BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Morgan Brown, Paula Burdick, Bennett Daviss, Dorise Kowalewski,
Owen Miller, Keith Zimmermann
Morgan Brown grew up in western New Hampshire and attended Harvard University, earning a degree in anthropology. In 2006, he secured a Rockefeller Fellowship to work in India, where he worked for several community-based organizations, participated in a demographic research study, and helped to initiate two projects focused on HIV outreach and research.
After playing professional baseball in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, Morgan returned to humanitarian and development work in early 2010 following Haiti’s massive earthquake. He spent four months establishing Oxfam America's ground operations there and now is an advisor based at Oxfam America’s Boston headquarters.
Paula Burdick is co-owner of L.A. Burdick Chocolate, a family-owned, internationally renowned chocolatier founded in 1986. She grew up in Boston and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she worked in the garment industry. Paula and husband Larry moved their growing chocolate business to the small town of Walpole, New Hampshire in 1996.
The Burdicks depend on chocolate from the island nation of Grenada to create their unique flavors and recipes. After two hurricanes decimated the island in 2004 and 2005, Paula and Larry began working with the island’s cocoa farmers to help them reclaim their lands, improve their crops’ quality and value, and create value-added businesses that will increase and diversify their incomes – all of which support the preservation of this unique tropical ecosystem.
To support this work, Paula founded the nonprofit Cocoa Farmers Future Initiative in 2011.
Dorise Kowalewski is an artisan baker and woodworker living in Acworth, NH since 1981. She grew up in France and studied cabinetmaking, before meeting her husband and moving to the States to raise a family. During the 1980s she worked with the Bread & Puppet theatre in Vermont where she learned to build outdoor wood-fired ovens. A lifelong craftsperson Dorise has shared her skills in developing countries, working with women’s cooperatives and teaching self-reliance.
For over twenty years Dorise has run a home bakery using clay ovens and producing European style sourdough breads and pastries. Knitter, dancer, and cook extraordinaire, Dorise can be found foraging in the woods with her menagerie, depending on the season.
Owen Miller grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Facing a dismal job market, Owen took the opportunity to travel and pursue a creative interest. He spent a year in Europe as a roaming brewer's apprentice and the following winter as a brewing intern at a young brewery in northern Vermont.
Owen's interest in food, biology, artistry, and altruism persist in his work with CFFI. When not writing about cocoa for CFFI, he is serving it to eager customers as a barista at L.A. Burdick Chocolate in Walpole, NH.
Keith Zimmermann - Vice President
As a founding member of the Cocoa Farming Future Initiative, Keith brings his talents to international development after years in executive sales management positions. He has worked in a wide range of industries, engaging with cross-functional product development teams in the United States, Mexico, and Europe. Having spent time in a winery early in his career, Zimmermann was intrigued by the CFFI mission of improving the cacao nursery stock and shade forest farming practices in order to improve the overall gustatory quality and value of the cocoa product.
He is also drawn to start-ups and has been involved in several, including the Biltmore Estate Winery and New England Interconnect Systems, where he was a co-founder and sales and marketing manager.
Keith was formerly vice president of sales for Whitney Blake Co. of Vermont. He currently leads the sales efforts at Bensonwood Homes. He graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in communications from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.