News Feature

Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, April 19, 2018
Edible Island appoints interim director

Oriana Wuerth

Oriana Wuerth.

Photo courtesy of Tracy And David Stills, Motion

Edible Island’s Board of Directors has appointed Oriana Wuerth as Interim Executive Director. She replaces Wesley Norton, who is leaving the organization this month to take a position as Manager of Donor Engagement at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. Wuerth began serving in this new role on April 4.

Wuerth moved to Deer Isle in 2016 to work as an apprentice at Yellow Birch Farm, an organic vegetable and goat dairy farm. She partnered with Edible Island previously as a volunteer and hosted local students at the farm, helped source local ingredients, and assisted at several community events. She also volunteers with the Deer Isle Stonington Historical Society, as a mentor with Ready by 21 Mentoring, and as a board member for the Chase Emerson Memorial Library.

“I see so many opportunities to support local food producers and create opportunities for young people and food entrepreneurs here on the island and in the broader Peninsula community,” Wuerth said in a news release. “I’m excited to work with the Edible Island Board of Directors, staff, and our partners to continue and expand programming that supports and enhances our local food system.”

Prior to living in Maine, Wuerth worked for an international development organization based in Washington, D.C. She managed a grant-making and capacity building program in Beirut, Lebanon, for five years that supported local youth organizations and advocacy initiatives.

“We are looking forward to working with Oriana,” said Susan Toder, chairman of the Edible Island Board of Directors. “Edible Island has some exciting ventures in the works, and the entire board is confident that Oriana brings the right background to be just the right guiding hand to launch these new initiatives and to continue the existing programs already on the agenda.”

Norton served as Executive Director since 2014. He first became involved with Edible Island while working with late founder Ingrid Bengis-Palei to expand programming. Norton played a key role in establishing the organization’s culinary and nutrition education programs for school-age children on Deer Isle. This past year, he worked with Edible Island’s staff and board of directors to launch new education programs in public elementary schools in Sedgwick and Brooklin.