FORKS is an all volunteer organization run by its Board of Directors. The current board is listed below. Elections are held in June.n If you are interested in serving on the board you can contact the President, Justin Newstrum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justin Newstrum, President
Justin has been working in the kitchens of Seattle for over two decades. He built a career working and helping run locally-focused kitchens like The Pink Door, Dandelion, and Crave until becoming Executive Chef for Portage Bay Cafe. The last few years have had him freelancing and consulting for other businesses while perfecting his donut recipes. Justin has been the president of FORKS since its rebirth in 2016.
“Oyster Bill” Whitbeck, Vice President
Board Member Bill Whitbeck is the former Seattle area restaurant sales manager for Taylor Shellfish Farms, based in Shelton, Washington. Originally from Norwalk, Connecticut, Bill became interested in shellfish farming while operating a photography studio in an old oyster house on Long Island Sound. After moving to the Seattle area, he found himself becoming more and more involved with the local shellfish scene, and co-authored “The Joy Of Oysters- A cookbook and guidebook for shucking, slurping, and savoring nature’s most perfect food”, published in 2001.
Bill managed Taylor Shellfish’s farmers market program for 8 years, while building up restaurant sales. Today Bill coordinates the sales and deliveries to over 130 restaurants in the Seattle area. His direct contact with Seattle’s best chefs and restaurateurs makes for a very enjoyable job.
In addition to his involvement with Seattle’s bustling food community, Bill lives life to the fullest as a photographer, writer, and musician, having performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2006. He is also a seasoned mariner, holding a US Coast Guard 100-ton Captain’s License. Bill received a BS in Photo-Illustration and Journalism from Kent State University in Ohio.
Gregory Heller, Treasurer
Gregory is a passionate advocate for local food and frequent diner out when he is not cooking up a storm at home. He has tested recipes for local authors Becky Selengut and Amy Pennington, and worked on the Lark Cookbook project team.
Gregory is a Senior Associate Director of MBA Career Management at the Foster School of Business at UW. He holds a BA and MPA in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from New York University.
Gregory is passionate about food, ethical and local sourcing, cooking and educating others about good food. You can follow his tweets about these topics at @HungrySeattle.
Andrea Olsen, Board Member, Secretary
Selling cheese at one of the West Coasts best shops while attending UW set Andrea on a career path that has never ventured far from the magic she experienced when tasting and sharing the delicious products carried at the shop. Andrea has enjoyed leadership roles in local businesses including Grand Central Bakery, SBC Coffee, CIBO, Le Panier, Place Pigalle, Alaska Airlines and Bamco. Currently Andrea works with clients in a coaching/consulting capacity and is a staff member at Recovery Cafe. You’ll find her enthusiastically berry picking, preserving, pickling, baking, and digging clams; as the season dictates.
Ellen Scheffer, Board Member
Ellen is currently a farmer and co-owner of City Grown Seattle, an urban farm selling hyper-local veggies to restaurants and farm stand customers in Wallingford and Crown Hill. During college at Willamette University, Ellen discovered a passion for sustainable farming and has been working on farms ever since. Ellen is a frequent farmers market attendee and can sometimes be found behind the vendor booths of Samish Bay Cheese, One Leaf Farm, and Gaia’s Harmony. When she’s not busy growing vegetables, Ellen enjoys cooking, fermenting, brewing, hiking, and skiing.