an ideal time to pass the baton,” said Lombard.  “The organization is financially strong, our farm is fully leased to thriving farmers and community gardeners, and our food access and education programs are taking off.  The board and staff are empowered, and the organization remains fresh, nimble and growing. “

Jen Smith and Nate Frigard, owners of Crimson and Clover Farm, who hold a 99-year lease on 40 acres of GFN land, said “We have had a great working relationship with Lilly and with Grow Food Northampton since we started our farm in 2011.  We have always been impressed by Lilly’s ability to listen and to put farmers’ needs at the forefront of GFN’s work.  We have been inspired by her tenacity, diligence and unending work ethic, and the Northampton Community Farm is a living testament to these things!  We will miss her!”

Asked what her continued role in the organization will be, Lombard said, “It’s important to give a new director space to lead.  I do, however, intend to be a loyal GFN donor, community gardener, and customer to our farmers!”


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