If you are interested in becoming a part of the Locavore board, please email [email protected].
Photos by Amanda Long of Amanda Photographic.
Nicolle (Niki) Timm-Branch
President and Founder
Niki is the founder of Central Oregon Locavore and a Bend native who grew up eating fresh seasonal produce from her mother’s garden, fresh raw milk from the local co-op, and various local foods of all kinds.
After earning a bachelor’s of science in nursing from Oregon Health Sciences University in Ashland, Nicolle moved to Denver where she worked as a labor and delivery nurse in a large, high-profile hospital. It didn’t take long for her to become disillusioned with city life and she soon found herself working part-time on a raw milk dairy near Boulder and becoming reacquainted with the local food scene.
Since Nicolle’s return to Bend she has made many good friends among the farmers and local-food advocates of Central Oregon. Seeing a need to support the local economy and the local food movement, Nicolle assisted in forming a small food co-op, which over time has evolved into the current nonprofit, Central Oregon Locavore.
Nicolle is a firm believer that we have to be the change we want to see in the world and is actively trying to take steps to create a more balanced, loving, sustainable and earth-friendly society.
In addition to founding Central Oregon Locavore, Nicolle currently works at St Charles Medical Center in Bend and Redmond as a labor and delivery nurse. Nicolle recently became a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) and is now part of the lactation team at SCMC, which is headed by her mother!
Nicolle’s dream is to see the local food movement explode onto the scene and reconnect us with our food, with our neighbors and with the Earth.
Karen comes to us with 30+ years experience in the non-profit healthcare financial sector, most recently serving as the CFO of St Charles Bend. After retirement Karen returned to school and obtained a degree in nutrition through the Nutritional Therapy Association and provides nutritional consultation services. Karen is a long time Locavore member, supporter, and avid shopper at the marketplace. Karens passion for local food, experience with non profit financial management, and keen discernment make us feel like we just won the board member lottery.
Jessi hails from the warmer climes of Southern California and recently relocated with her wife Brooke and 2 sons to Central Oregon after retirement. Jessi built a very successful career designing toys and worked for Hasbro (on the Star Wars line!) and more recently Disney. Although her first job was selling French's mustard. Jessi wasted no time seeking out a local non profit to contribute her formidable business experience to, and once again, I feel like we hit the jackpot.
Natalie was a lucky beneficiary of the digital workplace revolution and was recently able to relocate to Central Oregon while maintaining her position as a senior manager at the Sierra Club Non Profit. Natalie enjoys public speaking, event management, bringing people together, and is a people person who thrives in the social sector. Natalie is an avid supporter of local food and regenerative agriculture, and volunteers as a back country guide with the Sierra Club in Alaska. Watch out folks, this board is on fire!
Andrew is the founder of the company LookSharp, which helps college students find internships and jobs, a financial investor in several companies that provide cutting edge technology to enrich the lives of many, such as PlenOptika and Voatz. As a venture capitalist by trade, Andrew now manages his own fund called Volo Ventures, and is the COO of Elevate Labs. How does he have time to serve on the Locavore board you ask? He makes the time because he believes in our mission, and was greatly impacted while living for a short while at one of our partner ranches, Splitting Aces. Seeing the difference between grass-based husbandry and CAFO farming was enough to inspire this activator to dive into the local food scene and make it better.
Colleen has been involved in the community both professionally and through volunteer efforts since moving to Bend in 2004. Colleen works with a talented team of data analysts at the City of Bend - a position that has allowed her to become intimately familiar with many of the challenges and opportunities in our community. She's an avid gardener who believes that eating locally-produced, sustainable food is not only good for our health but good for our environment and community as a whole. When she's not tending to her veggie garden, you'll find Colleen out on the trails or at a local learning or networking event.
Karen Swirsky is a long-time Bend resident who got interested in the local food movement when she realized the environmental costs of transporting food. It was enough to convert her from being a vegetarian to an enthusiastic carnivore! She is a land use planner who has served on many boards during her time in Bend. Karen is an avid outdoorsperson who loves to hike, paddle, and cross-country ski with her husband Nils. She may be the only person in Bend who doesn’t own a dog.
Hilary has lived in Bend since 1997 and is an outdoor enthusiast. She developed a love of Bend soon after moving to here, not only for the great outdoor sports but for the amazing community and people that Bend has to offer. In 2006 she decided to open her own firm enabling her to provide a more personal approach to her work. She enjoys running her own practice because of the time it allows her to give individual attention to her clients. Hilary also owns her own ranch and is strongly committed to giving back to the community and helping build a sustainable environment for our future.
- HWC Tax & Business Consulting, PC, Owner
- B.S. in Accounting, Linfield College
- 15-years’ experience in the accounting field with a focus on tax preparation and small business consulting
- Certified Public Accountant, licensed in 2004
- Owner-Piggyback Ranch
- Gloucestershire Old Spots of America, Treasurer
Maggie Kirby Weiland
Maggie is Development Director for Craft3, a regional nonprofit that makes loans to strengthen the economic, ecological and family resilience in Oregon and Washington. She has over a decade of experience in fundraising, having secured more than $300 million in funding and tax credit authority for nonprofit organizations. Maggie has a B.A. in Psychology and Master of Urban and Environmental Planning, and professional experience in conflict resolution, natural resource management and conservation, community and economic development, and community development finance. In addition to serving on the Central Oregon Locavore Board of Directors, she is a Deschutes County Planning Commissioner, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Leadership Bend Alumni Association.
Maggie has served on the Central Oregon Locavore Board since 2019 and is a member of the Development and Marketing Committee. She discovered Locavore in researching how Craft3 could build on its long history of financing food and farm businesses to provide value to the farming, ranching and local food producer community in Central Oregon. After participating in several of Locavore’s excellent programs and getting to know members of the Board, Craft3 became a sponsor and Maggie became more involved in the organization. She serves on the Board because of the organization’s strong mission and values, the community it has built amongst producers and consumers, and the passion of its Board, staff, and membership. She looks forward to helping the organization grow into an even stronger Central Oregon institution.
Julie Reber has been selling real estate most of her adult life (17+ years). She is a licensed Principal Broker for Sotheby’s International Real Estate – licensed in both California and Oregon.
Central Oregon is where Julie is raising her family (and pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, goats, etc., while cultivating a hay, vegetable and “clean meat” farm – “Freedom Rock Farms” in Bend, OR). About 4 years ago she and her family left the big city for an even more challenging experience – Farming in Central Oregon! As a recovering vegetarian, she has decided that if she’s going to eat meat, she needs to know how that meat made it to her plate and what that animal was eating. Julie believes that having a relationship with your food is not only important for your own nutrition, but good for the environment. Balancing kids, real estate, farming and volunteering takes some serious focus and a very free spirit – Chaos is the new black!
After volunteering with Central Oregon Locavore for the past several years, Erin Weber joined the Board in Spring of 2020.
Erin has a strong interest in how and where food is produced. She believes that the products, services and programs that Locavore provides are essential to having a healthy, vibrant community.
In her professional life, Erin is a Financial Planner at Sherpa Wealth Strategies in Bend.
A native of Kennewick, Washington and a graduate of Washington State University, Erin and her husband David relocated to Bend from Prosser, Washington in 2014. In their free time, you can find them biking, skiing or paddling on the trails and lakes of Central Oregon, or SCUBA diving if they’re near the ocean.
Guest of the Board: Legal
Chris has been serving Central Oregon as a lawyer since 1996. His practice focuses primarily on business and real estate issues, and he is counsel for several Oregon nonprofits. Chris has helped many Central Oregon nonprofit organizations handle everything from formation and tax issues to the day to day issues that all organizations face. Chris has a strong interest in rural poverty issues and an interest in supporting local farmers. Chris’ services were volunteered to Locavore by his wife Audrey. When Chris isn’t working as a lawyer or working on various project assigned to him by Audrey he spends his time climbing western peaks and cycling.
Dr. Tom Allumbaugh received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He completed medical school at University of California Davis and his residency training in family medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Merced California. Allumbaugh served four years as part of the National Health Service Corps in Reedsport, Ore., and for the past 10 years, has been part of St. Charles Family Care clinic in Redmond. He will be joining the Bend South Family Care clinic in March 2017.
Dr. Allumbaugh’s interests include providing care to the entire family with particular interest in serving older patients. Through his love of farming and gardening, Dr. Allumbaugh has a passion for exploring the role of food and diet in our health.
Outside of the clinic, Dr. Allumbaugh enjoys kayaking with his family and making them laugh. He is a strong advocate of the local farming community and eating local.
Sara and her wife moved to Bend in 1996 and were sad to find there wasn’t a food coop, so when Niki started Locavore, they jumped in as founding members. Good, healthy, local food has always been important to Sara and she is happy to join the inner workings of this fabulous non-profit that has come a very long way since its inception.
Sara has served on the Board of the Human Dignity Coalition, and has owned and managed two local businesses, Sara Bella Custom Outdoor Wear and more recently, Sara Bella Upcycled. After closing Sara Bella Upcycled Sara went full circle back to her roots as a social worker and teacher. Sara Wiener Consulting, works with middle school and older students and their parents, teaching executive function skills. Executive functions encompass time management, planning and organizational strategies. Sara continues to be an artist at home, fusing glass into decorative and useful bowls, plates, jewelry, and garden stakes. Sara and her family enjoy all snow sports as well as mountain biking, swimming and hiking. Sara’s daughter is a biology major at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Raised on a farm in a small town of Maryland, Holly learned early on the importance of supporting thy neighbor and the positive impact one can make when engaging with your local community. Upon graduating college, Holly was ready to spread her wings and experience city living on the West Coast in Seattle where she started her real estate career in the commercial real estate sector. After 13 years in the big city, the traffic and chaos started to take a toll and she was ready for a lifestyle change back to a smaller community that was visibly surrounded by natural landscape. In 2013 she moved to Central Oregon, where she found she wasn’t alone, as everyone else appeared to be moving too.
Building upon her real estate background Holly transitioned into selling residential real estate in Central Oregon with a focus on relocation. While working closely with her clients to get settled into the local community she has learned people have a consciousness and awareness of wanting to consume quality food they just don’t realize how easily accessible it is. Holly is enthusiastic when she is able to connect the new Central Oregonians to the bounty offered by our local farmers and ranchers and is proud to be advocating for the positive impact Locavore is making in the local community.
Abby Kellner-Rode has been involved in local nonprofits, including the Bend Food Project, since she and her husband, Andre, moved to Bend in 2010, to join their physician son, Matt Rode and his family, farmer son David, and daughter, Maija, an artist & graphic designer. Abby, Andre and David, are beginning a family farm in Alfalfa area east of Bend. Their long term plan is to raise vegetables and animals using organic, sustainable practices. For 32 years, the Kellner-Rodes lived in Alaska, where Abby taught Kindergarten, and was a children’s librarian in the school and public libraries. Formerly an East Coast native, Abby graduated from Colorado College in 1975, with a B.A. and received a teaching degree from University of Alaska, in 1981. She is passionate about the importance of supporting locally grown food, food security, nutrition, community involvement, forging connections and collaborations with other people and organizations. As a former elementary school teacher, she sees the link between fresh food, nutrition and learning. COL provides an important service here and her involvement will continue to support its crucial mission, including outreach to promote the organization.
Charlotte is a family physician and medical acupuncturist who has been practicing at Bend Memorial Clinic since 2009. Originally from the East Coast, she moved west to work on the Navajo Reservation in Chinle, AZ for 3 years. Living in the Southwest is where she really fell in love with recreating in the great outdoors. As a family physician, she focuses on health promotion and disease prevention by emphasizing the importance of regular activity and food-as-medicine. Charlotte strongly believes the local food movement is critical to a healthy community.
In 2016 she started a local chapter of the nationwide ‘Walk with a Doc’ program here in Bend which provides the community an opportunity to learn from a BMC doctor while walking with them. She enjoys exploring the outdoors by bike,ski or kayak and when the season is right getting her hands dirty in her garden.
Nate is a database and systems admin with over a decade of professional experience in the field. He relocated to Bend in 2016 to pursue a professional opportunity, quickly falling in love with the area and its people. While attending college in northern Colorado Nate learned about the importance of humane and ecologically sane livestock practices, as well as the impact of factory farming. When not working, Nate enjoys skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and working on personal programming projects.
Jim is your genuinely friendly and highly experienced chief financial strategist and owner of ProCFO. He has been a CPA for eighteen years and counting. After finishing his MBA at the University of Washington, he began his career in Boise, Idaho working at Deloitte & Touche, Idaho Power Company, and IDACORP Energy. When IDACORP exited the energy trading industry, Jim decided it was time to become his own boss. Jim is a devoted family man who is kept on his toes with his children’s school and sports activities. He also loves skiing and a bit of globe-trotting (when it’s not tax season, of course).
Honorary Founding Member
Jim is the head farmer at Fields Farm, a sustainable farm using organic methods, which has been growing produce for the local market since 1989. The farm operates a CSA and Farm Bucks program, and also sells at the Bend Farmers Market, local grocery stores and several restaurants.
Jim and his wife, Debbie, grow a wide range of vegetables including arugula, asparagus, beans, beets, brussel sprouts, specialty broccolis and cauliflowers, cabbage, carrots, collards, corn, cucumbers, garlic, greens, lettuce and lettuce mix, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, peppers, potatoes, onions, scallions, summer squash and tomatoes. They have 10 varieties of potatoes, garlic, kale and lettuce mix in larger quantities for store and institutional sales.