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OUR TEAM...

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Meet the Folks...

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Scott Dolich
Director of Retail

Scott has numerous national and local accolades attesting to his culinary mastery in the kitchen including 3 James Beard Nominations, Food&Wine Best New Chef, and Gourmet top 100.  Through his 15 years of owning and running popular and successful restaurants, Park Kitchen and The Bent Brick, Scott’s proven himself as a strong business presence in Portland’s restaurant community.
 
A long-time volunteer with Portland’s homeless youth drop-in center p:ear, Scott gained critical work experience with at-risk populations, developing the patience and compassion necessary to train those who have barriers to employment. Scott has sought to connect these potential employees with Portland restaurants who are experiencing their own labor shortages; with Stone Soup, he is able to do just that.

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Sam Allen
Program Manager

Sam has always loved cooking and baking. She's worked in restaurants/cafes/bakeries since she was 17 and food justice has always been a passion of hers as well. Connecting people to the resources and skills to feed themselves and their communities is one of her lifelong missions.


When not inspiring participants' love of food & cooking, Sam loves listening to books, trying out new recipes, spoiling her cat, and traveling with her partner.

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Les Rendon
Production Chef

Les has cooking in her bones, as both of her parents are incredible chefs and helped cultivate this love from an early age. One Halloween, she borrowed her dad’s chef coat, hat, and a pair of tongs to grab candy with. Her favorite memories growing up are those where she is surrounded by food and family.  Les is grateful to be a part of the Stone Soup family and loves what the org does for the community by providing meals and teaching folks how to work in a kitchen. 
 
When not at Stone Soup, Les likes to be outside as much as possible, whether on a hike, on a kayak, bird watching, taking her pups on a neighborhood walk. 

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Kyle Schwendinger
Retail Soup Chef Trainer

Kyle has been in the foodservice industry for more than a decade, working at Pok Pok, Whiskey Soda Lounge, Tusk, as a commissary manager at a local market, and at Gado Gado pop-ups to name just a few!
Kyle appreciates the strong focus on community at Stone Soup. Outside of work Kyle is a music producer that goes by the stage name patchnotes. When he's not busy setting up online music shows with other artists across the country, he can be found at home hanging out with his cat named Beef or hanging out with friends around Portland. 

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Christina Putterman
Grants & Development Manager

Christina brings a wealth of grant writing and PNW nonprofit experience to the Stone Soup table. From her time a Meals on Wheels People, Northwest Academy, Reach Out and Read Oregon, Blanchet House and others, Christina believes in the power of food to bring people together. 


When not writing for grants for Stone Soup, you can find Christina chasing her kindergartner around, followed closely by two large dogs. The family love dance parties, movie nights, crafting and eating dessert all day, every day.

Board

Meet Our Board

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Aaron Babbie
Interim Executive Director

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Aaron brings a varied professional experience to Stone Soup. He started with a 16-year stretch working in hospitality for Hyatt, Starwood and Provenance Hotels opening properties. Aaron then served for 8 years as Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships for Sparkloft Media. Just prior to joining Stone Soup, Aaron spent three years as Director of Development at Portland based INGO SPOON. When he’s not fixing things in his 110+ year old home, Aaron enjoys hiking and running with his wife and friends.

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Ronit Kirshner Gerard  Co-Founder

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International development expert focusing on food security, nutrition and hunger issues. In love with all things food.

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Craig Gerard 
Director of Development

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Quick to serve your favorite beverage or put on great tunes, Craig likes to entertain just as much as he loves making an impact. No stranger to helping, he has developed communities and offered a hand up across three continents.

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Arielle Clark

President

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Cooking, teaching and sharing food has been a central theme throughout Arielle’s career and life. With over 15 years of culinary experience, and a strong commitment to social justice, Arielle believes that food plays an essential role in bringing people together. Her background includes program development, fundraising, and volunteer management for a comprehensive after-school culinary arts non profit as well as catering, event planning, customer service, product development and sales with for profit culinary businesses.

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Rachel Haig Secretary

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With a background in partnership development, law, sales and marketing, Rachel has over 15 years experience running development programs around the world.

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Glen Levy Treasurer

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Part Real Estate Developer, Part Small Business Consultant, Part Entrepreneur & Part Angel Investor: Glen brings street smarts & business enginuity to our growing organization. 

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Dianne Ruff
Member

Building community is Dianne’s passion. Food is the tool that gets her there. From store owner,
chef, event planner, land-use advocate, teacher, and board member, food is central to all she’s
done. Her work at the Portland Farmers Market propelled a low-key event into a thriving
market system. To expand access to farm-fresh food she worked to establish
the Supplemental Food Assistance Program in farmers markets in Oregon. Her board service
includes the Portland-Multnomah Food Policy Council, Oregon Farmers Markets Association,
and the Friends of French Prairie. Dianne’s spare time is filled with kayaking, gardening, and gathering friends and family around the table.

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Bo An Lu
Member

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Bo An is passionate about helping organizations solve their toughest problems and thrives on opportunities to make a positive impact. As a management consultant, Bo An brings experience spanning a broad range of industries including not-for-profits, retail, education, aged care, steel and energy. Bo An holds a BS degree in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney.

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Bruce Burger Member

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Bruce has served on the board of FareStart in Seattle and its national network, Catalyst Kitchens. He has also served on the Pike Place Market PDA Council and is a board member and past president of the Washington Trails Association. Bruce lives in Seattle and was formerly a program manager for Microsoft.

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Jason Powell
Member

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Jason is a partner at the law firm Foster Garvey, P.C.  He is passionate about his role as a deal-maker - creating solutions to join together great people, projects and capital.  Jason has previously served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Spokane Housing Ventures and was a mentor to start-up companies through Startup Spokane.

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Caryl Zenker
Member

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Caryl has three decades of nonprofit experience including zoos and aquariums, the arts, public broadcasting, and civic engagement.  Currently, she is an Associate Consultant at Rose City Philanthropy, a  firm that specializes in leading nonprofits through feasibility studies, campaign planning, and board development.  A practitioner and educator, she has managed multi-million-dollar campaigns and taught nonprofit management and fundraising at Portland State University and University of Washington. Caryl is an avid Pinot Noir fan and you will often find her sharing this liquid magic in the Willamette Valley at Sokol Blosser Winery. 

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Shawn Lilley
Member

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Shawn discovered the power of food while standing on a stool with a wooden spoon next to her southern grandmother, creating lifetime food memories marked by the creativity of depression era cooking, the flavors of Mexico and traditional soul food. Since her earliest days, she has relished hearing people’s stories through and over the food they love. First as a lawyer and then a Health & Safety leader, most recently at Nike, Shawn has dedicated her career to providing people training and tools to keep themselves safe and healthy while they work. Knowledge empowers; the core of Stone Soup’s mission.

OUR STORY...

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ABOUT US
A PASSION FOR HELPING, A PASSION FOR FOOD...

Founders Ronit and Craig Gerard both love food, cooking and entertaining people. Through Ronit’s job as an international aid worker, they lived in eight different cities over the last 15 years.  In nearly all of those cities, familiar foods and ingredients were not available, so they got creative and became incredibly resourceful, learning to make the foods they loved, from scratch. They also delved into the local food scene, picking up local ingredients and new techniques that continue to influence the dishes they love to cook and eat. 

Both Craig and Ronit come from backgrounds of food service. Craig is a trained mixologist who worked in restaurants in San Francisco and Washington, DC and is an avid homebrewer.  After college, Craig worked for a talent agency, producing entertainment for private parties and corporate events. Ronit was a short order cook and waitress in Sydney, Australia, and she also worked as a food-prep/cook during her time in college.

Craig and Ronit also live to help people. They both grew up with the principles of Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for, helping to repair the world), volunteering and coordinating volunteers in and around the communities they help build.  While living in Washington, D.C., Craig was the Director of the Community Service Department of the DC Jewish Community Center and Ronit has a long and storied career with Peace Corps, the East Bay Conservation Corps, and USAID, all fulfilling her passion for giving back to those who can use a hand up. What better way to marry their two passions than by starting a business that ignites them both.

THE TALE OF STONE SOUP...

The story Ronit and Craig read to Shai and Micah as a bedtime story comes from an old European fable. It tells of a traveler who comes across a smooth stone just outside of a quaint village. He picks up the stone, and puts it in his pocket...

When he arrives in the town, he's very hungry, but try as he might, he cannot find anyone to share a meal with him. It seems each house only has one type of vegetable or spice. The traveler thinks for a bit, then calls everyone out of their houses, asking for a cauldron. He says he wants to make Stone Soup.

He takes the cauldron, fills it with water, and places the smooth stone carefully in the large pot. The villagers are skeptical, but curious. After a while, he tries the soup.

"Hmmm, not bad," he says, "but it could use some carrots."

The villager who had carrots runs home and then adds them to the soup. One by one, each of the villagers adds an ingredient to the pot, creating a wonderful blend everyone could be proud of. There was Enough to Spare and Share.

By the end of the evening, the villagers were playing music together, dancing, laughing, and enjoying each other's company. All of this happened because of the traveler who simply pointed out the amazing things they could make with what they already had.

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