MLUI is happy to introduce new Senior Policy Specialist Bill Palladino, but for many of you, he needs no introduction. Bill has been working with us for years, as a volunteer, a board member and consultant. Now we’re thrilled to have him on staff, working with the Taste the Local Difference program and other efforts to support the local economy.
It is with great excitement that I write you this brief message from my own desk here at the Michigan Land Use Institute.
As of Nov. 19, 2012, I’ve put aside my private practice, Krios Consulting, left my partnership with the International Thought Leader Network, and taken on the role of Senior Policy Specialist for MLUI. For those of you who know me well, this should come as little surprise. I have been circling around and within this incredible organization for over a decade.
My role at MLUI will be to build a new collaborative local food marketing campaign that will help our region meet the Food & Farming Network and Grand Vision goal that at least 20 percent of our region’s food comes from local sources by 2020. I will be working with Network partners and others to develop a collaborative marketing campaign that links, supports, and elevates all of our work. This includes farmers who grow our food, retailers who showcase and sell locally grown food, schools that serve it to our kids at lunch, tourism officials who draw visitors to the region, and chambers of commerce that challenge their business members to require that 20 percent of food served at lunches or events is grown here.
My MLUI Food & Farming partners have already had discussions with many key stakeholders, and there is much to build from. We believe that the Taste the Local Difference brand will be very helpful to get us started, and we envision new marketing materials that use the TLD logo, a shared farmer photo database, and a vibrant, collaborative consumer campaign. And we envision a major local foods celebration in the fall of 2013 that draws attention to all the great local food initiatives under way in our community, giving them greater power, visibility, and momentum.
We recognize that this campaign is designed to help all sectors of the food & farming economy, and will need to be supported by that community—and eventually move out of the Michigan Land Use Institute. Ensuring that the process is smooth and successful is also part of my job. In the meantime, we will continue to update and produce the Taste the Local Difference food & farm guide, and this year we’ll be adding a Smart Phone application.
After working with MLUI in many volunteer capacities over the past seven years, and proudly serving as a board member, the opportunity to join the organization in this capacity, at this moment in time, was too enticing to set aside. Personally, this new role will allow me to commit more of my time to the community I call home and to my family.
I’m happy to be here helping to do the good work of this great organization. It’s an honor to work alongside my new, but familiar, colleagues.
231-941-6584 ext: 25