Our Team


FoodChain Staff

Becca Self

Founder & Executive Director

Becca is a native Lexingtonian, a graduate of the MSTC program at Dunbar, with a Bachelors of Science from MIT. She was a classroom science teacher for 7 years before moving into the nonprofit sector. She worked as the Education Director at Seedleaf before Founding FoodChain in 2011. She is married to her high school sweetheart and is the mother of twins.


LaTiphia Brewer

Lead Kitchen Processor

LaTiphia is from Frankfort, Ky. She has a 9 year old son. She says, “I have been passionate about food since the age of 12. I enjoy gardening at home because its nice to plant and watch things grow and change over time and it is also very therapeutic.” She completed the Food Sector Job Training Program at FoodChain in May of 2019. She took the class in order to get more knowledge and learn new skills/techniques to use in the food industry in hopes that one day she can open her own food truck. She says, “I enjoy being part of the processing team because I learn new ways/techniques to process and use many different types of produce.”

Kristin Hughes

Community Education & Outreach Director

Kristin Hughes is a Lexington, Kentucky native who spent 4 years living in Spain before returning to her roots. She graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor’s in Spanish and earned her Master’s of Education from Georgetown College. A product of Maxwell’s Spanish Immersion Program, she worked as a Spanish teacher for 7 years before realizing her passion for teaching food education and joining FoodChain. She enjoys exploring different cultures through their cuisine and can often be found playing volleyball in the Liga Hispana de Volleyball.


Leandra Forman

Operations Manager

Leandra Forman has been at FoodChain since May of 2015. For the first two years she worked as the farm manager, however she is currently launching the Processing Kitchen and Food Sector Job Training Program. As the daughter of a chef, she grew up speaking the language of food and is so excited to share that with others! She is a graduate of Berea College and a Kentucky native, who can usually be seen cycling every street of downtown Lexington.


Morgan Miller

Communications and Administrative Coordinator 

Originally from a rural town in western Kentucky, Morgan grew up on a small farm where she developed a deep love and respect for Kentucky. Moving to Lexington in 2012 to attend the University of Kentucky, Morgan studied communications. Through her coursework she developed a passion for sustainable farming and a desire to address food inequality. Outside of FoodChain, Morgan is a certified yoga instructor and a lover of hiking and exploring the great outdoors. She is also a proud cat mom.


Nicole Jones

AmeriCorps Vista, Community Engagement Coordinator

Nicole Jones is a women that know that without God things wouldn’t be possible. A strong woman with Faith and strong support system with my community, family and friends. I’m very family person love music, kids and cooking. I graduated from Paul Lawrence Dunbar, I also graduated from FoodChain culinary food force sector class. I have years of experience in childcare about 8 years and 10 in cooking my passion is to own my barbershop and my restaurant together some day. On my free time like to be with family and church my time go’s to the one’s I love! I have 5 Kids (step-kids), 5 Niece&Nephew, and 5 God-kids, I call them my for ever Five! That’s where mostly my free time go too! Thank God everyday for them and allowing me to wake up see another day everyday! Amen! God bless!







Board of Directors

Vanessa Cayson

Board Chair

My name is Vanessa Cayson and I am in my second year of the Americorps VISTA program as the VISTA Leader. I recently completed my first year as VISTA at the Plantory in August and it was such a great opportunity and experience that I decided to go for a second year.  I am a mother of a 7 year old son and I am currently in my senior year at UK getting my bachelors degree in Psychology. It is such a joy to be working in the community that I live in and my goal is to give back to the community that has given me so much through the years.

Janelle Hagar

Board Member

Hello, I am Janelle Hager and am honored to serve on the Board of FoodChain.  I am a Research Associate at Kentucky State University specializing in Aquaponics. Through both my job and current role with FoodChain, I am passionate about education and outreach regarding sustainable agriculture and promoting healthy communities through food and nutrition.


Ryan Foster

Board Member

Ryan D. Foster is a Vice President/Commercial Lending with Traditional Bank, Inc and a local real estate investor.  A graduate of Tates Creek High School and The University of Kentucky, Ryan has spent his entire life in Lexington.  Ryan’s passions include U.K sports, camping, kayaking, travel and drafting his first book, Always Pick up a Penny.  He joined FoodChain’s board in Fall of 2015.

Ouita Michel

Board Member

Since 2001, when Ouita Michel and her husband, Chris, opened the Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Ky., she has made locally grown ingredients a priority in her world-class cuisine. Her restaurants (Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station, Windy Corner, Smithtown Seafood, and Midway Bakery) have purchased more than $2 million of Kentucky-grown meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables over the last 16 years. Ouita is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. She is a member of Slow Food USA; Les Dames d’Escoffier; deacon and free community supper programs coordinator for Midway Christian Church. She, Chris and their daughter, Willa, live in Midway. She has been a Board Member since FoodChain was founded in 2011.

Andrew Dieruf

Board Member

Andrew works primarily with businesses and non-profit organizations on their audit, review and compilation needs.  Andrew also provides consultation and litigation support services.  He also conducts peer reviews for other CPA firms. Andrew began his accounting career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Cincinnati, OH. Andrew is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a peer reviewer. Andrew was named partner of Enderle Besten Dieruf, PLLC in January, 2013, where he also serves as the Director of Audit and Attestation Services. Andrew’s experience covers many industries including: manufacturing, retail, pharmaceuticals, financial services, non-profit and natural resources. He joined FoodChain’s board in Fall of 2016.

Shawn Burns

Board Member

Shawn believes all people in the Lexington community should have access to nutritious, delicious food, employment opportunities. Most importantly we need to gather as a ‘Community’ over this bounty of wonderful Central KY food. He brings his skills in large volume food purchasing and operations to the FoodChain board.  His work on the board includes generating capital on the Fundraising Committee and providing cash flow and profitability insights to the Financial Committee.