Tracy Emrick, Interim Executive Director
Director of Operations & Partnerships
Tracy acts in multiple capacities at Countryside, managing our core partnerships and operations. Working closely with Cuyahoga Valley National
Park (CVNP) and the Countryside Initiative farmers, she provides both with promotional and agricultural guidance. She facilitates communication
and works to advocate for this unique land-use model. Her goal is to not only assist in the management of Countryside, and the cultural resource
program in CVNP, but also to promote and advocate for farmers, farmland preservation and sustainable farm management practices across Ohio.
After raising her children, Tracy graduated magna cum laude at Kent State University in 2010 with a BA in Political Science and the KSU Writing
Minor. She's been actively involved in agriculture since 2004. She is a proud member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, and serves as the Food and Animal
Issues committee chairperson for the Summit County Farm Bureau. Tracy has been a life-long entrepreneur, small business owner, as well as farmer
and outdoorswoman. She lives is Wayne County Ohio on a small farm once belonging to her grandparents.
Beth Knorr, Special Projects
A farmers' market professional with 18 years of experience in the sustainable agriculture, local food, and non-profit arenas, Beth has brought
her hands-on farming experience, enthusiasm, and insight to bear on local, state and national policies affecting small and mid-scale farms,
farmers' markets, and local food businesses. Beth was recently named Director of Summit Food Policy Coalition. She is a past president
of Farmers' Market Management Network, University of Akron's Nutrition and Dietetics Advisory Board, and was recently re-appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak to sit on the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee for a second term, where she was elected vice-chair by her peers. Beth was a 2006 delegate to Slow Food's international conference, Terra Madre, in Turin, Italy. In September of 2009, she was honored with the first ever Local Food Hero Award from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and in January 2010 was named one of Cleveland's 32 most interesting people by Cleveland Magazine. She lives in Cuyahoga Falls with her husband and their two children, Maggie and Gus, where they manage their local fruit ice pop business, Popsmith.
Erin returned to Countryside Conservancy in March 2016 after a two year absence, during which she embarked on an in-depth exploration of the world
of coffee and small business management at Rising Star Coffee Roasters in Cleveland. Formerly the Assistant Markets Manager, Erin has seamlessly
stepped into the role of Farmers' Market Manager, where she continues to build on established relationships with vendors and customers alike. Erin's
passion for food and agriculture, attention to detail, thoughtful and professional interactions, and love of data and analytics make her ideal
to grow the markets and incubate new businesses through our venues. Erin holds a degree in Anthropology from Kenyon College, spent time as
Executive Assistant to the Director of Slow Food USA, and also makes a fantastic cortado. Erin lives in Cuyahoga Falls, where fiber arts and reading
occupy much of her time.
Brian Reitz, Development Director
Brian is the Development Director at Countryside, working closely with supporters and partners to provide financial support for the organization.
With over 15 years of nonprofit experience, Brian has served as Director of Hale Farm & Village and most recently, Executive Director
of Habitat for Humanity of Portage County. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards and committees and is a strong advocate for education,
preservation and conservation, arts & culture, and all things local. Brian graduated summa cum laude from the Honor’s College at Kent
State University and received the Distinguished Student Leader Award. Born and raised in Summit County, Brian is thrilled to return to
the “Valley” and engage in daily discussions about sustainable agriculture and the connection to local economy and health.