Farm to Plate 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        11/23/09

SFC Announces New Board Members:
Mason Arnold, Christine Fernandez and Stephen Straus
Mason Arnold has been an Organics pioneer and serial entrepreneur since graduating from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Mason founded Greenling Organic Delivery in 2005 to help move local food systems towards Sustainability. Greenling & Mason have won 15 different awards for their technology, environmental stewardship, business model and community involvement. He is also active in public policy having drafted legislation in 2007 and working on multiple policy groups. Mason is honored to join the Board of Sustainable Food Center.

Christine FernandezChristine Fernandez is a Development Manager at E.ON Climate & Renewables, N.A., a renewable energy company.  Prior to joining E.ON in 2009, she was an attorney at Haynes and Boone, LLP, where she practiced environmental law for 6 years. Christine has been the Chairperson of SFC's Special Events Task Force, concentrating efforts on the nonprofit's annual fundraising event, Farm to Plate, since 2008.  Christine's past community involvement includes serving as a board member for the United Way Capital Area Young Leaders' Society and as the President of the University of Michigan Alumni Club of Austin.  She loves to cook, and can be found spending hours over a wood fire trying to perfect her family's paella recipe.

Stephen StrausSince the beginning of 2009, Stephen Straus has been a board member and VP of Business Development at an Austin-based start up called SparkPhone. Prior to SparkPhone, Stephen was Chairman, Founder and VP of Business Development of Barfly Interactive Networks, an Austin-based startup company building a national digital signage advertising network. Barfly was purchased in 2008 by TouchTunes, the largest digital jukebox company in the country.  Prior to launching Barfly, Mr. Straus spent almost nine years at Austin Ventures, the largest and most active venture capital firm in the Southwest United States.   During his tenure at Austin Ventures, Mr. Straus was promoted from Associate to General Partner, while the firm grew dramatically, from $278 million to over $2.4 billion under management. Prior to joining Austin Ventures, Mr. Straus worked as an associate at LG Group Venture Capital in San Jose, California.  After graduating from college, Mr. Straus was founder of The Solutions Group in Washington, D.C., a software and service company, serving as its chief executive officer for five years, until its acquisition by a venture-backed company.

Mr. Straus graduated cum laude from Colgate University, received his MBA from Harvard Business School and, upon graduating with his MBA, was selected as a Kauffman Fellow, a national Fellowship awarded to a select group of venture capitalists each year. He serves on the Engineering Advisory Board of the Cockrell College of Engineering at the University of Texas, and is a past board member of the Austin Film Society.
About Sustainable Food Center
With roots dating back more than 30 years, SFC is involved in every step of the local food system from seed to table.  Our mission is to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.
Susan Leibrock                                                                                     Ronda Rutledge
Community Relations Director                                                               Executive Director
Sustainable Food Center                                                                       Sustainable Food Center
512-236-0074 ext. 111