Board member spotlight: Liz Gorman
We are pleased to welcome Liz Gorman to the PCC Farmland Trust board, effective June 2019.
With more than 25 years of experience as a professional communicator, Liz Gorman has spent the past two decades solely focused on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategy and communications, a specialty that began while leading community affairs at Eddie Bauer, Inc. As a consultant for Cone Communications and Edelman, Liz provided strategic counsel to companies such as Starbucks, REI, CVS Health, Nike, and PCC Community Markets, among many others. In 2019, Liz co-founded Gorman Coale, LLC where she leads sustainability strategy, stakeholder engagement, and communications for a range of Fortune 250 clients. Liz graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science and earned her Master’s in Communications from the University of Minnesota.
What drew you to this organization?
I’ve been a member of PCC Community Markets for 30 years, so have been aware of PCC Farmland Trust through that lens for some time. When I was asked to join the board and began learning more about the important work of the Trust, I was immediately interested. For me, the issue of farmland conservation sits right at the intersection of my local roots here in Washington, the values that I hold along with those of my family, and my professional career that has been focused on sustainability for the last 20 years. Having worked with so many food businesses as a communications strategist and consultant, I have really come to understand that everything starts at the farm. For those reasons, this work has great meaning for me.
What does sustainability mean to you, and why is it valuable?
We live in a mass consumer society with a deep reliance on material possessions. This fact, alongside the drivers of our changing world — population growth and the climate crisis — have placed us on a fragile collision course with nature. This issue is deeply concerning to me, and it guides my belief that each of us has a role to play in preserving what we love about our local communities, and that we are responsible for using our natural resources in a way that is mindful of the future we are passing on. This philosophy really governs my life. I believe there are so many things we can do as individuals to lead more sustainable lives. Each of us is a part of a community, which means our actions will always have a larger impact. Setting an example of how to do more with less, be thoughtful about what we buy, understand the lifecycle of our products, and examine the ways in which we contribute to this changing world are all important ways we can show up. Building sustainable solutions that work for everybody really starts at the local level, and I think the work of PCC Farmland Trust to protect Washington farmland is a perfect demonstration of that.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing or working on as a board member?
I’m really looking forward to helping amplify the great work that PCC Farmland Trust is doing. I hope to help educate new people about the fundamental importance of its mission.
Do you have a favorite farm memory you’d like to share?
I didn’t grow up visiting many farms, but my grandmother was from a family of 12 kids and grew up on a big farm in Iowa. I never visited that farm, as its no longer in my family, but grew up hearing her stories about it. I have such a vivid image of her life as a child — surrounded by farm animals and row crops in rural Iowa. Though her family worked hard, they lived a carefree life on the land, and it seems she really understood her place in the world based on her connection to that farm. So it isn’t my memory, but it’s my vicarious connection to farm life through my grandmother that I hold dear.