Exciting New Developments for BALLE Across Our Country!!

Additions to the BALLE staff
As our organization continues on its critical path of building local living economies, I am thrilled to announce several important and exciting additions to the BALLE team.

Michael Shuman, one of the most respected economists and talented contributors in our movement, has accepted the position of Director of Research and Public Policy effective March 31st. Yes, you read that right. Michael and BALLE officially together at last! His new role allows BALLE to confidently move forward on additional strategic priorities that the Board established at our recent annual retreat. Alissa Barron, Michael's talented associate, will also be joining our staff as Program Manager and with these outstanding additions comes the opening of BALLE's new Washington DC office.

Lauren Sockler, as some of you know, joined us in November and began her full-time role in San Francisco in January as BALLE's office manager and my assistant. Her contributions have already been felt and we look forward to her expanding work with our networks.

We are also fortunate to have two new volunteers contributing significantly to our work: Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck joins us this week for a spring internship focusing on fundraising and event support, and Chid Liberty, as a BALLE Fellow, has started in on financial systems assessment and development.

These are rather remarkable times for our organization and our movement. We are grateful to have these talented individuals contributing to our mission and look forward to rolling up our collective sleeves as we help build a new economy that works for all. Please join me in welcoming them to the BALLE family.

With deep appreciation,

Doug Hammond
Executive Director

Judy Wicks 

Additions to the BALLE board
As the new Chair of the BALLE board, I am pleased to announce the addition of five new board members. An extensive interview process produced an excellent combination of network leaders and entrepreneurs who bring vision and skill to their new positions on the board. Please join me in welcoming Baye Adofo-Wilson, Matt Bauer, Jamila Payne, Guillermo Quiroga, and Sandy Wiggins; we introduce them below (you can find longer biographies of each linked to their names on the Staff and Board page of the BALLE website).

Five members of the board - Merrian Fuller, Michelle Long, Paul Saginaw, Ellen Shepard, and I - were re-elected to second three-year terms this fall, and Don Shaffer, Derrell Ness, Chris Morrow, and David Korten continue to serve their terms, with Paul confirmed as Vice-Chair, Derrell as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair, Ellen as Secretary and Governance Chair, and Don as Chair of the Development Committee. Our board retreat in January had the new board working together for the first time, and resulted in an expanded mission and strategic priorities for BALLE, which we are looking forward to sharing with you at the annual conference in May. See you in Denver!.


Judy Wicks
Chair, Board of Directors, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

Coming soon to the BALLE staff

Michael Shuman
That's right - Michael Shuman is joining the BALLE staff!

Formerly vice president for enterprise development for the Training & Development Corporation (TDC) of Bath, Maine, Michael is an economist, attorney, entrepreneur, and author whose books include Going Local and The Small-Mart Revolution. 

Alissa Barron
Formerly a research and communications associate at TDC, Alissa Barron is the managing editor of Small-Mart.org and The Small-Mart Chronicle. She has a decade of experience in environmental management and policy, strategic communications, social marketing, community development, and capacity-building training. 

New on the BALLE staff


Lauren Sockler
Our office manager and assistant to the executive director has a BA in English from Rutgers, a secondary education credential from Dominican University, and a certificate from New York's Center for the Media Arts. She has taught high school English and served as operations manager for a video production company, and as production manager for the marketing department of UC Berkeley Extension. 


Chid Liberty
A BALLE Fellow, Chid is a social entrepreneur with a passion for development economics. He is co-founder and CEO of Sustainable Global Sourcing; he has worked in managerial finance and as an information systems analyst for tech companies. A Liberian native, Chid left Africa as a child when his father became ambassador to Germany. His family then took refuge from Liberia's civil unrest in the US, where he was educated. 


Jessica McGowan-Vanderbeck
Jessica is pursuing a master's in environmental ed at Lesley University's Audubon Expedition Institute; as a campus organizer with the MA Public Interest Research Group, she trained students to lead in promoting sustainability. During her BALLE internship, she'll support local educational events and our conference, and sharpen her grant writing and development skills. 

New on the BALLE Board

Baye Adofo-Wilson
Baye is an urban planner, community organizer, promoter, and lawyer. He is the founder and executive director of Lincoln Park/Coast Cultural District, a community development corporation transforming a low-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, into an arts and cultural district that will include 300 "green" mixed-income housing units, historic restoration projects, an annual music festival, and the Museum of African American Music. He has a BS in sociology and English from Rutgers, a master's in Regional Planning from Cornell, and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. 


Matt Bauer
A social entrepreneur for 20 years, Matt co-founded BetterWorld Telecom and served as director of business development for the AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 global independent power company. He has helped start and significantly grow a number of non-profits including DC's Sitar Children's Arts Center, Atlanta's True Colors Theatre Company, and most recently, Lowcountry Local First BALLE network of Charleston, SC, as founder and chair. He is also founding director of Green Nonprofits, of Washington, DC. He holds a BA in telecommunications from Indiana University and an MBA from George Washington University. 


Jamila Payne
The president of Milla by Mail honed her entrepreneurial skills with the National Foundation for Entrepreneurship, and went on to work for fashion houses such as FUBU, Anthropologie, and Mimi Maternity. As consulting director of business services for the Queens Economic Development Corporation in New York, she develops programs that assist nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs a year. She has a degree in design and merchandising from Drexel University and an MBA from Lebow College of Business, and serves on the board of the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia. 


Guillermo (Bill) Quiroga
The director of rural and tribal entrepreneurship initiatives at the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Arizona, Bill grew up participating in the formative days of the United Farm Workers in California's Central Valley and went on to lead Native American movements and economic development in many part of the US and Guatemala. He holds a BA in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara; while earning an MBA at the University of Arizona, he co-authored the business plan for Native American Botanics, a reservation-based company. He is a registered member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona. 

Sandy Wiggins

Sandy is founder and principal of Consilience LLC, a national consultancy with a mission to build environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable communities. During a three-decade career in the real estate industry, he has led the development, design, and construction of projects totaling more than a billion dollars. In 2001, he co-founded the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. He is a director and immediate past chair of the US Green Building Council and is also chair of the newly formed e3bank, a triple-bottom-line bank with a mission to facilitate the transition to a green economy.