Farmers Market selects new leader
By Wendy Culverwell, Business Journal Staff Writer
Business Journal Staff Writer
The Portland Farmers Market has tapped Trudy Toliver, long-time head of EarthShare Oregon, as its new executive director.
Toliver will take over in mid-January, in time to helm the organization for its 2011 season.
Toliver will succeed Ann Forsthoefel, who is moving to Montana with her family.
The market's board of directors selected Toliver after conducting a national search.
She spent the past eight years leading EarthShare Oregon, a statewide nonprofit that promotes workplace giving to environmental groups. She spent three years working for the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park and prior to that spent 16 years in multiple roles with TriMet, ultimately serving as executive director for human resources.
Debra Ames, vice president of the market's board, said the market needed a leader with a passion for food, proven leadership, communication skills and the ability to serve as the face of the organization.
"We are excited to have found all of these qualifications," she said.
Toliver will join the farmers market two months before the 2011 season launches.
Farmers market season typically starts in March with the arrival of the PSU Saturday Market under the elms in the North Park Blocks.
Despite its relatively small size — Portland Farmers Market reported $585,411 in revenue on its 2009 federal 990 — managing it is a daunting task.
It operates six one-day-a-week markets on sites leased or loaned from the city, churches and local businesses. It has more than 250 vendors, 30,000 weekly customers and a mission to help area farmers succeed by connecting them with consumers.
"It's a really hard job," said Dick Benner, the current president of the Farmers Market Board of Directors.
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