Transition Sarasota

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Transition Sarasota


Transition Sarasota "partners with many local organizations to advance our mission of building a sustainable local community both now and for future generations. In the seven years since our founding, we have have also built a considerable network of individuals who support our goals, especially our focus on strengthening our local food infrastructure and relieving food insecurity.

This year (2017), in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, Transition Sarasota revived its Films For a Future series of monthly screenings of documentaries on a variety of topics, including urban gardening, permaculture, and healthy food.[1]

Transition Sarasota was founded by Don Hall.[2]

Our Team

  • Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for a decade. He is currently an associate editor at Sarasota Magazine. His work won an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation, a Bronze Award for Best In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Magazine Association, and he was named a finalist for Best Public Service Reporting by the Florida Society of Professional Journalists.
  • Darryl McCullough came to Sarasota in 2012, after a 33-year career as a professor of mathematics at the University of Oklahoma. He has supported Transition Sarasota since before his arrival here, and has been a Board member since Transition Sarasota became an independent organization in 2016. Darryl has more than 100 fruit trees on his two-acre property in Desoto Lakes, currently serves as Treasurer for two area fruit tree clubs, and is the founder and owner of SweetSong Groves LLC, which markets fresh local tropical fruit in the Sarasota area.
  • Don Hall is the founder of Transition Sarasota and now contracts with the organization to coordinate the weekly gleaning project. Previously, he worked for two years as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Transition Colorado (now, the Local Food Shift Group), the first official Transition Initiative in North America and a statewide hub. Don holds a Master's in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University and is a certified Permaculture Designer and US Transition Trainer. Although our founder, Don Hall, has moved on to become national co-director of Transition US, [[Transition

Sarasota]] continues to pursue his vision of a sustainable local community on Florida's Suncoast.

  • Jeff Hollway has been a resident of Sarasota for 21 years. He received his Doctorate in Education from the University of Florida. Since retiring, Jeff has been involved with Mote Marine Research Laboratory as a volunteer educator and also volunteers with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and the Transition Sarasota Gleaning Program. These commitments reflect his deep interest and dedication in all aspects of the environment with particular emphasis on promoting a sustainable and healthy community in Sarasota.
  • Jeff Vredenburg is the Sustainability Program Educator for the City of Sarasota and works on the issues of recycling, climate change adaptation, waste diversion and greenhouse gas emission reductions. He has been actively trying to help people reduce their carbon footprint through education and community involvement for a decade. He moved to Sarasota after studying sustainability science and sustainable tourism.
  • Joe Chapman is a Certified Public Accountant whom has over 15 years of experience acting as Treasurer for Not for Profit Organizations in the Sarasota area. He enjoys giving back to the community by volunteering his time to local sustainable oriented organizations. His role is to assist the organization with compiling financial records to guide in its mission.
  • Laurin Kocher is the Marketing Field Associate for Whole Foods Market covering Sarasota to Naples. In 2016 she began volunteering for the planning committee for Eat Local Week. She has also worked with Newtown Nation obtaining a grant for them through Whole Cities Foundation so they could further grow their farmer’s market. She looks forward to making meaningful contributions to the group and in assisting the organization’s growth. She resides here in Sarasota with her dog and two cats.
  • Leigh Barber is a senior at New College of Florida in Sarasota. She is majoring in Political Science with a focus in Environmental Studies and is a student volunteer with Transition Sarasota's social media team. Leigh has a passion for food, whether it be cooking for her friends and family, shopping for the freshest ingredients, or finding the best restaurants wherever she is. She is so excited to be sharing her passion with Transition Sarasota!
  • Roger Landry has always been aware of humanity's impact on the natural world. He is a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Commissioning Specialist and volunteers with several local nonprofits, including the Myakka River Branch of United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and Transition Sarasota. Having recently completed a Permaculture Design Certification Course, Roger is now more committed than ever to improving the environment.

Suncoast Gleaning Project

"Our Suncoast Gleaning Project has completed another season of harvesting otherwise wasted produce and providing it to the All Faiths Food Bank for redistribution to food insecure families in our area. Almost all of it is fresh local organic produce from Jessica's Organic Farm in north Sarasota County. Over the seven seasons of the project, more than 247,000 pounds have been donated, and this past season was our largest yet, with more than 54,000 pounds harvested by more than 200 volunteers. This project has attracted attention in other parts of Florida and is being studied as a model."

Arlene Sweeting

A quote from a local publication shows that Arlene Sweeting has been associated with Transition Sarasota.

"Arlene Sweeting is a native Floridian and has lived in the Sarasota and Bradenton area since 1993. Since moving here, she taught middle school science for seven years, started and operated a community coffeehouse for five years, managed a community radio station for nine years and currently runs the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center. Over the years I have been active locally with a number of organizations including the Manatee/Sarasota Sierra Club as outings leader, publications chairwoman, conservation chairwoman and group leader, the American Association of University Women mentor program and Transition Sarasota. My work over the past decade has been geared to supporting a more active, educated and engaged citizenry. I believe people should have a voice in their local government and in decisions that affect their community."[3]

Eat Local Week

"Also in its seventh year, our Eat Local Week again provides a focus on local food producers and businesses, with 16 events including the Geraldson Community Farm Fall Harvest Fest, the Second Annual Big Mamas Collard Green Fest, the Green Path Farms Veterans Appreciation Dinner, our Keynote Presentation by Samantha Benjamin-Kirk of the USDA, and many other informative, inspiring, and just plain enjoyable events. Eat Local Week is established as a showcase for local organizations and businesses, and a catalyst for community building throughout our local region."