History of the White Dog Community Enterprises
White Dog Community Enterprises (WDCE), officially
chartered as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization in October
2002 under the name White Dog Cafe Foundation, started with two original programs Fair Food
and the Sustainable Business Network. Over the last 20 years,
Dog Café has become a model enterprise, known nationally
for its community involvement, environmental stewardship
and responsible business practices. Food is purchased with
a commitment to buying humanely raised animal products and
sustainably grown produce from local family farmers. One
hundred percent of electricity is purchased from wind power
generated in Pennsylvania. And the Café currently employs
over 100 people in living wage jobs. The White Dog exemplifies
what we refer to as the "Triple Bottom Line" of people,
planet and profit in business.
Realizing that creating one model enterprise is not enough, White Dog Community Enterprises was founded to take what has been learned and modeled at the
Café to a higher level of social impact. The Café contributes 20% of
its profits to WDCE and other non-profit organizations that
share our values. Café customers make significant financial
contributions, and earned income and foundation grants complete our
financial support. Unlike many non-profits, we use the marketplace as a
vehicle for social change. Business can be a powerful force in
confronting many of the problems we face wealth disparity, the
breakdown of both rural and urban communities, environmental
degradation, and the scarcity of meaningful employment. The
programs of White Dog Community Enterprises support locally owned farms and businesses that, like the White
Dog Cafe, serve the needs of customers, employees, our community and the
Fair Food - Fair Food addresses the role of food in a local, living economy by supporting a humane, sustainable agriculture system for our region. We aim to build wholesale markets for local farmers, improve distribution channels for locally grown food, increase consumer access to local food grown with care for people, animals and the earth, educate people about the value of locally and sustainably raised food and increase the supply of humanely and naturally raised animal products in the Philadelphia marketplace.
Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) Effective October 1, 2006, SBN spun off from the White Dog Café Foundation to incorporate as a separate nonprofit organization. Since it became a formal project in 2002, SBN operated as a program of White Dog Café Foundation (WDCF). From the beginning, the intention was to spin SBN off as a separate organization once it was ready to stand on its own. Four years were spent building programs, developing a membership base of over 400 local businesses and building organizational capacity for both SBN and WDCF. The SBN spin-off was enthusiastically approved by the SBN Steering Committee on June 13th and by the WDCF Board on June 26th.
SBN is a founding member of the national Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) - www.livingeconomies.org. A living economy supports both community and natural life, while sustaining long-term economic viability. Visit www.sbnphiladelphia.org for more information.
Farmstand Co-Manager - Sarah has over 20 years of experience
in restaurants as a waiter, manager and sommelier. Sarah
also taught wine classes both freelance and as adjunct faculty
at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. She has
over 10 years of experience in organic gardening and small-scale
farming, including working for Branch Creek Farm and running
her own business, Fractured Farms. While farming, she also
began brokering for other local farmers who were not delivering
into Philadelphia. That fortunately led to delivering to
the Fair Food Farmstand where she soon began volunteering
behind the scenes, including working on three Local
Grower/Local Buyer gatherings. Sarah joined us in June of 2007 as
Supervisor, and brings her knowledge and enthusiasm for
farming, local food, and cooking with her.
Director of External Relations
Farmer Outreach Project Manager - John's first role
at the Foundation was as a Farmstand volunteer. He was a
key organizer for the Local Grower / Local Buyer gathering
last year. John also compiled the 2006 print and online
local food wholesale guide for chefs and retailers. John
grew up in the rural heartland of Lancaster County and has
been managing our farmer outreach and education work. John
received his B.A. in Sociology and Religion from Manchester
College in Indiana. Mr. Eshleman is an a avid cyclist and
dedicated local foods advocate.
Farm to Institution Project Manager - Lindsay is a professional
cook and cooking teacher and entrepreneur with 29 years
experience in the food industry and 19 years cooking and
teaching in the Delaware Valley. A native of New Zealand,
Lindsay moved to the US in 1987 to continue her study of
"Food as a healing tool". Lindsay first became
involved with Fair Food in the early days seeking assistance
in finding local farmers to supply her catering business.
Her passion for locally grown foods lead her to become a
key supporter, lending her time and expertise to the organization.
In 2005 Lindsay was contracted by Fair Food to run a farmer
outreach project and produce a series of workshops for farmers
on selling direct to the wholesale marketplace. Currently,
as manager of our Farm to Institution project, she facilitates
a working group of farmers and institutional food service
professionals that is pursuing practical steps to increase
local food purchasing. Lindsay also serves on the boards
of Green Village Philadelphia, Inc. and the Sustainable
Business Network of Greater Philadelphia.
Program Intern - Imane joins WDCE as a graduating senior
at Temple University. She is working towards a degree in
Geography & Urban Studies with a focus on International
Development. Although a New York City native with a passion
for travel, she has found ways to wedge herself into the
Philadelphia community. She has volunteered for Project
SHINE teaching English to older immigrants and refugees
in the North Philadelphia area. As a wine and food aficionado,
she has discovered the great importance of supporting local
foods through the Fair Food Project. She is excited to learn
more and get more involved.
Fair Food Director - Ann Karlen is the founding Director
of Fair Food, launched in 1999 as the first program of the
White Dog Café Foundation. To further Fair Food's mission
of making connections between Philadelphia chefs and farmers
in Southeast Pennsylvania, Ms. Karlen consults with farmers,
chefs and other wholesale buyers to help build business
relationships and bring more local food into the Philadelphia
marketplace. In addition, she runs the Fair Food Farmstand,
a retail farmstand open year-round, Wednesday through Friday
in the Reading Terminal Market. Selling all local produce,
meat, cheese, dairy, and value-added products, the Farmstand
provides consumer access to sustainable and humanely-raised
farm products and education about sustainable local food
systems to thousands of people each year.
Project Manager, Food and Fitness
Annie Rojas's lifelong love affair with food has been driven
by the role food plays in strengthening families, creating
cultural ties, and building community (and the fact that
it is all so tasty too!).. She began her career as a Public
Health Nutritionist for the Supplemental Nutrition Program
for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program in San Francisco.
During this time she was the co-founder and coordinator
of the San Francisco Breastfeeding Promotion Coalition and
served on the State of California WIC Branch Subcommittee
for Model Breastfeeding Polices. After moving to NewnJersey,
Annie directed the Cape May County Healthy Community Coalition,
coordinating countywide, community driven substance abuse
prevention initiatives and served on the national Advisory
Committee for CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America).
Most recently she worked as an independent consultant helping
non-profit organizations with grant writing, strategic planning,
and community organizing. Annie has a Bachelor's degree
from Cornell University in Nutritional Sciences and a Masters
in Public Health Nutrition from the University of California,
Berkley, School of Public Health. She is a registered dietitian
and a certified prevention specialist. Annie leads Community
Enterprises' work as co-convener of the Philadelphia Urban
Food and Fitness Alliance, a community-driven planning project
to address childhood obesity and community wellness.
Our Board of Directors
Suzanne Anastasi Aloi, Treasurer - Ms. Aloi joined The Reinvestment Fund in 1998 to maintain TRF's internal
control system, coordinate external audits, and oversee accounts payable, payroll, and grant reporting functions. Ms. Aloi's 18 years of diverse accounting experience includes 13 years in nonprofit accounting and 4 years
as Controller of The Cooper Foundation. She holds an MBA from Rutgers University and a BBA, with a concentration in accounting, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Marilyn Anthony - Marilyn Anthony has worked in the hospitality field for many years as a chef, caterer, and general manager of small businesses. For over a decade Anthony worked for a regional food company as an operations manager and a director of corporate sales. She recently rejoined the Philadelphia restaurant community as CEO for White Dog Enterprises, Inc to take the company through a transition. Anthony’s previous board experiences were at Weavers Way Coop in Mt. Airy, where she chaired the education committee, then served as Coop president. She is an advocate for sustainable agriculture and local economies.
Leslie Benoliel - Exective Director, Philadelphia Development Partnership (PDP). Under her leadership, PDP has grown significantly, more than doubling client participation in its lending and training programs, disbursing over $130,000 in loans to entrepreneurs and raising more than $2 million to support PDP's operations and increase its loan fund. Prior to her current position, Leslie spent eight years as PDP's Program Director and Loan Fund Manager, where she was instrumental in the development and launch of the loan fund and the establishment of PDP's CDFI. She also spent several years in New York as a commercial loan officer at a major international bank, but her desire to help people in neighborhoods drew her back to her hometown of Philadelphia and to PDP. Complementing her professional work, Leslie chairs the Small Business Lending Task Force of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition's Community and Economic Development Committee, is an executive committee member of the Pennsylvania Micro-enterprise Coalition, a board member of Rebuilding Together, a volunteer housing rehabilitation organization, and board treasurer of Mt. Airy USA, a local community development corporation. Leslie is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Tim Bowser - An itinerant bioregionalist, Tim has
long promoted sustainable food and farm systems from a 'local
first, foodshed second, fair trade always, industrial never'
standpoint. Bowser was founder and long-time director of
the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
and produced that organization's renowned Farming for the
Future Conference for 10 years. He was the Co-chair of the
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture from 1997-2004
and serves on the board of the Centre County Farmland Trust.
He is also co-owner of a small café that serves local
foods and locally roasted fair trade, organic coffee to
the denizens of his hometown of Millheim PA.
Sue Ellen Klein, Board Chair - Sue Ellen Klein is
a teacher, an administrator, and a community activist. Since
1994, she has been Director of Community Programs at the
White Dog Café. She is a founder of Neighborhood
Bike Works and served as chair of its Board of Directors
for four years; she continues to serve as its vice-chair.
A member of the Bread and Roses Community Funding Board,
she has served on the Boards of the Bicycle Coalition of
Greater Philadelphia, the Mural Arts Program, the Philadelphia
Student Union, and The Shefa Fund. She has three daughters,
a grandson, and holds a doctoral degree in biology.
Kenneth D. Smith - A health economist with over
a decade of experience in health services research, is the
Director of Chronic Disease Prevention for the Philadelphia
Department of Public Health. In that capacity, he oversees
the Tobacco Control Program, is the Principal Investigator
of the Steps to a Healthier Philadelphia Program, and is
the Co-Project Director for the W.K. Kellogg foundation-sponsored
Philadelphia Urban Food and Fitness Alliance. He also is
responsible for convening all chronic disease related coalitions
in the Health Department, including the Healthy Environment
Collaborative, which develops cross-sector collaboration
among planning and public health practitioners to promote
physical activity, improve access to healthy food, and reduce
environmental pollution. Dr. Smith received his doctorate
from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied population
economics and developed a keen interest in the relationship
between population change, economic growth, and the environment.
He was just recently selected as a Fellow of the Environmental
Leadership Program's Delaware Valley Regional Network Class
Calvin R. Tucker - Calvin R. Tucker is Vice President at Advance Bank (the largest African American owned and controlled saving bank in Pennsylvania). Advance Bank, in Philadelphia, was the successor to Berean Saving Bank (formerly the oldest African American Saving bank in the United States). Prior to Advance Bank, Mr. Tucker worked for several organizations, such as GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corporation (U.S., Canada and France), United Bank, Milligan & Associates, LLC, the Resolution Trust Corporation, Home Unity Saving Bank and Home Unity Mortgage Servicing Corporation. He currently serves on the board of numerous nonprofits, such as Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, African American Chamber of Commerce, and West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance/Paul Robeson House.
Jeremiah White - Jeremiah White is the CEO of Osiris Group, a marketing firm that works with nonprofits and for profit corporations throughout Philadephia. He has over 30 years experience in real estate and small business development, technical and management consulting, community development and human services. He has served on the board of numerous nonprofits, including as Chair of the Philadelphia AIDS Consortium and President of the Friends of the Free Library of Philadelphia. He holds a MA in Health Planning from Antioch College.
Judy Wicks, President - Judy Wicks is founder and CEO of Philadelphia's 21 year old White Dog Café, and is a national leader in the local, living economies movement. She is co-founder and co-chair of both the national Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), and the local Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN). She is also president of the White Dog Café Foundation, dedicated to building a local living economy in the Philadelphia region. Judy has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Business Enterprise Trust award, founded by Norman Lear, for creative leadership in combining sound business management with social vision. More recently, she received Business Ethics Magazine's first "Living Economy Award." Other accolades include the American Benefactor's "America's 25 Most Generous Companies," Conde Nast Traveler list of top 50 American restaurants, and Inc. Magazine's 25 favorite entrepreneurs in the country.
Erin Wieand - Erin Wieand is the Administrative
and Financial Officer for the Center for Bioethics and Department
of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. She
contributes to the achievement of organizational goals through
the conscious and efficient stewardship of resources in
the planning, budgeting, analysis, development, implementation
and management of staff, services and programs. Ms. Wieand
has held positions at the University of Pennsylvania for
15 years and is experienced in effectively diagnosing situations
and organizations, developing alternative strategies and
implementing successful new structures; and creatively developing
policies and systems while ensuring compliance with institutional
and legal regulations. Ms. Wieand holds an MS in Organizational
Dynamics from the the University of Pennsylvania. She has
been an active volunteer at the Fair Food Farmstand for
several years and is an advocate for local and sustainable
Sharon Wilson, Board Vice Chair - Sharon Wilson
is a center city attorney concentrating her practice on
business and estate issues. She is also an adjunct professor
of law at Temple University Law School where she has taught
business law and supervised the business clinical education
program for the past 6 years. She recently stepped down
as Chair of the Board of Community Legal Services. Her main
area of interest in terms of White Dog Community Enterprises
is promoting healthy food access to low-income communities
A special thanks to all of the individuals, foundations and businesses that support the White Dog Café Foundation. . Major Funders include the White Dog Café, The Samuel S. Fels Fund, Farm Aid, The Claneil Foundation, the Douty Foundation, the Allen Hilles Fund, the US Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, Fair Food members, and the generous support of White Dog Café customers and other individual donors.