Brandon’s existential anxiety about making sure grains and bean crops were produced and processed locally led to first growing test plots of high nutrition grains. Just a few years later, the mill started up. He's into a lot of other things-- Organic farmsteading, backpacking, Soto Zen, T'ai Chi, Yoga, racquetball, volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee. Oh, and he sings and plays trumpet as part of a New Orleans R&B dance band called The Wild Honeybees.
Michelle came to Athens in her 20s to teach at The White Oak alternative school. She has lived in two intentional communities, farmed for local markets, and raised her two sons, Wren and Rio, who still live in Athens. Her primary work has been with local economic development, legal services for the underserved, environmental, and social justice groups. She has received awards from Ohio University’s University College, and Tech Growth Ohio for her work to connect local food to justice and innovation.
The Facility Team
Joe Beres -- Production Manager
Joe is in charge of seed cleaning and crop receiving, and makes sure the production floor is running well. His humor is uplifting and irreverent, and there’s considerably more laughter at work since he joined the team. He’s been working in organic farming and food production for more than 20 years, and has grown vegetables for market at his family farm in Meigs County, where he lives with his partner, Cat and their two children, Amani and Ben, along with their donkey and goat, Pedro and Damu. He’s also worked as the Assistant Manager for the Athens Farmers Market, and as a member of production team at Snowville Creamery. He’s a long time friend of Michelle and Brandon.
Ian Perritt -- Logistics Manager
Ian’s passion for efficiency and renewable energy, experience with freight logistics and QuickBooks, has changed the day-to-day operations at the mill. He has organized all things administrative, thoughtfully innovated how we run our office, and made our customers’ orders get where they need to be on time. Ian loves motorcycles and is a great mechanic. He and his wife Kami care about the well-being of abandoned dogs and cats, and they make their home a place where their many pets can live a good life.
Dillon Green -- Bookkeeping and Outreach
A man of many hats around the mill, Dillon keeps you up to date on what’s new with Shagbark through social media, answers your questions via e-mail and phone, coordinates products getting where they need to go around Athens County, and you may even see him showing up in the booth at some of your favorite events like Paw Paw Fest or Nelsonville Music Festival. An OU alum who spent several years in Tennessee, he and his wife were elated to return to their roots in Athens in 2018. Dillon enjoys playing music, collecting retro video-games, and making his co-workers groan with terrible puns.
Farmers Market Crew
Lauren Shroll - Athens Farmers Market Lead
Bringing a passion for eating healthfully and locally, Lauren runs the Farmers Market booth each week, helping match products to the dietary preferences of local and far-off visitors. Her background in Applied Nutrition and Food Studies at Ohio University makes her a good fit to share the nutritional and sustainable benefits in buying Shagbark’s “Ohio-grown, Ohio made” staple products. Outside of Saturday market-going, Lauren delegates time toward planting and upkeep at the Ohio Student Farm and also helps lead a project in maintaining the student gardens at Morrison-Gordon Elementary School, which involves teaching planting and nutrition concepts to the 6th-grade science classes. Finally, on top of substituting for the Live Healthy Kids cooking program, working as a personal chef, and guest blogging for Shagbark, she enjoys hiking, listening to Albanian pop, and traveling to far-off places.
Janice Brewer, Demo Coordination
Jaymee Weaver, Athens Farmers Market Sales
When Jaymee comes home from Ecuador to visit her family in New Marshfield a few times a year, she brings her contagious joy and energy to our Athens Farmers Market booth on Saturday mornings. She received a Fulbright Scholarship to work with indigenous communities in Ecuador, where she created and performed plays with indigenous women about their experiences with oil and gas extraction. She has strong ties to her family and community here, and has taught us about the historical and economic connections she sees between Appalachia and Ecuador. She also works with children and adults teaching yoga and Spanish.
Deliveries & Stocking
Tiffany D., Athens Deliveries & Kroger Stocking
Tiffany is a client of Echoing Connections who became a Shagbark employee to deliver our products to our Athens grocery, restaurant, and school customers. You might see her at the Athens Kroger on Mondays and Thursday, when she’s stocking our shelves as part of that delivery. She is also in charge of weekly clean up at the Mill. She loves horseback riding and is on the swim team at the Special Olympics.
Sharon McCune, Athens Kroger Stock
Sharon, an Athens County native, loves to hunt. She’s proficient with a compound bow, crossbow, rifle, and muzzleloader. She is both a mother and grandmother and enjoys spending time with her family. She makes sure that our products are stocked at the Athens Kroger store all weekend and keeps tabs on what we need to send the store on our weekly deliveries. She also works at Echoing Connections, the day program for people with disabilities, which operates in the front of the same building that houses Shagbark’s facility in Athens, Ohio.
Marty Zinn, HR & Payroll Clerk
Marty is a founding member of the cooperative intentional community where she has lived for over 30 years outside Amesville, Ohio, in Athens County. She has spent much of her life participating in nonviolent direct action for social and economic justice, consulting in cooperative communications. She is now "retired" from a career of community organizing, having worked with many of the local Athens advocacy, environmental, and community development nonprofit organizations. Marty helps us with hiring and sees that everyone gets paid on time. She asks the best questions at our monthly staff meetings about profits, balance sheets, and all things financial. She likes taking walks, canoeing, knitting and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Many great people around the region put their passion for local food into sampling our products and telling the Shagbark story in a store near you. When you see one of them, be sure to hello and be served a delicious sample! Then, take a selfie with them to post on your and our social media pages!