Friday, June 19, 2015

#FiveonFriday: Interview with Michelle Whelan, Executive Director, Sustainable Nantucket

Last summer, I got involved with a non-profit who's mission is to build a more locally based food economy on "the BEST ISLAND IN THE WORLD" according to National Geographic. {and I don't disagree....} Sustainable Nantucket. 

Volunteering at their Farmer & Artisan Market almost every Saturday last summer and attending their events, I was inspired and impressed with everything SN was doing to make the locavore movement a feasible fate.

Michelle Whelen is the pioneer woman behind Sustainable Nantucket. 

1. What is your favorite quote?

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

~ Calvin Coolidge

2. What are your TOP 5 favorite things in your life right now? 

1) Nantucket (of course).

2) Family & Friends.

3) Food (fresh and local!).

4) Farms (support and building, as in Sustainable Nantucket's new educational community farm).

5) Fine Art (as in painting).

3. Who are your mentors?

My best friend, Julia Mintz, great visual artists, filmmaker, and mother extraordinaire. 
My boyfriend, Michael Lundy - smart, resourceful, kind, and successful businessman and father. 
Sustainable Nantucket's board member and advisers - all of whom are wonderful, amazingly talented in their own right and so generous with their time and energy.

4. What is NEW + GOOD in your life?

Sole-ownership of my home, more time spent around chefs thanks to SN, which is inspiring me to spend more time cooking at home.

5. What advice would you give to all your fans out there?

To quote Henry James: "Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind."

For MORE of Michelle Whelan AND Sustainable Nantucket.....



Michelle Whelan's Official Bio

A passionate advocate for the environment from an early age, Michelle was born and raised in northern New Jersey, and first came to Nantucket in 1994, while attending college at the University of Massachusetts. She fell in love with Nantucket's natural beauty and sense of community and chose to live on-island, full-time, year-round for several years before returning to school in Boston to study art. 

After graduating, she moved to New York City, working in the children's literature department at John Wiley & Sons by day and as a multi-media painter and studio artist by night. In 2002, she returned to the island and while continuing to paint, began doing freelance graphic design, fundraising, event-production and communications for non-profits. In 2007 she took on the role of Executive Director of Sustainable Nantucket, and since then she has overseen the growth of the organization from a staff of two and a board of 9, to a staff of 5 and a board of 16 -- and the growth of its programs, including the SN Farmers & Artisans Market which has gone from annual visitation of 18,000 to over 38,000 in 2014; the creation and development of a Farm to School program that includes an over 8,000 square foot garden and produces hands on lessons in nutrition and environment stewardship to over 500 students a year, a Nantucket Grown Campaign that includes an annual magazine and a brand awarded to over 20 food-service providers that source locally; and a Community Agriculture Program that includes apprenticeship & land-lease initiatives, workshops and classes for growers, and a new - just beginning - 2-acre educational community farm. 

She has two daughters, ages  8 and 5, both of whom love Nantucket, food, and farming as much as she does.

Have a wellness guru in mind for #FiveOnFriday?!


{Perhaps that's YOU?!} 

Blissfully Yours,

Tatiana Ridley, CHHC, AADP

Blog: HealthyliciousBliss!