Meet Our Team
Chaquenta Neal is a native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, relocating to Lexington to pursue a master’s degree in agriculture economics from the University of Kentucky. She worked as a 4-H youth education agent for youth development in the UK Cooperative Extension System for more than 6 years, during which time she partnered with FoodChain as part of our Farm to School efforts. Prior to joining FoodChain, Chaquenta worked as a diversity recruiter in Undergraduate Admissions at UK for more than 2 years.
Director of Operations
Leandra Forman has been at FoodChain since May of 2015. For the first two years she worked as the farm manager, however she transitioned to overseeing the Processing Kitchen and Food Sector Job Training Program in 2017. Since the pandemic shut down began in March of 2020, she has coordinated with restaurant partners, farmers, food pantries, and meal recipients. 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.
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.
A line cook at heart with a background in photography and writing, working at FoodChain is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done (besides being Kara’s partner and mom-ing our eight kids!) The passion here, for not just feeding people, but nourishing and educating them while advocating for justice in every way possible makes all the hard work more than worth it.
As mentioned above, my wife Kara and I have eight whole entire kids. We spend most of our free time attempting to keep up with them, and traveling to beaches every chance we get.
I have been working at foodchain for a year and half, and absolutely love it. I enjoy knowing that I am helping people and love learning new healthier ways of cooking. I am a proud mom of 3 beautiful children and also a full time student on the road to becoming an elementary school teacher.
After seven years in NYC, Ian returned to his home state of Kentucky in early 2022 and joined FoodChain in May. Previously, Ian managed Slow Food USA’s grassroots network and operations. Through his experience of working with a global food movement, assisting with mutual aid projects to address food insecurity, and studying food sovereignty and globalization in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ian has developed a varied and passionate view on food systems and human well-being. He believes food is a source of deep human connection, identity, and joy. Ian is thrilled to join an impactful team that is rooted in community as we work toward a more equitable and sustainable food system for all. Ian has a bachelor’s degree from Berea College in the field of Social Justice.
Administrative Director of Fruit and Veggies
Ivette likes working at FoodChain because it feels good to give back to the community make healthy meals for kids.
In her free time, she likes to spend time with my family and make desserts.
Laz has worked at FoodChain for 6 months in the kitchen. He enjoys coming up with new recipes for dinner and learning from others. His motto is “I will survive”.
Nourish Delivery Coordinator
Becca Taylor began working at FoodChain after the creation of FoodChian’s Nourish Meal Delivery program which grew out of the COVID-19 pandemic. At FoodChain, she loves getting to know the diverse community of which FoodChain is a part and sharing new and creative ways to enjoy food. A graduate of Berea College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish, she loves using her language skills to connect FoodChain with even more of the Lexington community. Her favorite things to cook are curries and bread and she loves experimenting with fermented foods.
Board of Directors
Becca founded FoodChain in 2011 after a decade working in education, both as a classroom teacher and in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about food and is committed to ensuring that everyone find access and joy through shared consumption. She served as the Executive Director of FoodChain for 10 years and is excited to work to inspire new ways for sustainable fresh food to be available to everyone in our community. She is a native Lexingtonian, and lives with her husband and two children, who all enjoy cooking and eating together.
Ka'Sondra L. Brown
Ka‘Sondra L. Brown is a native of Stanford KY. She graduated from Lincoln County High School and attended Kentucky State University where she earned her Bachelor of Art degree in Child Development and Family Relations. Ka‘Sondra is very proud of the fact that she is the eighth woman in her family to both attend and graduate from KSU.
Ka‘Sondra is a Certified Target Case Manager throughout the state of Kentucky and a Credential Early Childhood Education Tainer. She is currently working for two Therapeutic Practices in Lexington where she is a Target Case Manager. Target Case management is where managers assist specific populations gain access to needed medical, clinical, social and educational services to improve the quality of life.
She is the Governor-elected Commissioner for Serve Kentucky. Besides tending to her commissioner duties, Ka‘Sondra is a parent representative for the Site-Based Decision-Making Council at Julius Marks Elementary School, as well as an active member of the advisory council at The Lexington Traditional Magnet School.
In addition to all of that she is the proud mother of two amazing and energetic boys. Robert, age 10, and Jase, age 6. She prides herself on leading by example when it comes to humanitarianism. Where you see Ka‘Sondra volunteering, you will definitely see her boys serving alongside her. Whether it be The Gathering Place in Georgetown, Kentucky serving food to those in need, or collecting donations for local animal shelters, this is who she truly is.
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.
Sharon is a retired FCPS elementary teacher. She was born in Danville but calls Lexington home along with her husband, Terry and two sons, Elijah and Myles.
She serves as the farmer liaison for The Woodhill International Market as well as being one of the many farmers that provide produce to the market.
She acknowledges that food justice work is important and believes that everyone should have the right to access fresh local foods near their homes.