Alena Douglas grew up in the Pioneer Valley and the Hilltowns of Western Mass and still calls it home. Majoring in Italian language studies led Alena to study and live in Bologna, Italy for 6 months, introducing her to foods and flavors that expanded her palate and mind. Alena has worked in cheese and specialty food for Provisions Wine for over 7 years now and is falling in love with it more and more every day. She loves eating, learning, buying and teaching people about cheese. Cheese for life!
Susan Fallon Brennan
Susan Fallon Brennan has been a part of the Specialty Cheese world for over 15 years. Susan has been a certified cheese professional since 2013. After working in retail specialty stores, Susan moved to the distribution side of the industry. For the last 10 years she has worked for Seacrest Foods International. Susan is currently the Vice President of the New England chapter of Les Dames Escoffier.
John Greeley was born on the Isle of Jersey (home of the Jersey cow breed). He was educated at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and his career choice of professional radio announcer slowly ended when he first tasted real, hand-made cheese. He operated the Cheese Division of John Dewar Meat Company for ten years and in 1990 founded and operated Sheila Marie Imports, Ltd. - an importer of specialty foods from Europe and New Zealand.
He was instrumental in supporting local cheese makers and helping them reach both independent and major chain retailers in New England and eventually the Northeast.
Gourmet Foods International purchased Sheila Marie Imports in 2007, and John served as Vice President of Northeast Sales for GFI. He retired in 2018.
John holds degrees in cheese grading from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and cheese making, from Washington State University, at Pullman.
In 1983 he met ACS founders Dr. Frank Kosikowski and Dr. Dick Kleyne and joined the Society in support of the Judging event. In 1985 he and Ann Dixon brought the first complete ACS Conference to the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston and hosted the first Festival of Cheeses.
Between 1988 and 2007 he served for 15 years as Chairman of the Cheese Judging and Competition Committee. He expanded the cheese categories from 8 to 102 and developed the Aesthetic and Technical two judge concept unique to the ACS. He continues to serve on the Competition and Judging Committee redefining the categories for Competition Committee and developing “American Originals “guidelines for ACS cheesemakers.
John also served on the ACS Board of Directors for 12 years.
John co-chaired the ACS annual conferences in 1987 with Dr. Dick Kleyne at Rutgers University, in 1996 with Ruth Flore at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park NY and again with Ruth in 1999 at Shelburne Farms VT.
He was inducted into the Guilde des Fromagers in 2002 and elevated to Maitre Fromager in 2010.
In 2003 he was recruited by the New Zealand Specialist Cheese Makers Association. Between 2003 and 2007 John remodeled their national cheese competition and served as the Master Judge of the New Zealand’s Cuisine Champion of Cheese Competition. He developed their cheese classes and categories, awards and rules, and trained their judges. He was a media spokesman for the NZSCM and the national competition in press, radio and TV. He traveled New Zealand conducting trainings and cheese and wine curriculums while championing their local cheeses. John was the keynote speaker at the annual awards ceremony and visited almost all of the New Zealand specialist cheese makers.
He resides in Swampscott MA with his wife Nancy and twin sons William and Walter.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Karla grew up on the South Shore and went to school in Boston. Food has always been a passion of hers, and she fell into cheese when she was looking for a food job in the Boston area. Karla is the British/UK cheese buyer for her store and has competed in national cheese monger competitions. Cheese, to her, is a source of meaningful connection, not only connecting dinner guest to dinner guest, but also customer to monger, monger to maker, maker to farmer, farmer to animal, and animal to Earth.
Jeff Roberts, President of Cow Creek Ventures, provides consulting services to small-scale food producers and is a frequent speaker in Europe and the United States on artisan food, sustainable agriculture, and the working landscape. He co-founded the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese at the University of Vermont and wrote The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese. Jeff is a member of Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. He taught the history and culture of food at the New England Culinary Institute and was visiting professor at the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Science. His book Salted & Cured: Savoring the Culture, Heritage and Flavor of America’s Preserved Meats traces the history and culture of dry-cured meat from 1630 to present.
Recent initiatives include gastronomy and cultural tours in the Italian regions of Moise, Piemonte, and Sicily. Currently, he is working to create Vermont’s first American Viticulture Area.
During his career, Jeff was a meteorologist, museum curator, dean at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and vice president at the Vermont Land Trust. Jeff was active in the Slow Food International and USA as national board director and also director of the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Fresh Network.
Charles Weber's cheese journey started over 15 years ago at a family run wine and cheese shop in a small town in Ohio. From there a passion grew into a decade long career spanning multiple shops and cities. Charles moved to the Boston area in 2015, he worked at Whole Foods Market for a number of years, opening new stores and helping to lead and train teams of cheesemongers and wine connoisseurs. Charles is currently the Domestic Cheese Buyer/Cheese Manager for the Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge, while there he traveled to Paris to connect with some of the most respected names in the industry. Recently he has begun work to start and affineur program at Formaggio. At Formaggio they strive to bring exceptional cheeses and cheese education to our community. They are proud to be one of the top Specialty Food Shops on the east coast.