President and Chief Executive Officer
Dan Horan has been creating and building food and farming businesses for 25 years. He founded Five Acre Farms to make high-quality, healthy food more broadly available and to keep farmers farming. Previously, Dan served for ten years as President & CEO of Papaya King, the New York-based restaurant company, and was a General Manager at Gourmet Garage, an independent supermarket in New York City. In 1990, Dan founded Waldingfield Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Washington, Connecticut. As the business grew, he recruited his two younger brothers to join him, and Waldingfield Farm continues to operate to this day. Dan graduated from Tufts University in 1989 and earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Director of Operations
Gemma DePalma manages the operational logistics involved in getting all Five Acre Farms products from farm to shelf. This begins with identifying the Northeast’s best sources of local food and building relationships with our farmers. With a background bridging food and retail management, Gemma gained expertise in operations, training and customer service at Accenture, J.Crew and Gap Inc. She has worked as a personal chef specializing in simple, Italian “peasant” food and has managed the operations of Barefoot Contessa and other specialty food stores. She is an author of “The Meat Club Cookbook – For Gals Who Love Their Meat.” Gemma’s love affair with food began when, at an early age, she mastered the basics of Italian cooking in her granny’s kitchen. Gemma is a graduate of Richmond College, London.
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. A graduate of Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, Jill is the mother of two children.
Sales and Merchandising
Patrick Horan is an organic farmer, entrepreneur and actor with over 20 years of experience in the local food movement. With his brother Quincy, he runs Waldingfield Farm, 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.
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 farm stand. After beginning her career in journalism and public relations, Sara returned to the agricultural sector where she managed a farm with 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 our farmers to our distributors for the stores in the New York City metropolitan area that carry them. 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.
Neal Martelo has a diverse sales, account management and culinary arts background. Neal’s sales experience includes serving as a Branch Manager for Enterprise Rent-a-Car and as a licensed property–casualty insurance broker at Liberty Mutual and MJM Global. Neal entered the culinary arts field in 2010, enrolling at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) where he studied both Culinary Arts and Culinary Management. After completing an externship at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in New York City, he taught cooking and technique classes at Williams Sonoma. He later worked as a line chef at the Bank Street College cafeteria, serving nutritious, locally sourced meals for its school lunch program. A native of upstate New York, Neal graduated with a BA in history from Binghamton University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and enjoys hiking, biking and exploring the New York City food and wine scene.
Alfreda Bravo ensures that every jug of Five Acre Farms milk that comes from Battenkill Valley Creamery is fitted with a hanging tag that tells consumers exactly who produced it (Don and Seth McEachron) and where (their family’s farm in Salem, New York). She is also responsible for managing the inventory of all of our products at the Creamery. Originally from Puebla, Mexico, Alfreda makes a mean pork tamale.
Eva Olalde Escobar
Eva Olalde Escobar helps consumers know their source by making sure that each jug of our milk leaving Battenkill Valley Creamery sports a tag that helps them get to know Don and Seth McEachron and their farm. She also assists in managing Five Acre Farms’ product inventory. Besides being known for steaming tasty mixiotes de pollo for her family, Eva, a native of Puebla, Mexico, is a terrific dancer.