Advisory Board

Groundswell’s Advisory Board is a dedicated group of volunteers who oversee the development of our organization and guide our mission and vision. This group serves in an advisor and supervisor role to the Groundswell Director in collaboration with the Board of Directors of Center for Transformative Action, the 501c3 fiscal sponsor of Groundswell.

Groundswell also has an Incubator Committee which guides our work at the Incubator Farm.

Current Advisory Board members:

Peter Bardaglio
Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative
peter-200x200Peter Bardaglio is president of Black Oak Wind Farm, an 16.1 MW project just outside of Ithaca. Co-author of Boldly Sustainable: Hope and Opportunity for Higher Education in the Ae of Climate Change (2009), he is the founder and coordinator of the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative. Bardaglio was the provost and vice president of academic affairs from 2002 to 2007 at Ithaca College, where he helped to launch the college’s nationally recognized sustainability initiative. Besides the Groundswell, he currently serves on the boards of the Museum of the Earth, New Roots Charter School, EcoVillage at Ithaca, and Get Your Greenback Tompkins. A member of the history faculty for nearly 20 years at Goucher College, Bardaglio received his AB from Brown University and PhD from Stanford University.

Cathy Barnes
CCE Schuyler County


Cathy Barnes joined the Groundswell board in December 2016. She has a background in agrotourism and farming.




Rachel Bezner-Kerr
Cornell Community Food Systems Minor Program


Rachel Bezner-Kerr is an Associate Professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. Her research interests converge on the broad themes of sustainable agriculture, food security, health, nutrition and social inequalities, with a primary focus in southern Africa.


Todd McLane
TC3 Farm Manager


Todd McLane, the Director of the TC3 Farm, originally hails from Central New Jersey and is a graduate of the University at Albany-SUNY. Todd’s passion for having a positive impact on his community led him to pursue a career in agriculture. Growing high quality, healthy food wasn’t enough for Todd. He wanted to educate and inspire folks about local food. This led him to the TC3 Farm.

Prior to his work at TC3, Todd was the Farm Manager at West Haven Farm in Ithaca, one of the oldest certified organic vegetable operations in the area. Todd has served on various ag committees, including the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and Healthy Food for All. He also serves as a mentor for beginning farmers through NOFA-NY.

Erin Summerlee
Food & Heath Network, Whitney Point


Erin is a Southern Tier native who returned after studying in Chicago and working with an organic vegetable farm in Chelsea, MI. Erin is currently the Director of the Food and Health Network of South Central NY, an 8-county coalition working to link food access, health, and sustainable agriculture in support of a thriving regional food system. Erin also serves on the management committee for NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC, the board of directors for the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship (CADE), the NYS Farm to School Coordinating Committee, and several agriculture and anti-hunger task forces across the region.




Megan Vidler
Home Green Home







Matthew Weiss
Cornell Small Farms Program

matt-200x200Matt is an Ithaca, New York native who returned to the Finger Lakes region after spending seven years living in Philadelphia, where he earned a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from Temple University and spent 4 years running a farmers’ market program. Matt is currently the Beginning Farmer Coordinator for Cornell’s Small Farms Program. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, and stacking firewood.

Mary Kate Wheeler
NY State Agriculture Economic Analyst, Cornell University


Mary Kate is an Ithaca native who studied sustainable design, woodworking and permaculture in Vermont before starting a small diversified vegetable farm and also managing a nonprofit urban youth farm in Spokane, Washington. The questions and challenges she encountered while farming led her back to Ithaca, where she recently completed a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at Cornell. She loves working with and learning from farmers, and hopes to manage a small farm again in the future.


Interested in serving on Groundswell’s Advisory Board?

Please read the information below, and feel free to give us a call at 607-319-5095 to discuss your interests. Apply Online.

Groundswell Advisory Board Job Description and Expectations

Duties of the Advisory Board

  • Ensure that Groundswell‘s vision, values and mission are reflected in its programs and policies.
  • Ensure effective and strategic organizational planning.
  • Be actively engaged in fundraising events and activities.
  • Cultivate strategic relationships on Groundswell’s behalf.
  • Select and support the Groundswell Director, and review performance.
  • Adopt an annual budget and regularly monitor Groundswell’s fiscal status.
  • Enhance Groundswell’s public image and promote the Center’s mission and programs.

Expectations of Advisory Board members

Advisory Board members are expected to commit to a minimum of 5 hours of active engagement each month. This includes:

  • Participation in at least 8 of the 12 monthly Advisory Board meetings each year.  Members residing away from Ithaca are expected to attend at least two meetings per year in person, participating via teleconference in others.
  • Serving on at least one subcommittee or work team of the Advisory Board, when active.
  • Participating as a Groundswell representative in at least four public events per year (one/quarter)

In addition, Advisory Board members are expected to:

  • Support Groundswell’s commitment to pursuing economic justice, inclusion, anti-racism and equity in the food system.
  • Work collaboratively and respectfully with other Advisory Board members, while embracing constructive conflict.
  • Participate in continuing education to enhance knowledge and skills for effective organizational governance in a multicultural context.
  • Financially support Groundswell in a manner commensurate with personal resources.


  • Advisory Board meetings are held on the second Monday of each month from 6-8PM.
  • Subcommittees and work teams meet as needed for their current work agenda. 

Benefits include satisfaction and networking:

  • Being part of a dynamic community-based organization which is catalyzing positive change in our community, region, and food system.
  • Leadership opportunities in community-based sustainable development, “green jobs,” site-based education, and local food systems.
  • Opportunities to build networks within the local community and among regional and national organizations.
  • Opportunities to foster meaningful and lasting partnerships with diverse collaborators.

Length of term:  Advisory Board members serve 3 year terms, and may serve up to two consecutive 3 year terms.