President and Chief Executive Officer
Dan Horan has been working in food and farming for more than 22 years. In 1990, he founded Waldingfield Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Washington, Connecticut. Dan recruited his younger brothers to join him, and Waldingfield Farm continues to operate to this day. Dan remains on the farm’s board of directors. From 1995 to 1999, he was a General Manager at Gourmet Garage, an independent supermarket in New York City. From 1999 to 2010, he was the CEO and President of Papaya King, a New York-based restaurant company. A graduate of Tufts University, Dan holds an MBA from Yale University.
Director of Operations
Gemma DePalma manages the operational logistics involved in getting Five Acre Farms’ products from “udder to shelf” and is responsible for building relationships with our participating farmers and sourcing new product. With expertise in retail management, Gemma brings experience in operations, training and customer service at Accenture, J.Crew and Gap Inc., as well as in managing operations of specialty food stores, including Barefoot Contessa. Before joining Five Acre Farms, she was a personal chef and co-author of “The Meat Club Cookbook – For Gals Who Love Their Meat.” Gemma is a graduate of Richmond College in London, England.
Director of Sales
Jill Bellville is a seasoned sales and marketing executive with a successful 30-year track record in the wholesale and retail food industry. Before joining Five Acre Farms, Jill was East Coast Regional Sales Manager for Grafton Village Cheese Company, with responsibility for all aspects of sales, marketing and branding for the region. Previously, she served for 17 years as a Store Director for Vons Grocery Company in Arcadia, California, where she led all aspects of sales and operations for a store with weekly sales of $600,000. Jill’s professional experience also includes roles as Category Manager for Wine, Beer and Spirits for all Price Chopper stores in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut; Manager of Beer and Fine Wines for Penn Traffic/Big Bear Stores in Ohio; and Chain Manager and Wine and Beer Portfolio Manager for g.housen & Clarke Distributors in New Hampshire. Jill is a graduate of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. She is the mother of two children, ages 5 and 6.
Sales and Merchandising
Patrick Horan is an organic farmer, entrepreneur and actor with over twenty years of experience in the local food movement. With his brother Quincy, he runs Waldingfield Farm (www.waldingfieldfarm.com), an organic vegetable farm in Washington, Connecticut whose vegetables, cultivated on more than 30 acres, are certified organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers. In 2007, Patrick led the introduction of a line of artisanal foods, including pasta sauces, Bloody Mary mix and salad dressings, marketed under the Waldingfield Food Company label. Patrick is a graduate of Union College and the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting.
Victoria Niezelski helps introduce Five Acre Farms and our products to consumers through in-store milk tastings. A Connecticut native, Tori has delicious local food in her blood. Her farming experience comes from her years of helping to run Stone Gardens Farm in Shelton, Connecticut, where her sister and her family, the farm’s proprietors, grow vegetables, flowers and fruit using sustainable practices. Tori developed her sales and customer service skills while representing the farm at Connecticut’s farmers markets. She is a student at New York University considering majoring in psychology and history.
Marketing and Public Relations
Caroline Gentile advises Five Acre Farms on marketing and public relations. Until 2010, she was a partner of Kekst and Company, a leading corporate and financial communications firm. In that role, she was responsible for working with clients in a variety of industries to help develop and execute programs on a range of financial communications issues. She has worked extensively with global companies in the professional services and insurance industries, private equity firms and not-for-profit institutions. Caroline is a graduate of Amherst College and earned an MBA from Yale University.
Product Sourcing and Farmer Relations
Sara Doar sources Five Acre Farms products, builds relationships with our farmers and assists with operations. Sara has deep roots in agriculture. She grew up on a Hudson Valley dairy farm that evolved into a successful farmstand. After beginning her career in journalism and public relations, Sara returned to the agricultural sector where she managed a farm that included a wholesale tree nursery, a horse boarding operation and a hay business. In her spare time, Sara served on a planning board, was president of a school board and wrote for insideschools.org. She is a graduate of Harvard University.
Bill Mitchell transports Five Acre Farms products from the farm to our distributors for the New York City metropolitan area and to the Price Chopper supermarkets in the Capital Region of upstate New York where they are sold. Bill also runs his own farm where he raises cows and chickens, grows vegetables and produces maple syrup in a sugar house with 600 taps. He sells the syrup, along with eggs, honey and jam, at local farmers markets. He is a volunteer fire fighter in Salem, New York, a former Victory Mills fire chief and a slate mason and woodworker.
Representing Five Acre Farms in Westchester County, Queens and Long Island, Lyn Oestreicher is responsible for introducing consumers to our products and building relationships with the markets where they are sold. In this role, Lyn combines her food expertise and enthusiasm for the local food movement with her background in sales and marketing, customer service and special events.
Previously, Lyn held sales, marketing and administrative positions at Scholastic, Golden Books and MWV. She earned a BA in English with a concentration in creative writing from Queens College CUNY. She completed her culinary education at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City.