In our first four years of work at RFSI, we sought and received feedback and support from many generous people working across regenerative agriculture and food systems. Now, in the thick of our 5th year, we are very pleased to announce our first formal RFSI Advisory Committee. This incredible group of individuals brings diverse expertise and energy to our efforts at RFSI and we are beyond grateful and excited for them to help us along the next chapter of expanding RFSI’s reach and impact. Meet our advisors!
Anthony Corsaro, Outlaw Ventures
Anthony is the Founder and Managing Director at Outlaw Ventures: a family office backing the rebels, radicals, and revolutionaries building the better food system of tomorrow. Outlaw Ventures is in the process of raising a venture capital fund to invest in early-stage regenerative consumer brands.
Anthony is also the Creator and Co-Host of The ReGen Brands Podcast: a podcast about the consumer brands supporting regenerative agriculture and how they’re changing the world. He is also the Founder of Regeneration Nation: a clothing company and community hub for the heroes and advocates of regenerative agriculture.
Anthony’s family has been deeply involved in the food system for almost 100 years since his orphaned grandfather started selling produce in the early 1930s. That business grew into one of the leading regional fresh produce distributors in the country and today serves 2,500+ retail customers in 20 states. Anthony helped steward the most recent growth phase of the company as a third-generation contributor and executive leader in the business. His professional background in food distribution and personal health journey led him to his work in building regenerative food systems.
Why we’re pumped to have Anthony on our Advisory Committee:
Anthony is an evangelist for regenerative agriculture and food who brings a ton of energy to everything he does. We should know! He spent 2021 and 2022 as RFSI’s first ever Director of Business Development. In that role he learned the ins and out of our community and helped bring our work to the next level post-pandemic.
Learn more about Anthony’s work:
Tim Crosby, Thread Fund
Tim Crosby is Principal of the Thread Fund, which focuses on investing multiple forms of capital to generate social and environmental returns alongside financial returns. Additionally, he is on the Steering Committee Member Global Alliance for the Future of Food, Chair Transformational Investing in Food Systems Initiative (TIFS), and advisor to numerous projects. He has developed a regional food hub, a loan loss reserve fund at a credit union, researched a logic model gap between for-profit and non-profit investors, and partnered to develop a sustainable ag loan program at a CDFI. Prior, Tim was a professional photographer and graphic designer. Tim holds a Sustainable MBA from Presidio University and a BA in Anthropology from Kenyon College.
Why we’re pumped to have Tim on our Advisory Committee:
Tim works tirelessly to ensure that there is appropriate and information dialogue around key issues in the development of regenerative food systems and that that dialogue results in action. His support of work around true cost accounting has significantly advanced that conversation and his work on funding the missing mid-supply chain of regenerative systems is both demonstrating what is possible and activating more capital for the space.
Learn more about Tim’s work:
- Tim has spoken on the messy middle for RFSI in the past. Here he explains the complexity and opportunities for investing in the middle.
Skya Ducheneaux, Akipton
Skya Ducheneaux is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and spent her first 18 years of life on a cattle ranch on the CRST Reservation in South Dakota. She has a MBA in Business Administration. She previously spent her summers interning for the Intertribal Agriculture Council, where she was introduced to the Native CDFI world (Community Development Financial Institution). Skya worked diligently to create the first national Native CDFI dedicated to Indian agriculture, which launched in 2019. Today Skya remains connected to agriculture, just from the other side of the table.
Why we’re pumped to have Skya on our Advisory Committee:
We’ve known Skya and her work at Akiptan since she joined our 2021 RFSI Forum program in Oakland. She is a powerhouse of information about funding native farmers and ranchers and in her years at Akiptan has shown she knows how to get things done and get capital activated!
Learn more about Skya’s work:
- Here’s an informative introduction to Akiptan from Skya.
Paul McMahon, SLM Partners
Paul McMahon is a co-founder and Managing Partner of SLM Partners, an asset management firm that uses investment capital to scale up regenerative farming and forestry systems. The firm manages funds and separate accounts that invest in organic farming in the USA, forestry and orchard crops in Europe, and mixed farming and carbon projects in Australia. Founded in 2009, and a pioneer of investing in regenerative agriculture, SLM Partners manages almost half a billion dollars in capital.
Previously, Paul was Vice-President at Climate Change Capital Ltd, where he led a team developing a strategy for a global farmland fund. Before that, he was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company in New York. He has published two books and numerous papers on sustainable food and forestry. Originally from Ireland, Paul holds a PhD from Cambridge University and a BA from University College Dublin. He lives in New York.
Why we’re pumped to have Paul on our Advisory Committee:
Paul is the original RFSI Advisor! When RFSI was founded 5 years ago, Paul was instrumental in shaping how we approached building an inclusive community and dialogue in this space. He brings decades of experience and leadership in ecological and regenerative asset management and his work is proof that capital can be allocated at scale to regeneration.
Learn more about Paul’s work:
- Paul wrote the first white paper exploring The Investment Case for Ecological Agriculture.
- Listen to Paul’s December 2021 conversation with Keon van Seijen on the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture & Food Podcast.
- Check out the two books Paul has published:
Tina Owens, Nutrient Density Alliance, Soil & Climate Alliance
Tina is a systems leader, strategist and futurist within the Organic and Regenerative Agriculture movements in the United States. She is currently the Sr. Fellow of Regenerative Agriculture at the Soil & Climate Alliance of Green America and is co-leading the Nutrient Density Alliance.
Tina’s background spans two decades within the world’s largest food companies (Kellogg Company and Danone) and includes leading transformational shifts in food and agriculture systems via supply and operations.
Tina was raised in a multi-generational conventional dairy and farming family and is a passionate advocate for scaling regionally-based, perennial and regenerative food systems focused on human and planetary health outcomes. She walks the talk through regeneration of the land on her own family farm in Michigan where Tina and her family raise heritage, pastured animals for nutrient dense outcomes, to regenerate their land, and to provide a deeper understanding of these food systems as it relates to scaling regional, regenerative agriculture nationally.
Why we’re pumped to have Tina on our Advisory Committee:
Tina was instrumental in bringing our 2021 Rooted in Health virtual event together – which connected funders to the growing body of knowledge on the connection between agricultural practices and human health and nutrition. She is a true systems thinker and brings a diversity of experience to her work and this committee – including farming, decades of work in global food companies, and the emerging science behind nutrient density.
Learn more about Tina’s work:
- Tina’s been gathering some fascinating research related to her nutrient density work, commitments to regenerative agriculture from food corporates, and more.
Esther Park, Cienega Capital
Esther is the CEO of Cienega Capital, a regenerative investment firm utilizing an integrated capital approach to systemic change in the areas of soil health, regenerative agriculture, and local food systems. Cienega Capital is also part of the #NoRegrets Initiative, a regenerative asset strategy focused on the health of agricultural soils and agricultural communities in North America. Esther has over 20 years of experience in mission-based financial services ranging from microfinance to risk capital investments, in partnership with financial institutions, family offices, foundations, and investment advisors. She is also a faculty member of the Just Economy Institute. She also serves as a Board member at Custom Food Solutions, Carman Ranch Provisions, Eden Cider, Civil Eats, and Grassfed Alliance.
Why we’re pumped to have Esther on our Advisory Committee:
Esther has and continues to be an incredible leader in rethinking how we use financial investment to reach ecological, climate, and social outcomes, which is why she was one of the first speakers we invited to our very first RFSI Forum in 2019. Her balance of deep understanding of the investment system, as well as the market and human complexities of the agriculture and food systems, makes her a leading systemic solution builder in the space. We are thrilled to bring this expertise to RFSI via this committee.
Learn more about Esther’s work:
- Check out the #NoRegrets initiative website to learn more about what Esther has built with Sally Calhoun in order to deploy “human, ecological, and financial capital to soil health and its impacts.”
- Listen to this podcast with Esther on the Smart & Soulful Money podcast.
Mark Watson, Potlikker Capital
Mark Watson currently serves as President and Co-Founder of Potlikker Capital (a non-profit charitable loan fund) an integrated capital fund dedicated to supporting BIPOC farmers at the intersection of racial and climate justice. Potlikker Capital is a supporting entity to Jubliee Justice and RSF Social Finance. Mark has also served as Managing Director of the Fair Food Fund, which offers catalytic capital with a social equity lens and co-designed and launched an integrated racial justice capital fund, The Boston Impact Initiative Fund. He is also the founder of Keel Asset Management LLC, a financial advisory firm that provides socially responsible financial planning and investment advisory.
Why we’re pumped to have Mark on our Advisory Committee:
Mark blows us away with his understanding of the capital ecosystem. He has a unique way of explaining the role of philanthropy in this system, is working to build innovative and collaborative relationships between private and public capital, and is activating essential capital and human resources for BIPOC farmers.
Learn more about Mark’s work:
- Watch Mark’s conversation with Francesco Collective about his experience, what we’ve learned, and what Potlikker Capital is doing for BIPOC producers.
- Mark speaks with Jen Astone at Integrated Capital Investing back in 2021.