Open Space Plan | Climate Action and Adaptation Plan
Climate Action and Adaptation Plan
Food Policy Council | Food System Plan
Kim Criner Ritchie
Kim Criner Ritchie joined the Sustainability Office as Sustainability & Food Systems Analyst in 2019. In her two years in that role, Kim served as staff liaison to the Food Policy Council and secured two federal grants to pilot projects in food waste diversion and to increase capacity for urban agriculture support in the county. As interim Director, Kim provided ongoing leadership and prioritized implementation of county-wide initiatives, such as open space planning, when the office reorganized at the end of 2021.
Kim has more than 14 years’ experience as a sustainability professional, having preceded her local government role with sustainability planning and programming in higher education. At the University of Kansas, and Johnson County Community College before that, she focused on working with faculty and staff across disciplines to infuse sustainability education into the student experience, being resolute that problem solving for our future cannot be confined to certain fields. She applies the same lens to public service and county-wide policy and program development, striving for collaboration across agencies, expertise, and perspectives in complex initiatives for building resilience for the future of Douglas County.
Kim taught sustainability and environmental science at the college level for 8 years. Once upon a time, she worked in book publishing and for a community-building, parks-based non-profit. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Ohio University.
Sustainability Impact Analyst
Jamie Hofling is a native Kansan with over 10 years of experience in project management and leadership spanning economic development and clean energy. The first person in her family to go to college, she began her college career in Arizona. Struck by wanderlust, she swapped school for work on a ship in British Columbia and Prince William Sound Alaska, home of the 1989 Exxon oil spill. She moved to Germany to be an au pair and English teacher until she returned to Wichita State University. While earning a bachelor’s degree in International Studies she became part of a small startup team for Network Kansas. She became the regional manager for the Eastern Kansas Entrepreneurial Communities (E-Communities) and helped launch the Douglas County E-Community. In 2016 she joined the Climate + Energy Project and managed events such as the Day of Advocacy and Education at the statehouse in Topeka. She began working for Douglas County in 2021 as a Food Waste Reduction Specialist and managed a 2 year, grant-funded food waste compost pilot and food recovery program. She has been working diligently on a Douglas County climate action and adaptation plan since 2022 and is looking forward to seeing it come to fruition. She’s a happy dog mom and aunt to four nephews. For fun, she’s learning the piano, keeps a food garden going, and mostly enjoys tackling DIY projects.
Food Systems Specialist
Connie Fiorella Fitzpatrick, Food Systems Specialist for Douglas County and is the staff liaison to the Douglas County Food Policy Council. Connie has participated in the development of the Douglas County Food System Plan and has served as a Food Policy Council board member. In 2022 she served on the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future FPC Federal Policy Working Group. Connie has worked with the National Young Farmers Coalition as the Land Campaign Organizer. During her time at the Coalition Connie worked as an advocate for equitable land access in the 2023 Farm Bill and co-facilitated the Land Advocacy Fellowship serving 100 farmers from across the nation and U.S territories. Her most recent work in partnership with the Douglas County Sustainability Office and the Kansas Department of Commerce KCAIC is the development of the Peoples Markets Program. A program that supports culture-specific grocery stores in Lawrence, KS through local food policy and public arts.
Common Ground Program Manager
Umut Bayramoglu is the Program Manager for Common Ground, the community garden and urban agriculture program with 11 locations across Lawrence.
She has 18 years of experience in urban kitchen gardening and previously worked on Moon on the Meadow farm as an organic farmer. Her current residential pollinator garden is a certified monarch waystation by KU’s Monarch Watch.
Umut graduated from KU William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 1998 and has worked as an associate editor for Mother Earth News magazine and as a reporter for The Kansas City Star.
She is a proud East Lawrencian and likes to volunteer for local mutual-aid organizations, including Just Food, One Hundred Good Women, Lawrence Food Not Bombs and Sunrise Project.