Tom McDougall – Founder, CEO
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.
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.
Abbey Gleason – Social Media Sage
Abbey first took an interest in food and cooking living in upstate New York, when she elected to become vegetarian as a kid. Her connection to food deepened when she studied the food systems through both an environmental science and cross-cultural lense in college. Hungry for more, she completed a series of internships traveling cross-country as a way to apply the textbook knowledge she learned in school on small-scale organic farms.
Abbey is thrilled to use her creative talents to spread awareness about the innovative work 4P Foods does to connect the DC food-shed to communities in the Washington metropolitan area. She recently moved from DC to the mountains in Virginia where she lives with her chef husband and young son.
Her favorite vegetable? Any leafy green is a friend of mine, but especially swiss chard! Her favorite quick dish is chard satuéed with garlic and cannellini beans.
Bonnie May – Member Experience Wizard
Bonnie grew up in Jackson, MS as a fussy eater, although she still appreciated collard greens. She went to college in a small Southeastern town in Louisiana an hour from New Orleans, where she later moved after grad 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, to support 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 is one of them. In her spare time, she also enjoys pretending she can fly through her aerial skills.
Her favorite vegetable? It changes, but right now, beets! She likes them simply roasted in salads or made into beet burgers.
LAUREN NIXON – COMMUNITY COORDINATOR
Lauren Nixon is a Sustainability Strategist and Food Educator who offers real deal workshops, trainings, program design services, and curriculum design support to environmentally conscious, equity-minded organizations. With 13 years of experience as an educator and facilitator as well as a rich background in agriculture and environmental work, Nixon has consulted with organizations such as FoodCorps, Get HYPE! Philly, Pineapple Collaborative, Philadelphia Horticultural Society, The National Park Service, Youth Health Empowerment Project, Esca Bona and more! Nixon’s work has been featured in NYLON, Essence, and Blavity.
Lauren looks forward to developing and managing thoughtful and intentional partnerships with nonprofit and faith-based organizations in Wards 7, 8, and beyond in order to create space for communities to access healthy, culturally appropriate, local food.
EMILY TUCKER – LOCAL FOOD SALES ADVOCATE
Emily grew up in Saint Paul, MN, where she learned to enjoy and value great food and the great outdoors. She attended the University of Minnesota, where she majored in French and International Development.
Wherever Emily happened to be, Emily found a way to immerse herself in the local food community – whether it was working on the student-run organic farm at the U of M, installing community gardens in Montpellier, France, or volunteering at a neighborhood grocery store in Washington, D.C.
After a couple of years working in developing for a nonprofit in Washington, Emily took stock of her favorite extracurriculars and identified the one common thread – food! When she’s not getting the word out on our awesome veggies and farmers, Emily can be found cooking with friends, searching for the best wood-fired pizza in the DMV, and trying to grow vegetables on her back porch.
Emily’s favorite vegetable is a tomato – with a sprinkle of salt and preferably eaten outside!
JEFF WECHSLER – CHIEF INFORMATION & TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Jeff grew up in a typical Suburban experience. He was happy. He was a child of the 80s, and had the haircuts and clothes to prove it. But little did he know what was happening to his food – and our environment. Jeff is now pretty sure that he’s eaten enough pesticides in his life to make wearing bug spray redundant.
Jeff is now trying to make up for it by helping us deploy the right tools to make sure his own kids, and yours, don’t get the same “raw deal” he did. Jeff built and managed the technology and systems that supported a franchise’s growth to 200+ units across North America. He has 20+ years of experience in building and growing businesses and organizations, and is a recognized leader in the use of technology to improve organizations.
Favorite veggie: BROCCOLI. Jeff ate Broccoli every. single. night. while growing up. Amazingly – he still loves it.
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.