Marion Kalb is a Public Health Administrator in Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment, and works for the Food Systems team in the Community Health division. In her role at DDPHE, Marion serves the citizens of Denver by working with programs like the Center for Good Food Purchasing and Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, to promote locally sourced and environmentally friendly food products. She is also responsible for assisting with and executing Mayor Hancock’s Denver Food Vision 2030, which aims to develop “a food system that helps create and sustain a more inclusive, healthy, vibrant, and resilient Denver.”

Before Marion came to work for the City of Denver, she was the Executive Director of Southland Farmers Market Association in Santa Fe, New Mexico and before that, Co-Director of the National Farm to School Network in Los Angeles.

Marion attended the Peak Academy Black Belt training in June of this year, and she started innovating right away! Her first action was to develop a partnership with another black belt in Denver’s Purchasing department, which allowed her to gain a better understanding of how the city decides which local vendors are selected and how food contracts are established. She and her black belt buddy called a meeting that had participation from various local food stakeholders and community representatives, and they facilitated a process mapping session to identify areas for improvement.

Marion has a clear passion for the work she does, and her innovations are here to prove it! Her entire career has been focused on developing sustainable and local food purchasing programs, and she came to the City of Denver for the opportunity to help us get better. Other cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Austin have similar programs, but the initiatives that Marion is working on here will be the first of their kind in the City of Denver.

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