Meet the WGC Staff
It takes a village to raise a child. And it takes a diverse group of people to make consumers aware of the health benefits and good taste of whole grains. Here are just some of the people who make it happen.
Program Management, Whole Grains Council
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies
In her work at Oldways, Cynthia combines her diverse experience in nutrition, management, writing and intercultural exchange.
An avid proponent of healthy eating, Cynthia developed and taught an interactive nutrition curriculum called Good Food Basics. She has worked as International Marketing Manager and later VP of New Product Development for a manufacturing company, and was founder and managing director of the Summer Computer Institute.
Cynthia is the author of scores of magazine articles and four books, including the well-known Take Your Kids to Europe, a family travel guide now in its eighth edition. She received her degree in French Culture and Language from Brown University.
Program Manager for the Whole Grains Council
From her childhood spent with her French-cooking grandmother to her present role as wife and as mother of two, Karen has always embraced the “old way” of preparing and enjoying meals together; believing that relationships are built around the dining room table. Often hearing “Does your mom cook like this every day?” Karen began to see that her way was no longer the norm and set out to make a difference. In the Spring of 2011, she opened her home to friends and neighbors to share her simple recipes and cooking techniques for family-friendly and company-worthy meals. This movement is what opened her eyes and led her to follow her heart right to our door.
With a degree in Sales & Marketing, Karen has spent the last two decades connecting with a diverse clientele in a variety of different fields. Before arriving at our door, she honed her organizing and problem solving skills, but also tapped into her intuitive nature and warm personality. These are the very skills which make her a perfect fit as the Program Manager of the Whole Grains Council. Here, she engages with both manufacturers, media and consumers to foster a better understanding of whole grains and the benefits of healthy eating. Karen contributes to other programs at Oldways and shares her stories, recipes and advice on our blog.
Program Assistant for the Whole Grains Council
Mallory is thrilled to be joining the Oldways team to work on the Whole Grains Council as a Program Assistant. Mallory graduated from Boston University in 2009 with a degree in Art History and Anthropology and has spent time traveling, writing, and working in online media. After spending more time than she’d like to admit in local markets and grocery stores throughout her travels, it quickly became apparent to her that her lifelong passion for food (and eating!) was destined to be her career. Before joining Oldways, Mallory was the Communications and Outreach Intern at Chefs Collaborative, where she developed a love for locally grown, and simple yet delicious food. She truly believes that healthy eating makes happy people.
Mallory is an avid baker and cook in the making and looks forward to learning more about whole grains in and out of the office! Whenever she has time, she loves to experiment ...in the kitchen and hopes to share her recipes and contribute regularly to the Oldways and the Whole Grains Council blogs. Mallory is also excited about encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle by choosing whole grains and cooking the good, old fashioned way!
Additional Key Personnel
Although the entire Oldways staff contributes to the success of the Whole Grains Council, certain key personnel are involved regularly in the WGC's work and are listed below.
Sara has been an instrumental figure at Oldways for two decades. She assumed the presidency of Oldways in May 2010, on the untimely death of founder K. Dun Gifford. She now develops company strategy, oversees all Oldways projects and programs, and works closely with all members of the Oldways staff.
Before joining Oldways in 1992, Sara served as Special Projects Editor for Inc. Magazine and directed a number of special events. As Special Projects Editor for seven years, she directed all special reports for the editorial department of the magazine and established the magazine's internship program.
Sara has worked as a research consultant for private firms, and in state and federal government positions in the fields of environmental resources, business, and education. She graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. in Economics and holds a Master's Degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Director of Finance
Birthe came to Oldways in 1999 with a strong background in financial management of grants and contracts and budget administration. She previously served as the Associate Director for Research Administration at the Institute for Circadian Physiology in Cambridge for 10 years, after having worked 15 years as Executive Administrative Assistant in a leading cardiovascular-renal physiology laboratory at Harvard Medical School.
With her keen interest in appetizing and healthful food choices, health care, organic gardening and agriculture, and environmental issues she welcomed the opportunity to work with Oldways.
Birthe holds a Diploma from the Danish Medical Society Medical Secretarial School in Copenhagen, Denmark and a Certificate in Graphic Design from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.
Rachel has a passion for all things food and truly believes that food not only feeds the body but also the feeds the soul. With a chef for a father, growing up, the motto in her home was "You don't have to like it but you have to try it." Fortunately or unfortunately she hits the 'like' button with most things she tries these days which keeps her on an insatiable search for new and delicious fresh ingredients. She is a griller to be reckoned with and loves to test out new culinary concoctions on friends, family, or just about anyone that has an open mind and an adventurous palate.
Rachel joined Oldways in April of 2011 to raise the organization's communications efforts to new heights. In this newly-enhanced position she is responsible for all day-to-day communications for Oldways and its programs including the Whole Grains Council and the Mediterranean Foods Alliance. Rachel came to Oldways with a strong background in public relations having spent the past 13 years in Boston area agencies working with a diverse portfolio of clients. Her sweet spot has always been food related clients so joining the Oldways team was a dream come true. Today, she is channeling her public relations know-how to educate all who will listen about Oldways and its mission to change the way people eat.
To ensure the depth and quality of its work, the Whole Grains Council also relies its Scientific Advisory Committee and its Culinary Advisory Committee. Click on either one, to learn more about their diverse talents.