2017 TIM LEINHART
OPERATIONS PROCESS MANAGER, SEA TO TABLE
The job hunt is a process that is often carefully thought out and executed with formality, yet frequently results in success due to some combination of fate, chance, luck or coincidence. What we love about Tim’s story is that careful intention was present in his job search, but not necessarily in the ways that one might expect. He set his sights on a specific kind of experience that he wanted to achieve through his work, and he didn’t settle until he had found it at Sea2Table. Tim’s quest for meaningful work is why we created Good Food Jobs, and his story is proof of the passion that binds us all together in the GFJ community.
When did you know that you wanted to work in food?
I volunteered on a sustainable, educational farm on Martha’s Vineyard called The Farm Institute. It opened up my eyes and my heart to the ever-growing community of food consumers and producers who care about not only how food is produced, but by whom.
How did you get your current good food job?
I was scouring Good Food Jobs relentlessly to find a role that I thought would be a perfect fit. I figured that no matter what I do, I HAVE to work in food.
How did your previous work or life experience prepare you for a good food job?
I catered my entire career towards food. I had a sort of “If you build it…” mentality about the whole thing. I took advantage of every opportunity to be connected to the good food world.
What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome in pursuing your Good Food Job dream?
I think it can be very challenging to be introspective about your own skill set and be able to take a leap of faith. I worked very hard to find a company that fit with my values and my hope to make a change in the food system. It was difficult to turn down very good opportunities knowing that they were not a good fit for me.
Name one positive thing that a former employer taught you that you continue to appreciate?
I had a manager who encouraged all of her team members to articulate what it is they wanted to accomplish in our roles and where we were trying to get so that she could give us access to tasks that related directly to what we might want to be doing in the future. It was refreshing for a manager to look after us as individuals.
What can you identify as the greatest opportunities in food right now?
Sustainable seafood, of course. But I think to go deeper than that, we have to look at improving the lives of the food producers by finding better markets and better prices for the products they produce. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to support these fishing and farming communities. The easiest way that the average American consumer can do this is with their wallet.
If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?
Food, of course! A close second would be travel.