The KVCC Foundation Announces the 2014 OFE Speaker
Food sustainability expert Arlin Wasserman will be the keynote speaker for the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation's annual Opportunities For Education Dinner. The event is the main student scholarship fundraiser for the Foundation and begins at 5:30 p.m. on May 1 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites in downtown Kalamazoo.
"We thought that because of the timing of the new downtown campus it would be appropriate to have someone who can speak to the issue of wellness, sustainability, and social engagement," Steve Doherty said. "Arlin Wasserman is certainly an expert."
Wasserman is the Founder and Principal of Changing Tastes, a consultancy that works with food and agriculture companies, private foundations and government agencies to combine the key elements of sustainability, public health and demographics and how it applies to preservation of life and environment. He has advised Fortune 100 and growth stage food companies, the U.S. and European Union governments, and some of the largest private philanthropies in the U.S. and Canada.
Recently, Wasserman collaborated with colleagues at Harvard University and other relevant sources on the state of food production and consumption in a report card to the community called Menus of Change. This document describes and rates key areas of sustainability in the American diet, and suggests overall ways to improve health and how we produce food.
Living within our limits most often defines sustainability in basic terms. The University of California's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program defines it as "the stewardship of both natural and human resources." Human resource stewardship encompasses the working and living conditions of farmers and staff, the needs of rural communities and long-term consumer health. Land stewardship involves maintaining or enhancing the natural resource base for the long term.
In other words, we need to improve the way we produce and consume food while leaving things the way we found them for the next generation.
Doherty confirms that Wasserman's mission mirrors that of Kalamazoo Valley's new health-focused campus. Last May, Kalamazoo Valley Community College announced a partnership with Bronson Healthcare, and Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to develop a campus focused on wellness and food sustainability.
Bronson Healthcare donated 13.3 acres of unused land for the new downtown campus. Three facilities are planned, including a new Kalamazoo Valley location for food production and distribution, a center for allied health and culinary programs, and a new psychiatric clinic for KCMHSAS.
The OFE dinner benefits Kalamazoo Valley Community College students with financial needs. In 2011-12, Kalamazoo Valley Community College processed 20,204 requests for financial aid. Of those requests, only 44.2%, or 8,934 students, received some form of financial aid. The number of financial aid applications continues to increase each year and the Foundation's scholarship fund is one way the college works to meet student needs.
The pre-event reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the program which concludes at 8:30 p.m.
Reservations for the event are $125 for individuals and $75 each for students. Sponsor tables that seat eight are available for $1,500. For more information about the event and the KVCC Foundation, contact Executive Director Stephen Doherty, 269-488-4442 or email: email@example.com.
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