Who we are

Board Of Directors Learn about joining the board here.

Laura Gumpert, Board Chair

Laura Gumpert was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a BA in Spanish Literature and Environmental Studies from Kenyon College. While there, Laura worked on a sustainable farm and developed a passion for sustainable agriculture and food justice. When she moved to Portland, she wanted to find a way to connect to her new neighborhood and explore the Portland food community. Laura began volunteering with Kitchen Commons in 2018, and joined the board in 2020. She believes in the power of food and cooking to create community, and is thrilled to share her enthusiasm as a part of the Kitchen Commons team. Currently, Laura works as the Sustainability Programs Manager at Trash for Peace, a local environmental justice non-profit. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, exploring farmers markets, baking bread, and playing her guitar.

Laura smiling at a table of food.

Jocelyn Furbush, Co-founder

Jocelyn has been passionately engaged with community kitchens, sustainable food systems, food justice, and community organizing for many years. Helping Kitchen Commons get off the ground and seeing the programs connect people across difference through the power of food has been incredibly meaningful and inspiring. Her experience includes co-founding the Food for Thought Cafe at PSU, coordinating a grassroots community food assessment, and a variety of roles with the Alberta Cooperative Grocery. She has a Masters in Public Administration focused in nonprofit management and a BA in Community Development. Jocelyn supports local nonprofits and small businesses with bookkeeping and financial management consulting. Her business, Vibrant Mission, also offers personal retreat design and support. One of her current food projects is attempting to grow a giant pumpkin. 

Jocelyn holding a delicious tray of homemade donuts.

Jane Waddell, Treasurer

Jane has been a supporter of Kitchen Commons for several years, and she joined the Board after finishing a degree that was focused on food and community. She has 10 years of non-profit board service under her belt, and 10+ years of volunteering as a Master Food Preserver/Family Food Educator with Clackamas County. She loves to cook with others, and has experience cooking under many dietary constraints. 

Advisory Board

Rachel Schweitzer, Past Cooking Group Leader & Board Member

Rachel first connected with KC through attending the September 2012 training for people interested in starting community kitchens, along with two other people from her church, St. Michael’s Lutheran. After this training, Rachel led the St. Mike’s Community Kitchen for five years, guiding her community through multiple monthly activities and cooking groups. Rachel has a background in education, with a Master of Arts in Teaching (Early Childhood and Elementary) as well as a Master of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language. She is passionate about building supportive relationships within the community and is excited to learn and help others learn about how to make cooking healthy food an affordable and regular part of life. Rachel enjoys trying new recipes with her husband and children, and currently runs the C3 Food Pantry in NE Portland.

Florence Jenkins, Co-Founder & Past Board Chair

Florence hosted the very first community kitchen event at her church, Trinity Full Gospel Pentecostal on November 7, 2010, setting the stage for community members to come together and leading to what is now Kitchen Commons. Flo helped to establish Kitchen Commons’ partnership with the Oregon Food Bank, launched the cooking group at Trinity Church, and led the effort to create a community garden led by teens from the congregation. She is the owner of Exquisite Indulgence Desserts, works for Standard Insurance, and has recently been leading cooking classes via Zoom. Her cupcakes are to die for.

Katie Tarries, Secretary

Katie started as an intern for one of the first cooking groups in 2012. Katie’s background in Education is focused on community health and sustainability. Katie has stayed connected to Kitchen Commons over the years as a volunteer and joined as a Board Member in 2017. Katie is passionate about food justice, eyeballing recipe measurements, and gathering around the table to share a meal. She has been known to spend Summer months in search of okra from friends more sunny Pacific NW garden plots.

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