Board of Directors

The DC State Fair is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization led by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.

Join the Board

The DC State Fair continually seeks individuals who can help us build our annual showcase of the District’s agricultural and artistic talents. Candidates for the Board of Directors should:

  • Reside in Washington, DC.
  • Be enthusiastic about the District’s past, present and future, as well as its food, agricultural and artistic communities.
  • Be willing to speak to strangers, raise funds from local businesses and work with people of all kinds.
  • Be willing to eat, sleep, and breathe the DC State Fair during our busiest time of year (May – October).

Board members are volunteers who serve two-year terms. They are expected to participate in regularly scheduled meetings, serve on committees and engage with District residents through community outreach and fundraising opportunities. New Board members are selected at the beginning of each calendar year and when a position on the Board of Directors becomes available.

Candidates who are interested in exploring whether their skills and interests align with the needs of the DC State Fair are invited to apply to the Board of Directors at any time by filling out this form. Please email board@thedcstatefair.org with any questions.

Current Members

Melisa Augusto. Melisa was raised on a dairy farm in California’s Central Valley, and her passion for agriculture continued to grow through her involvement in 4-H and FFA – including entering livestock, craft, textile, and food contests at her county and state fairs. Melisa holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business, and has built a career in agriculture communications, marketing, and development. An avid marathoner, she prefers to explore the District on long training runs. Melisa has lived in the Logan Circle and Shaw neighborhoods for more than nine years. She is thrilled to bring together her passion for agriculture and food with her love for the District as a member of the board. Contact Melisa.

Deborah BrodersonDeborah is a telecommunications attorney who spent her formative years living on a farm in the Midwest and showing sheep and geese at the county fair. She lives in Tenleytown with her large dog, medium-sized husband, small-ish daughter, and so many frogs. Contact Deborah.

Nicole Buell. Originally hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, Nicole has lived in DC for 9 years, although her sadness at being so far from Eastern BBQ has not waned over the years.  Nicole has a background in environmental policy and works for the federal government, upholding liberty and justice for all within the regional electricity markets of the Northeast.  Outside of work, Nicole lives in Columbia Heights with her food motivated cat, Baxter, where she enjoys  working on her urban veggie garden (@buellfarmdc) and experimenting with how to fit as many DC activities as possible into one day. Contact Nicole.

H M Carter. Heather Carter moved to Washington, DC, from New Haven to study at Center for Movement Theatre in Tenleytown. In her six years in DC, “Carter” has lived in Petworth, Cleveland Park, Kalorama, Brookland, and Capitol Hill–and has loved getting to know all of them. She finds that her frequent pet-sitting gigs are a good way to explore DC’s neighborhoods and find their hidden delights. Carter works as a Teaching Artist for Prince George’s County’s mobile arts unit and at DC’s first post-prohibition distillery. You’ll also find her on the campus of Adelphi Friends Meeting, where she is a part-time facilities manager. She has worked on farms, in higher education, as a lighting designer, and as a puppet wrangler on touring shows overseas. In all things, she’s a stubborn Purveyor of Improbabilities, attempting to incorporate the Imaginative into Everyday Life. DC murals put a big smile on her face, and she has a yen for the alt culture of DC in the 80s and 90s. She’s also a new bicyclist, and you can spot her on her granny bike trying to hold it all together. Contact Carter.

Ashley Chaifetz. Ashley is a research analyst who has published research on school and community gardens, emergency food safety, salvage grocery stores, food sovereignty, and the survival programs of the Black Panther Party. When she is not at work, she is likely reading a book, riding her bike, or eating too many carrots. She once won a pie-eating contest and is very good at writing names on cakes. Ashley lives in Pleasant Plains with her husband and two dogs (Huckleberry and Chloe Moses). Contact Ashley.

Jen Dickman. Jen works as a senior program associate for a DC nonprofit organization, where she does research and policy analysis to advocate for safer chemicals in consumer products. In her free time, she volunteers with the Zero Waste Committee in the Washington, DC Chapter of the Sierra Club, and was the chair of the committee from September 2014 through October 2017. In 2017, she was a Sustainable DC Ambassador. She also enjoys baking and eating, and plays tennis to balance it out. Jen has lived in the Washington, DC area since 2010, and in Van Ness since 2012. Contact Jen.

Catherine Krikstan. Catherine is a web writer, bird watcher and big fan of the Chesapeake Bay. She has worked as an ice cream scooper, a vegetable farmer and a reporter, and now spends her professional life creating web products for a partnership that brings government agencies, nonprofit organizations and academic institutions together to restore the nation’s largest estuary. She lives on Capitol Hill with her pet parakeet. Contact Catherine.

Andrew McCarthy-Clark. Andrew is a proud resident of Southwest DC where he lives with his wonderful husband and two dogs. He works in Development and Alumni Relations at American University, coordinating mail and online fundraising efforts. He is a native of Tennessee and is currently a graduate economics student at AU. Contact Andrew.

Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye. Contact Marvellous.

Kish Rusek. Kish is a writer and environmentalist who loves to cook, swim, sculpt, and travel the world. As a grants specialist for the District of Columbia, she secures funding to initiate and sustain educational and environmental programs for the benefit of communities in all wards of Washington, DC. Her proposals have funded school gardens, libraries, bilingual education, STEM learning, multidisciplinary arts, physical fitness, access to health services, improved air quality, water quality, watershed protection, and renewable energy programs. Her efforts have garnered more than $155 million dollars in federal funding for DC programs. A sixteen-year DC resident, Kish is passionate about reducing her carbon footprint through minimalism and vegetarianism. She is a no-recipe chef whose meals are exceptionally nutritious, comprise ingredients from her backyard garden, and take less than twenty minutes to prepare. Outside of work and home, she can be found at a DC Parks and Recreation pool where she swims on a masters swim team. A lifelong learner, Kish is a fourth-year Mandarin student at the Confucius Institute and wood sculpture student at the Brookland Arts Walk. Kish frequently travels the globe to seek out delicious food, art, and people of varying cultures and perspectives. Contact Kish.

Lisa Scott. Contact Lisa.