Meet the Changemaker: Shaun VanLaarHoven

Jun 30, 2023

Tell me about your work at Round the Bend Farm.
I’m the executive chef at the farm. Our three tenets are around modeling nature, valuing diversity and redefining wealth. We look to nature as our guide in terms of the crops that are planted and the food that we serve. Over 70% of the plate we serve is sourced locally.

Why did you decide to participate in the YWCA Board Leadership Program?
I had been asked to join various Boards, but I was hesitant because I didn’t really know what it entailed. I wanted to be informed going into a Board, to be able to go in with questions, so it wasn’t’ just about them interviewing me, but it was also about me interviewing them. I wanted to be the best that I could be if I was going to serve on a Board.

What was the program like?
There were often well-established community members who would talk about their experiences on Boards, and then we were given the opportunity to ask questions, so that was helpful.

You have to take risks, and in a sense step outside yourself. I think that if people are nervous about being on a Board, that they should look into this training, and don’t let anything scare them away. I really appreciated that the training was accessible as far as cost and featured folks from diverse backgrounds.

Board service is a great way to give back, and to provide leadership.

Shaun is an executive chef and kitchen director at Round the Bend Farm, and he is a Board Member at Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

If you are interested in attending the YWCA Board Leadership program in fall 2023, learn more and apply here.

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