Daniel Horan, 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 and earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Gemma DePalma, Product Sourcing & Development, Farm Relations & Events
Gemma DePalma manages the product sourcing and development of all Five Acre Farms products. 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.
Jill Bellville, 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.
Patrick Horan, Operations
Patrick Horan manages the operational logistics involved in getting Five Acre Farms products from farm to shelf. He 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. He serves on the Board of Directors of NOFA-CT (Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut). He is a graduate of Union College and the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting.
Caroline Gentile, Communications
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.
Sara Doar, Human Resources, Accounts & Research
Sara Doar leads our company’s human resources and research efforts and assists with accounting and 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.
Alfreda Bravo, Product Support
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, Product Support
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.
Dana Jackson, Product Support
Dana Jackson has worked in agriculture and local food distribution since 2008, starting with Waldingfield Farm in Washington, CT. He supports Bill Mitchell in the distribution process, helping ensure that Five Acre Farms products arrive on time and with the highest level of quality. Dana also publishes Edible Nutmeg, a magazine dedicated to food and farming in Connecticut. Dana graduated from UCLA and earned a M.A. from San Diego State University.
Jonathan Taft-Dick, Field Representative
Jonathan Taft-Dick represents Five Acre Farms in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, introducing our products to customers while working closely with supermarket managers. Jonathan brings extensive sales and customer service experience from working in both the retail and food and beverage industries. At Crate & Barrel, Jonathan started on the management team of the housewares departments, later transitioning to his role as a commissioned furniture associate with sales in excess of $800,000 a year. In both Boston and Washington, D.C., he worked with restaurants that sourced local ingredients for their menus. After earning his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College in 2005, he traveled abroad to work with two different international organizations in Sri Lanka.