Tom McDougall – Founder
Tom was born and raised in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State. He grew to love the rolling country, and learned to question the suburban sprawl that took over one cow pasture after another around his childhood home.
After moving to DC to finish school, he was introduced to business concepts that had been foreign to him: corporate social responsibility, externalized costs, triple-bottom line, social entrepreneurship, true cost accounting, and others. His first job after college had him traveling back and forth to China where he saw first hand what externalized costs really looked like. By producing all of our “stuff” elsewhere, he experienced the impacts it had on people’s lives, the environment, and the social construct of a backyard, far far away. It was a jarring, eye-opening experience for him, one that ultimately led him to launch 4P Foods in an effort to be part of the solution.
While he and his wife were participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) of their own, and after reading one too many Michael Pollan books, Tom found himself on a life-changing path of working towards food systems change, and more broadly, business systems change. What, really, is the true purpose of business in our society? What should it be? He’d love to know your thoughts.
His favorite vegetable? Kohlrabi. Mostly because he gets to reference Aliens when he describes what it looks like.
Bonnie May – Member Experience Wizard
Bonnie grew up in Jackson, MS as a fussy eater, but a young environmentalist in the making (Thank you, Captain Planet!) She went to college in a small Southeastern town in Louisiana an hour from New Orleans, where she later moved after graduate school. It was during this time (right after Katrina and during the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf) that she became an environmental activist, alarmed by how our country’s dependency on fossil fuels was hurting people’s health in Louisiana and depleting the coastal wetlands, which are a natural buffer to hurricanes.
When she had the epiphany that our broken food system was one of the top contributors to our fossil fuel addiction, she started to change her eating habits entirely (she had ZERO cooking skills) and devoted her time to being a local food advocate, first by advocating for more local food in her college’s dining hall, supporting farmers she trusted. Bonnie came to DC to see what other possible solutions were out there for creating a just and sustainable food system, and she was happy to find that 4P Foods became one of them.
Her favorite vegetable? Collard greens, and she likes them prepared either the typical southern way with a ham hock (of course!) or as Falafels with hummus.
Justin White – Operations Manager
Justin was born in Tampa, FL but spent most of his life living in and around Warrenton, Virginia. He grew up with an appreciation of garden fresh veggies and pasture-raised meats straight from his family’s farms in GA and WV.
Growing up, his family wouldn’t dream of eating meat with added hormones or fed GMO crops and therefore wouldn’t sell a product that they wouldn’t eat themselves. It made farming less economically feasible, but his family thought it was worth the inconvenience.
Justin’s 10 years in restaurant management gave him a first hand experience of our broken food system. Though he understood that the problems existed, he didn’t think there was every anything that he could do to change it. That is, until he started working for 4P Foods! Now he is excited to be able to actively take part in changing our food system for the better whether he is packing 300 bags of farm fresh produce for delivery or connecting with a new local farmer about their product. We’re glad to have him on our team!
His favorite vegetable? Garden fresh tomato sandwich with a big slice of Vidalia onion. This was normal after school snack as a kid. And if there was no bread around, they would just eat the tomato and onion by itself.
Jon Wolf – Warehouse Manager
Jon lives in Madison, VA with his wife and kids. When he’s not controlling the chaos that is aggregating, sorting, and delivering local food, you can find him on the soccer field coaching his kids team. His family has long operated a farm, and while Jon himself has dabbled with raising chickens himself, the hours spent cleaning them helped him to arrive at a deep appreciation for the kind of work our pastured-farmers do.
He’s not the biggest fan of goat cheese (something about it tasting like feet), but he’s slowly coming around. He is, however, a huge fan of the Washington Nationals. Go Nats!
Ken Cho – Sales Manager
Ken grew in the Chicago suburbs where he worked as an editor in the Chicago Tribune as well as freelance writer after earning a degree in journalism. He moved to DC for work in 2002. His diverse work experience includes positions in the federal government, media sector, non-profit world, as well as sales.
Ken discovered 4P Foods searching for a position in sales that was personally rewarding. Advocating food shares in local, sustainable agriculture was very exciting to him due to the positive impact on the food system as a whole. When he’s not at the Impact Hub or in meetings, Ken spends his time cycling in the city. His favorite veggie? Kale for it’s “hardiness, off the chart nutrients, and versatility in both salads and cooked dishes.”
Chris Brown – Delivery Guru
Chris came to 4P Foods by way of Justin – a good referral goes a long way here. He’s what one might call a “connoisseur” of pizza, and professional wrestling. Since joining the 4P Foods team, he has come to appreciate the tastiness of food outside the crust. Rosemary recently from our friends at Dreaming Out Loud had Chris eager to cook something, anything, with that aromatic herb!
Chris helps with one of the most important roles here at 4P Foods… bringing our bags to our members. If you see him on his delivery route, be sure to give him a high five or a hug or both. Odds are he was up at 4:00 in the morning and is in the middle of a 12-hour day to make the magic of local food delivery happen.
Andy Lawson – Delivery Guru
Andy joins the team at 4P Foods after a career as an electrician. He’s spent much of his recent years in the sunny state of Florida, before finding his way back home to Virginia. When he’s not helping us, he’s working on a small goat farm in Fauquier County, Virginia. When he has a few minutes on his own, you might find him tearing down a back road somewhere on his dirt bike or three wheeler.
Get Andy talking about sustainable agriculture and the policies behind it, and you’ll find that Andy is one of the most informed people you’ll ever meet on how agriculture has “evolved” in the past forty years.
Zach Funk – Delivery Guru
Zach was born and raised in Frederick County, VA where he resides with his fiancé. Zach has always wanted a job involved with produce or farming, and he believes that everyone should have equal access to healthy and pesticide-free food. He is pleased to be part of a team that is working to build food communities in the area.
For the past several years, Zach has been studying mushrooms and foraging wild edibles. His favorite fungi are shiitakes and oysters. In his free time, Zach enjoys hiking and nature photography and has been known to trade produce for the more elusive fungi, like Lions Mane Mushrooms with his foraging friends.
Each year, Zach plants his own backyard garden with vegetables like squash, cucumbers, and peppers. He loves all veggies except brussel sprouts, and greatly enjoys discovering new varieties in his 4P Foods Produce Share. For the record, Zach Funk is his birth name, although he once met a security guard whose stage alias was DJ Zach Funk.
Abbey Gleason – Communications
Abbey was raised in upstate NY and central-PA where she grew an appreciation of knowing where her food comes from. She learned about nutrition and cooking as a young vegetarian and her love of healthy food began.
In school, Abbey studied the U.S. food system in environmental science and cultural studies courses. After college, she wanted to learn more about our country and farming so she embarked on a five-month cross-country trip as a WWOOFer (Willing Workers on Organic Farms). She returned to live with her partner in Maryland, and together they designed a small-scale farm on ¾ acre plot to grow organic food and flowers for their wedding.
Her passion for food has always been rooted in environmentalism and social justice. Abbey is thrilled to build her communication and design skills at an innovative food hub that is creating food equity and healthy food communities right here in DC. Her favorite veggie is spinach.