We are pleased to welcome Kate Wendt, Divisional Vice President of Strategy at REI, to the PCC Farmland Trust board.
At REI, the largest consumer cooperative in the US, Kate drives the company’s long-term vision and growth strategy, strategic planning, market insights, and new business development. Prior to REI, Kate was one of the youngest female Senior Equity Research Analysts on Wall Street, where she worked at Wells Fargo Securities covering the healthy lifestyles and grocery sector, and was recognized as a Rising Star in the Institutional Investor Poll. She graduated with honors from Stanford University. Kate is an avid trail runner, hiker, mother, cook, and lover of local food.
What drew you to the issue of farmland conservation?
Both of my parents were born in Seattle, which instilled a deep connection and sense of place for me within the Pacific Northwest. This is one of the reasons why I find PCC Farmland Trust’s work to promote local food, soil biodiversity, and land access for future generations so meaningful. My love for sustainably-grown food developed while I was at Stanford, with Northern California offering such great access to local farms and seasonal produce. My passion continued as I developed a love for cooking, became a vegetarian, and began learning more about the connection between the land, our food, and our health.
For me, food plays such an integral role in how I connect with others. Raising a child has also had a profound impact on how I view the importance of knowing where our food comes from.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing or working on at the Trust?
As a business strategist, I’m really looking forward to helping shape how the community connects to PCC Farmland Trust’s mission and work. I am also really interested in learning more about initiatives like Farm to Farmer and how small businesses and local economies tie into land access and preservation.
Anything you want our community to know about you?
I have traveled the world, but still the best food I’ve ever had comes from the Whidbey Island farmer’s market. I love nothing more than strolling the stalls at that market, connecting with local food growers, and learning about what was harvested that morning. We even named our daughter Langley to commemorate this special place.