Celebrating 10 Years of the Fellows Program: Peter Todaro
- by Peter Todaro
Fellow from June 2017 to May 2019, based in Minnesota and Pennsylvania
Bon Appétit campus attended: Lafayette College
Current job: Regional marketing manager for Bon Appétit’s Northeast/Mid-Atlantic team
Skill/wisdom you gained from the Fellowship: Communication skills! While traveling to colleges and universities throughout the country, I inhabited a wide variety of social contexts and wore many different hats, depending on the project I was working on, or the event I was holding at an account. I met and had meaningful conversations with hundreds of Bon Appétiters, students, faculty, staff, and clients. The variability of these social situations helped me grow and become a more effective, clear, and adaptable communicator.
Did the Fellowship shape your career choices? Before I became a Fellow I knew that I would likely consider taking on a role outside of sustainability at some point in my career, with the caveat that the job would have to be with a company I was extremely passionate about. After two years as a Fellow it was clear to me that Bon Appétit was that company.
Memorable experience as a Fellow: There were so many. One that sticks with me was a tour of Open Hands Farm in Northfield, MN, that I took with various local chefs, managers, and students. Fellows explain our Farm to Fork commitment all the time, usually in classrooms or to student organizations, and it’s sometimes easy to think about the commitment in an abstract way. Owner Ben Doherty showed us around the farm, which has a long and extraordinarily deep connection to Bon Appétit. Ben made the abstract tangible to everyone in attendance. It was amazing to see how closely our teams could coordinate with a small farmer, especially one who does so much good in his community. As the sun went down and folks started heading home, Ben and I sat in the farm’s dirt driveway leading out to the road, and had a long heart to heart about food and farming until it got dark.
Advice for current food-activist students: Be willing to work collaboratively within existing institutions.
Read more Fellows 10th Anniversary interviews: