MALT Board Adds Two Members, Welcomes a New Chair
November 1, 2021
This month, MALT’s board of directors welcomes two new members, Caitlin Landesberg and Iris Shim; appoints Bob McGee to the role of board chair; and says good-bye and thank you to two members whose terms have ended, Neil Rudolph and Sam Dolcini.
MALT is fortunate to have a board of directors strengthened by members with a diversity of backgrounds, viewpoints, and skills. The new board members further propel MALT’s bold vision for the future, as we evolve toward being a model for regenerative, inclusive agricultural practices.
Caitlin Landesberg: Turning Appreciation of Land into Action
Growing up in Los Altos Hills, adjacent to miles of open space, Caitlin (Looney) Landesberg was grateful for the accident of birth that put her in a place that people traveled from around the world to visit. After many years as a marketing executive and communications expert at tech companies including Adobe, Mozilla, and Strava, the competitive trail runner founded and served as CEO of Sufferfest Beer Company, sold to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in 2019. Caitlin currently is co-founder and angel investor at This Is Water, a fund focused on mission-driven consumer brands.
“I’m passionate about access to delicious, nutritious food and the land that produces it,” Caitlin said. “I fully recognize the privilege in being adjacent to Marin’s world-renowned food and supply chain, with its incredible land and water sources. I want to help with last-mile accessibility and equity of food resources—making affordable, beautiful and healthy food products available to all families in the area, and then using storytelling to capture and share where new practices and ideas are working so that others can replicate them.”
Iris Shim: Using Technology to Advance the Business of Farming
A Yale University graduate with an MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Iris Shim has spent her career at the intersection of technology, agriculture, and business. She has worked with Rwandan farmers to improve their specialty coffee supply chain, with the Ethiopian government to help address food security amidst a severe drought, and with a New Zealand-based accounting software company to delve into the ‘plumbing’ of how accounting software is built. Her current position is senior product lead for Collective, an online platform aimed at giving self-employed people the technology and resources they need to focus on their passion.
“MALT farmers provide great models of stewardship and conservation as part of a community doing incredible things,” Iris said. “At the same time, agriculture is hard. While there’s lots of risk in agriculture that can’t be controlled, like drought and storms, I want to use my position as a MALT board member to explore how information management and financial know-how can help address the economic and business challenges facing U.S. farmers, starting in Marin.”
New Board Chair: Bob McGee
Bob McGee is a familiar face to anyone who’s spent time with the MALT organization. A MALT board member since 2015, Bob moves from vice chair to chair of the board. He has worked for more than a decade with Straus Family Creamery, first as COO and CFO and, since 2014, as president and COO. Previously, he served as COO and CFO for both an apparel importer/manufacturer and a venture-backed startup; as principal for a San Francisco management consulting firm; and as founder and general manager of a health foods producer.
“As board chair, my role is to lead and set the direction of the board to support the CEO and his team—to make sure that the governance practices, resources and support are in place to allow MALT staff to carry out their work,” Bob said. “MALT, at its heart, is a highly innovative organization, and the new additions to the board reflect this innovative spirit.”
Moving into the vice chair role on the MALT board is Tamara Hicks, a clinical psychologist and owner, with her husband, David Jablons, of the Toluma Farms goat and sheep dairy in Tomales. In 2013 they added cheesemaking to the farm’s business, marketing their artisan cheeses under the Tomales Farmstead Creamery label.
Farewell, With Gratitude, to Neil Rudolph and Sam Dolcini
Neil Rudolph spent the last two years as the chair of MALT’s board of directors, capping 10 years of service on the board. Neil was granted unanimous permission to extend the limit on consecutive board service—set as three 3-year terms, or nine years total—by one year so he could spend an additional year in the chair position to help MALT navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout his tenure, Neil brought a wealth of financial and philanthropic expertise to MALT’s team, and we are grateful for his contributions to our organization’s health and future prospects.
We also want to thank Sam Dolcini for his years of service on the MALT board. A former board chair and the son of one of MALT’s original board members, Sam brought his expertise as a fifth-generation rancher, agricultural services consultant, and agribusiness recruiter to the organization. We appreciate his insights, his dedication to Marin agriculture, and his infectious enthusiasm for this region we all love so much.