Board of Directors
Slow Money NYC is managed by a Board of 9 volunteer Directors.
Claude Arpels, co-chair, has spent most of his career in the luxury goods industry. An MBA from Columbia University, he worked formany years as an executive in his family business Van Cleef & Arpels, then as CEO of the Italian fashion companies Redwall and Alessandro Dell’Acqua, and most recently Managing Partner of the children’s furniture business NettoCollection. Upon selling this last business, and graduating from the French Culinary Institute, Claude decided to dedicate himself to his interests in food, the environment, and social enterprise. Slow Money represents the perfect nexus of these diverse interests. In addition to the SMNYC board, Claude is a founding member of Foodshed Investors New York (FINY), a local angel investor network. He is also Co-Chair and board member of Taste of Tribeca and a member of New York’s Community Education Council for District 2. Passionate about the arts, Claude is the Board President of the avant-garde music ensemble International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Claude also owns a property in Chatham, NY, which he is slowly renovating and turning into a diversified sustainable farm.
Christine Rico, co-chair, is a social entrepreneur, growth strategist and financial consultant to growth phase businesses with a social impact mission. Her company, CFO on Speed Dial helps food companies improve profits while they innovate with flavor, sourcing and creating a more sustainable food system. Christine is also mentor in New York City’s WENYC program (women’s entrepreneurship NYC) and was a 2015 Agent of Change at the Centre for Social Innovation. Christine is a bike-commuting, fruit and vegetable grower who lives in Brooklyn.
Jon Zeltsman, treasurer, is President of Down to Earth Market, formerly Community Markets, a family business managing 20 farmers markets throughout Westchester and Rockland Counties and New York City. The business was conceived and founded by Miriam Haas, his wife, and Jon began full time participation in 2002. He has been an instrumental partner in crafting this mission driven venture into a sustainable small business. Just prior to full time involvement with the company he earned a culinary certificate from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City.
For ten years prior to taking an active role in Down to Earth Market, Jon worked in various capacities consulting with small scale manufacturers. He introduced a program of management consulting services to the Industrial Technology Assistance Corp., a New York City firm which had traditionally focused its efforts on delivering industrial engineering services to the manufacturers. He was a principle of a project team that designed and launched an employee owned woodworking company in Vermont, filling a void left by the closing of an Ethan Allen furniture plant.
Studying geography in college, embracing the humanizing forces of craft based industry, and believing that local / regional economies are essential to a healthy global society have been drivers of Jon’s life philosophy. Small is indeed beautiful.
Caitlin Dourmashkin has spent the last eight years focused on supporting local manufacturing and small businesses development as the Director of Planning and Community Development for EVERGREEN, an industrial development non-profit organization in North Brooklyn. In 2011, Caitlin founded the Small Food Producers Network as a monthly meet-up for emerging food manufacturers. Over the past three years, The Network has grown to over 300 businesses, and services now include regular business development workshops and direct one-on-one consulting around finance and strategic planning. Caitlin holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
Brian Kaminer has served as the boards’s co-chair from 2011 to 2013. Slow Money has been one of the key organizations inspiring him to think, relate and invest differently. His company Talgra is focused on cultivating sustainable investments, from sustainable food to renewable energy. Brian has a growing portfolio of community and impact investments. He is the co-founder of Foodshed Investors New York, an angel investor network focused on funding local, sustainable food business. Brian recently launched Invest With Values, a free educational website that is “The Investor’s Gateway to Positive Change” helping people align their money and values. Brian has consulted on award winning energy conservation projects. In 2010 he participated in the NYU-Poly Cleantech Executive program. His background includes 17 years in the brokerage business. Brian focuses his personal and professional life on positively aligning the social, environmental and economic impacts of his choices and actions.
David Robinov has been a serial entrepreneur since 1981. He owned six successful retail natural markets in the New York area and also developed a Chinese herbal-based cola, China Cola, that became one of the top-selling soft drinks in the Natural Products Marketplace. David has served as a director at both Reeds, Inc. and Mary’s Gone Crackers. He also co-founded Organic Brands, LLC and developed the product line Mediterranean Organic. David is presently a co-founder at Farm to People, whose mission is to make it easy to discover & buy from small-batch artisanal producers.
Wen-Jay Ying is the Program Director and Founder of Local Roots NYC, a mission driven organization that creates a local food culture through an alternative CSA model and various events such as pop up supper clubs and an annual music and food festival. The Local Roots CSA has 15 locations throughout NYC, supports over 10 local farmers, and feeds approximately 450 families with sustainably grown produce and small-batch value added products. In 2014, Wen-Jay received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from former Mayor Bloomberg. Previously, she worked at Red Jacket Orchards where she set up the first fruit-only CSA in NYC and was an Americorps VISTA at Just Food as their CSA Resource Associate. Wen-Jay attended Boston University for her undergraduate with a major in psychology. In her free time, she also books concerts, plays music, and hangs out with her corgi.
Thanks to previous volunteer Board / Steering Committee Members:
Sam Kressler, 2011-2012
Scott Budde, 2011-2012
Nicole Reed, 2011-2013
Amy Cortese, 2012-2014
Lindsay Greene, 2012-2014
Kerry Gendron, 2011-2013
Jennifer Grossman, 2013-15