News Briefs

RAFFL announces new executive director

RUTLAND—On Aug. 10, the board of directors of Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) announced that Elena Gustavson has been named the new executive director, effective Aug. 1. Gustavson succeeds Tara Kelly, who was appointed in June to serve as the planning director for the City of Rutland.
Gustavson brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Working for the last 12 years directing programs, outreach and communications with organizations throughout the Northeast Region’s food system, Gustavson joined RAFFL in 2015 to manage RAFFL’s outreach programs, oversee communications, and coordinate Everyday Chef, its food and cooking program.
“Not only do we have beautiful and productive working lands cultivated by a rich network of producers, but there is a palpable and exciting energy of change within the area communities,”  said Gustavson. “It is the place to be as Vermont’s agricultural and food scene continues to evolve and mature.”
The board of directors conducted a national search in June, which generated 30 applicants. “After an extensive interview process with a number of highly qualified candidates, the board and staff stood unanimously behind Elena. Her experience, knowledge of the organization, and vision for the future made her the ideal choice to take RAFFL to the next level,” said Kara Soulia, board president. “Having such a deep pool of capable applicants reflects the interest that people have in RAFFL’s excellent work.”
The transition from Kelly to Gustavson has been smooth and effective. Kelly noted that “I have complete faith in Elena’s talent, having worked closely with her for the past year and a half. She brings a statewide perspective to the position which is vital as RAFFL continues to serve as a leader in community-based food access and awareness.”

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