Board of Directors
Maria Rodale, co-chairman
Maria Rodale is the CEO chairman of the board of Rodale Inc., a board member of the New York Restoration Project and a board member of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center for the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She is the author of four books; has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, CBS-TV’S The Early Show, CNNfn and NPR’s All Things Considered; and has been quoted in The New York Times, Newsweek and USA Today. Rodale won the 2007 Americans for UNFPA Award for her work to promote the health and dignity of women and received The National Audubon Society’s “Rachel Carson Award” for “Working to Ensure a Healthy Environment for Future Generations” in 2004 and was named a co-recipient of the prestigious Women in Periodical Publishing’s “Exceptional Woman in Publishing” award. She is the granddaughter of the late J.I Rodale.
Paul A. McGinley, co-chairman
Paul A. McGinley received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University (A.B. 1970) and his law degree from Georgetown University (J.D. 1974). He has been practicing law in the Lehigh Valley since 1974 and is one of the founding partners of Gross, McGinley, LaBarre & Eaton. McGinley has held prestigious positions in the past including, chairman of a hearing committee of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, president of the Lehigh County Bar Association, and president of the Swain School board of directors. He is a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Magazine Publishers of America, a member of the American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and is director and secretary to the Velodrome Fund.
Anthony Rodale, chairman emeritus
Grandson of Rodale Institute’s founder, J.I. Rodale, Anthony was inspired to help farmers and gardeners become more productive while growing their food in balance with nature after photographing a food security workshop in Kenya with the Rodale Institute's international team. From 1992-2005 Anthony served as vice chairman and then chairman of the Rodale Institute's board of directors. Under Anthony’s leadership the Rodale Institute renewed its commitment to the founding theme of Healthy Soil - Healthy Food - Healthy People, the farm became certified organic, the long term Farming Systems Trial celebrated its 25th anniversary, The New Farm magazine was launched online, and his wife Florence Rodale launched a successful youth education program and website. He also won international recognition for leadership work in Senegal. In 2005, Anthony decided to focus on photography (he is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photograph and Business, Santa Barbara, CA), leaving the Institute to pursue new creative paths. He continues to be an active advocate for farmers currently serving on the board of Rodale Inc., the Rainforest Alliance and the Appeal Board of the Soil Association.
Ardath H. Rodale, co-chairman emeritus in memoriam
Ardath Harter Rodale was chief inspiration officer at Rodale Inc. She held a BS in art education from Kutztown University and has received a number of honorary doctorates from DeSales University, Lehigh University, Kutztown University and the New College of California. Ardath, usually known as Ardie, was named one of the "50 Best Women in Business in Pennsylvania" by the Central Penn Business Journal in 1996, a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania by Governor Tom Ridge in 1997, was chosen as one of the top 50 Working Business Owners in the United States in the October 1997 issue of Working Woman Magazine, and was named one of the 50 Leading Women Entrepreneurs in the World by The Star Group in 1999. She was the mother of five children, a grandmother of eleven and the wife of the late Robert Rodale. Ardie is the author of four books, Climbing Toward the Light, Gifts of the Spirit, Reflections: Finding Love, Hope, and Joy in Everyday Life, and Everyday Miracles: Meditations on Living an Extraordinary Life published in 1989, 1997, 2002, and 2007 respectively. She also wrote "Reflections," a popular monthly column for Prevention magazine and was one of 29 prominent women whose thoughts on the role of spirituality in modern life were featured in the book, Embracing Our Essence: Spiritual Conversations with Prominent Women, published in 1995 by Health Communications, Inc.
Drew Becher is the immediate past president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society . At PHS Drew initiated the multi-state Plant One Million tree campaign and the expansion of the City Harvest program, which partners with community gardens to grow fresh produce for underserved residents. Before coming to PHS, he was executive director of the New York Restoration Project and partnered with Mayor Bloomberg to launch MillionTreesNYC, which has led to the planting of more than 479,000 trees to date in the city's five boroughs. He served as deputy director of Washington D.C.'s Office of Planning, where he led the creation of the Department of Environment, and was director of the district's Department of Parks and Recreation. In Chicago, Becher was chief of staff for the Chicago Park District and helped forge Mayor Daley's acclaimed environmental and beautification agenda.
Corby Kummer is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he has worked since 1981. A frequent commentator on television and radio, Kummer has also served since 1997 as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine and writes for many other magazines. His books include The Joy of Coffee and The Pleasures of Slow Food.
Elizabeth Kucinich is a sustainable food and vegan advocate, a champion for peace, human rights, animals and the environment. A government affairs professional, Elizabeth moved to the USA in 2005 to organize the American Monetary Institute’s first international conference on Monetary Reform, after having lived and worked in slums in India and rural subsistence communities in Tanzania. She was a congressional liaison for the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. Academically, she holds a BA in Religious Studies and Theology, an MA in International Conflict Analysis, and a Certificate in Peace and Reconciliation Studies. Elizabeth is an Executive Producer of "GMO-OMG," a documentary exploring genetic engineering in agriculture and food. She is also co-producing “Hot Water,” a documentary about the nuclear industry, uranium mining and the radioactive pollution of water. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Dennis Kucinich, a former US Congressman and two-time US Presidential candidate. They share their home and garden with their three rescue dogs and cat, and a hive of bees they lovingly refer to as their girls.
Roberta Lang serves as General Counsel and Global Vice President of Legal Affairs for Whole Foods Market, Inc., a Fortune 300 company and the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods headquartered in Austin, Texas. She has been recognized five times as a Whole Foods Market "All*Star," the Company's highest honor, for her overall outstanding performance as a dedicated, tireless team member who brings incredible intellect, seasoned perspective, understanding and balance to her professional life. Roberta is a Board Member of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating the theory and practice of a more complex form of capitalism that holds potential for enhancing corporate performance while simultaneously continuing to advance the quality of life for billions of people, through transformative thinking, programs, events, and communities of inquiry. She is a founding Board Member of the Whole Planet Foundation, whose mission is to create economic partnerships with the poor in those developing-world communities that supply Whole Foods Market stores with product, through innovative assistance for entrepreneurship. She also sits on the National Council of Valparaiso University School of Law. She is passionate about and regularly consults with business leaders regarding Purpose, Mission, Culture and the fundamental principles of Conscious Capitalism.
Grant Lundberg was raised in Richvale, California. In 1985, Grant graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Management, with a concentration in Farm Management. In 1987 Grant graduated from Iowa State University with a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics. Grant arrived back in the Richvale area in the summer of 1987 and started working for Lundberg Family Farms, the leading producer of organic and eco-farmed rice and rice products. In 1997, Grant was appointed the CEO of Lundberg Family Farms. Since then, Lundberg Family Farms has expanded its board of directors to include the third generation Lundberg family. The board is comprised of eight family members, including Grant, and two independent directors. The company is owned by the second, third and fourth generations of the family. In 2012 he served as the co-chair of the California Right to Know campaign. He currently serves on the Frontier Natural Products board of directors.
Helen Piszek Nelson
Helen Piszek Nelson received her bachelor of science degree in business administration, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Gwynedd-Mercy College. She is currently vice president for Emlen House Enterprises Inc., president and co-chairman of the Copernicus Society of America, and is appointed to the president’s council at Gwynedd Mercy College. Honors include being elected as an honorary member of the Academy Club of Germantown, and an Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1990 at the Germantown Academy, where she had the distinction of being the first woman alumnus in the 246 year history of the school to receive the award. Helen recently joined the Board of Trustees at Delaware Valley College and has received awards from Podlasie University in Poland for her work in Student Exchange programs and a medal from the Minister of Education for her work in promoting Polish culture and student exchange.
Maya Rodale is a fourth generation member of the Rodale family and has served on the board of the Institute in addition to working as the organization's Director of Communications and Outreach where she launched the Organic Apple Festival and Organic Pioneer Awards. A prolific writer and blogger, Maya is a bestselling author of more than fifteen books and is a frequent contributor to NPR, The Huffington Post, Bustle and more. Maya lives in New York City.
Peter Sherman's investment career included over 36 years of strong, active institutional portfolio management culminating in managing over $10 Billion as Chief Investment Officer at Penn Mutual Life, a major life insurance company. His track record vs the index was excellent over those years and he safely and profitably led Penn Mutual's investment portfolio through the 2000-01 recession and importantly through the 2008-09 financial crisis. Executive Vice President at Penn Mutual for close to 20 years, Peter also was CEO of the wholly owned investment company Independence Capital Management. Peter has had a life-long interest in health and related fields of study. Peter finds the organic foods industry an important part of improving the health of our nation.
Louise Schorn Smith, CPA
Louise Schorn is a certified public accountant, certified management accountant, and president of Countryside Consulting, Inc. She belongs to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), Maysie’s Farm Conservation Center, and is also a member of the Founding Partners of the Farm Based Education Association (FBEA). Schorn helped start the Maysie’s Farm CSA in Chester County in 1997, was instrumental in creating Maysie’s Farm Conservation Center (an educational nonprofit organization) in 1999, and created the Sustainable Agriculture Internship Training Alliance of Southeastern PA (SAITA) in 2000.
Kimberly A. Spotts-Kimmel
Kimberly A. Spotts-Kimmel, a partner with Gross McGinley, LLP, focuses her practice on business, intellectual property, internet, and advertising law. She counsels businesses large and small on various matters ranging from formation, operation and sale of businesses to contract negotiations, along with matters concerning trademarks, copyrights, sweepstakes and contests, licensing, advertising and entertainment. She works with companies in a variety of industries including media and publishing, technology and app developers, media production, and more. Kim also offers day-to-day legal housekeeping for small businesses and large for-profit and non-profit corporations alike. In addition to Rodale Institute, she serves as a board member for Healing Through The Arts, American Red Cross Lehigh Valley-Bucks Chapter, and the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce. Kim earned her J.D. from Widener University School of Law, and her B.A. from Albright College.