The Business of Food and Agriculture Sustainability –
From Start-Up to Farm


As residents of the Central Coast, we live in one of the most important food and agriculture communities in the United States. Yet only a handful of those in this ecosystem are utilizing sustainable practices to enhance and grow Sustainable-agriculture4their businesses.

Hear from entrepreneurs and community and company leaders as they discuss the larger landscape along with their accomplishments and failures as they develop strategies for future success.

Panelists include:

  • Sharyn Main from the Santa Barbara Foundation, leading the County-wide LEAF initiative which seeks to advance regional strategies to increase land conservation, improve ecosystem health, ensure agricultural viability and improve the local food system
  • Gina Auriemma, Marketing for Salty Girl Seafood, winner of the UCSB Technology Management Program’s 2014 New Venture Competition
  • Jasper Eiler, President of Harvest Santa Barbara, creating a platform for farmers to provide locally grown produce to institutions and corporate customers
  • Harold Edwards, CEO of Limoneira, one of the world’s largest citrus/avocado producers, located in Santa Paula, with a strategic focus on sustainable business practices, including solar and waste water treatment


About Our Panelists

Sharyn Main, Senior Director of Community Investments, Santa Barbara Foundation

SharynSharyn has over 30 years of experience in philanthropy and the non-profit sector. Her work at the Santa Barbara Foundation is focused on the development of strategic initiatives in the areas of arts and culture and the environment. She currently serves as the director of the LEAF initiative to advance regional strategies for land conservation, protection of ecosystems, and support of agriculture and food systems in Santa Barbara County. Sharyn also oversees the foundation’s Creative Communities program, which seeks to build a strong arts and culture sector for greater economic strength and community vitality.

Prior to joining the foundation, Sharyn was a special projects consultant and co-developed GreenCare for Children, a program to reduce toxins in childcare centers, and helped in the development of the Alliance For Living and Dying Well and the Early Childhood & Education Collaborative.  She worked previously for a local family foundation focused on arts, environmental protection and historical preservation and served as the Assistant Director of Pollution Prevention Programs at the Community Environmental Council where she co-founded and led the South Coast Watershed Alliance.  She has been a member of the Ag Futures Alliance of Santa Barbara County and has served on several non-profit Boards. Sharyn is a fourth-generation Santa Barbara County resident and has been actively involved in the arts and environmental protection throughout her life.

Gina Auriemma, Co-founder, Salty Girl Seafood

Gina- croppedGina is a native of the Pacific Northwest who moved to Santa Barbara to pursue her master’s degree from UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, where she graduated in 2014. Her graduate research took her around the world, studying global fisheries management systems that incentivize sustainability. Gina joined up with Salty Girl Seafood co-founders Laura Johnson and Norah Eddy while the three were grad students at the Bren School, launching the company the day they graduated just 2 years ago. Since then, she’s found her niche leading branding, design, and marketing for team Salty Girl.

Jasper Eiler,
President, Harvest Santa Barbara

Jasper leads Harvest Santa Barbara to deliver produce from our region’s finest farms to institutional, retail, and restaurant wholesale accounts.  Harvest Santa Barbara is a mission-driven produce distributor and food hub working to be the catalyst for a healthier, more sustainable food system by strengthening the ties between farmers and the community.  Jasper’s work to create a more ecological food system started in 2000 through sales management at local farms and education in schools. In 2012, Jasper chose to be an aggregator and distributor to meet the demands of customers that would not otherwise be able to procure produce from small, local farms. To learn more about Jasper and his team, please visit:

Harold Edwards, President & CEO, Limoneira Company

Harold CODI photo 2010Mr. Edwards is the President and CEO of the Limoneira Company, a 123 year old  NASDAQ listed (LMNR) global vertically integrated agribusiness concern based in Santa Paula, California. Edwards is a fifth generation member of one of the farming families to be associated with the Company over its long history.

Founded in 1893, the Limoneira Company pioneered the California citrus industry and today produces lemons, Navel and Valencia oranges, specialty citrus, avocados, and pistachios for the domestic and worldwide markets.  Limoneira also has residential and commercial real estate assets and is involved in several community development projects in Ventura County.

Limoneira and its affiliates encompass thousands of acres of rich agricultural lands throughout California along with strategic investments in fresh produce sales and marketing, specialty produce packing, residential and commercial real estate and clean energy.

Edwards has an M.B.A. degree from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) and has extensive international experience having held senior management positions with global multinational companies (Mission Produce, Ralston Purina, Agribrands International, Fisher Scientific and Airgas) in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Currently, Edwards sits on the Boards of Calavo Growers (NASDAQ: CVGW),  three local water companies in Santa Paula, Healthcare Foundation of Ventura County, Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County, Inventure Foods (NASDAQ: SNAK) and Compass Diversified Holdings (NASDAQ: CODI) based in Westport, CT..


Jill Feldman Headshot 2This program will be moderated by Jill Feldman. Jill is the President of Strategic Development Associates.  SDA’s clients include start-ups, mid-sized companies, and large national companies with a focus on technology.  SDA partners with senior level executives in strategic planning, qualitative and quantitative market research, and competitive intelligence efforts.  SDA’s areas of specialization include consumer insights, market validation, and industry and competitive analysis.  Ms. Feldman founded SDA in 1997, following roles as Market Research Director and Marketing Director with AT&T Wireless Services and as Strategic Planning Manager with Verizon Wireless.  Previously, Ms. Feldman was an Associate in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Merchant Banking Departments with Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and a Business Analyst with McKinsey & Company.

Since 2008, Ms. Feldman has served on the faculty of University of California, Santa Barbara teaching courses in the College of Engineering’s Technology Management Program.  Ms. Feldman holds a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.


Event Registration:

When:  Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93103


  • Student $15.00
  • Regular (Online pre-registration only) $30.00
  • At the Door $40.00
  • Parking $4.00 – $6.00 (separate; paid at lot)


  • 5:00 – 6:00 Networking Hour, Check-in & Registration for Walk-ins
  • 6:00 – 7:30 Discussion
  • 7:30 – 8:00 Q&A

Registration includes appetizers and refreshments.

If you miss the early-bird registration, not to worry! We welcome walk-in guests to register at the registration table in the lobby of the venue.

Online event registration for Growing Our Own powered byEventbrite


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