Building on a life-long commitment to working for the public good, Jody was inspired to turn her attention to national nutrition policy after reading The China Study and meeting author/researcher, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. In the spring 2015, Jody joined the Board of Directors of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS). CNS promotes optimal nutrition through science-based education, advocacy and research and offers a nationally recognized nutrition education program. In January 2016, Jody accepted a position as Associate Director of the nonprofit organization, PlantPure Communities, Inc., and in September 2016 was appointed by the Board as Executive Director of the organization. PlantPure Communities was formed partly as an outgrowth of the hit movie, PlantPure Nation, which documents the suppression of important taxpayer-funded scientific nutritional research that proves the benefits of a plant-based diet. PlantPure Communities is working to build stronger, healthier and more sustainable communities through a wide range of research, policy and program activities. Jody brings to both of these endeavors her considerable experience in advocacy, nonprofit management, lobbying and strategic planning from her 30-year career in community revitalization. Jody’s particular expertise is in the crafting of out-of-the-box solutions to thorny problems, and translating those solutions into legislative and regulatory action that achieve systemic change.
Prior to national nutrition/food policy issues, Jody worked in the brownfields and community development arena. In 2001, Jody co-founded the nonprofit organization, New Partners for Community Revitalization, (NPCR) which she directed until 2014. Under Jody’s leadership, NPCR’s work re-shaped the brownfields and community development framework in New York. This is reflected in the numerous laws, regulations, programs and budgets, and the myriad government agencies involved in toxic land reclamation. Most notably, Jody’s impact can be seen in the 125 communities participating in the NYS Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) program, where NPCR’s pioneering work has resulted in a shift in the way people think about brownfields cleanup – from a site-by-site approach to an area-wide approach, in order to create value in decaying communities. Jody’s impact can also be seen at the NYC level where NPCR’s work resulted in the creation of the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation and a robust NYC financial and regulatory program for brownfields. Prior to NPCR, Jody was Vice President of the nonprofit NYC Housing Partnership, where she helped coordinate the construction of over 16,000 affordable housing units, representing over $1.5 billion in private investment in 50 NYC low-income communities.
While at the Partnership, Jody served on Gov. Pataki’s Superfund Working Group from 1998-99. She also created and coordinated the Pocantico Roundtable for Consensus on Brownfields and co-led the Brownfields Coalition, an association of over 100 diverse organizations who came together in support of the legislative proposal that emerged from the Pocantico Roundtable and was ultimately instrumental in securing passage of the 2003 NYS Brownfields Law.
Jody’s skill-set includes nonprofit management, lobbying, consensus building, navigating government bureaucracy, training, technical assistance, event conceptualization and coordination, fund raising, complex negotiations on technical and budgetary matters, public speaking, media campaigns, and strategic planning. She has received many awards, including the 2014 NYC Brownfield Partnership Distinguished Service Award; the 2013 Brownfields Leadership Award from NALGEP; the 2009 Leadership in Sustainable Not-for-Profit award from Sustainable Long Island; the 2008 Hero of the Harbor Award from the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance; and the 2004 Advocate Award from Environmental Advocates.