Emma Frisch is the Co-Founder and first Director of PEAKS, a crowdfunding platform that provides changemakers with easy and affordable tools and services to fund the change they wish to see in the world. As a changemaker and entrepreneur herself, Emma’s experience is rooted in food systems research and development. She has worked at every stage of the value chain, from seed to plate; from managing a small farm and CSA program at Millstone Farm in Connecticut to supporting direct, rural-to-urban markets through participatory research with the Food and Agriculture Organization in Kenya, Fair Food Philly, and as a Fulbright Scholar with EkoRural and the Cana.
Emma graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania (’06) with a BA in Environmental Studies and Public Health, and a concentration in Food Studies. As part of her focus on farm-to-institution in urban areas, she co-founded FarmEcology, a student-led local food group that works closely with regional farmers and corporate food service providers to make fresh, healthy food available on campus. For the past ten years, Emma has been committed to re-building healthy food systems through her work with the Food and Agriculture Organization in Kenya (2005), Fair Food Philly (2006), Millstone Farm in CT (2007 and 2009), the Majora Carter Group in NYC (2010), as co-creator of La Buena Onda Cafe in Nicaragua (2010-2012), and the Collaborative Crop Research Program at Cornell University (2011-2012). In 2007 she traveled to Ecuador as a Fulbright scholar, where she collaborated with EkoRural on a long-term study of the Canastas Comunitarias, an urban-rural grassroots movement for healthy, affordable food. In 2009, Emma became a founding member of Groundswell International, and co-founded Peaks Over Poverty (Peaks). She worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension to expand Peaks as a resource for building capital, community and capacity for entrepreneurial and socially minded programs in the Finger Lakes region of New York. In addition, as a self-taught chef, Emma opened La Buena Onda Cafe in Nicaragua, and now authors the food blog Cayuga St. Kitchen; her most recent adventure – a cooking show! She’s also an identical twin and an outdoor-lover, and spends most of her free time scaling any cliff she can find.