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The Board of Directors of the Fondy Food Center announced that Venice R. Williams, widely-known for her visionary leadership of Alice’s Garden Urban Farm on the Northside of Milwaukee, will become the Interim Executive Director of the Fondy Food Center, beginning Monday, May 2.
“This time of transition is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the community and realign our mission. Venice brings abundant passion and purpose to lead this effort,” says Heather Deaton, president of the Fondy Board of Directors. “Her amazing gift of visioning, and her ability to build and strengthen connections is humbling. I am thrilled and honored to learn from and work with Venice. The board is excited for what’s ahead for Fondy, the greater Milwaukee area, our community partners, and the households we serve. We are blessed and grateful to have Venice join us.”
The Fondy Farmers Market, run by Fondy Food Center, celebrated its centennial year in 2017. Its historic presence on Milwaukee’s Northside has been a focal point of fresh food access for multiple generations of Wisconsin residents. Fondy Food Center also runs the Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market.
In 2010, Fondy started the Fondy Farm Project, which assists low-resource farmers in gaining access to the land, resources, and support they need to operate a successful business. The farm is currently located on the Mequon Nature Preserve. Stephen Petro, Fondy Farm Director, is excited about, and welcoming of Ms. Williams’ leadership. “Fondy and the communities we serve, have been my home for over 11 years now,” says Petro. “I’ve been fortunate to learn from many talented folks and Venice Williams has been among the most influential and grounded. Our team at Fondy is looking forward to the work ahead; the opportunities, the challenges, and especially the call to listen. How fitting for us to start the growing season in such a fashion.”
“Accepting this interim position is a continuation of the service I have given to the greater Milwaukee community for almost thirty-three years,” shares Venice Williams. “This is an incredible opportunity for me to help guide Fondy in a re-exploration of their mission, a broadened utilization of the Fondy Farmers Market site and Fondy Park, and to strengthen the links of food, economic development, and food equity work in Milwaukee. I am also looking forward to acknowledging and celebrating the complicated, yet incredible, food and land narratives of Black and Brown peoples who are a part of the communities served through the Fondy Food Center. By the time my interim tenure comes to a close, the Fondy Board and Staff will have a renewed plan of action and service that will be comprehensive, energizing, and beneficial for our communities.”