A small but mighty team

Sharon Feuer Gruber Wide Net Project


Sharon Feuer Gruber, co-founder, has created cutting-edge programs addressing food access, food recovery, urban agriculture, and nutrition- and sustainability-focused food distribution systems. She advises national, regional, and local clients across the food system through the consulting practice, Food Works Group. As part of her commitment to sustainability in our waterways, Sharon is working with the National Aquarium on developing their new Seafood Smart certification program. Previously, she was a member of the Nutrition Advisory Board for the Capital Area Food Bank and was an early advisor to the U.S. Healthful Foods Council. The D.C. Primary Care Association recognized Sharon with its “Unsung Hero” award for her work with Bread for the City, where she was the long-time adviser for their nutrition initiative. In this capacity, she spearheaded their farm-to-food pantry program, launched the nation’s largest urban agriculture project managed by a food pantry, and conceived of their nutrition education campaign. Her innovative approach to addressing food access and environmental issues has been featured in the Washington Post and on NPR, among other media outlets.

Wendy Stuart, co-founder, specializes in comprehensive, long-term solutions for sustainable food, agricultural, and environmental issues. As a local food systems specialist, Wendy’s expertise provides a comprehensive framework for assessing the feasibility of triple bottom line solutions, and supports the development of entities that promote local food systems.  And as an economist, she advances customized approaches for businesses to promote their vision while maintaining financially successful business practices. Wendy has consulted on numerous projects across the food system, ranging from hunger-relief efforts to sustainable product development. She was invited by industry leaders to participate in the development of Seafood Smart, a regional, scalable certification program directed by Baltimore Aquarium. She has sat on the DCCK Healthy Corners advisory board, is an advisor for Union Market’s Launch Pad, a culinary entrepreneur competition, and also managed the inaugural Food Day campaign for the Washington, D.C. area. Wendy continues her involvement in the broader foodscape by consulting through Food Works Group. Her work has been featured in the Washington Post and other media. 

Board of Directors

Kathy O’Neill is Creative Producer, Vice President at Edelman, a global public relations firm. She has 15+ years experience as a producer in film, video, and photo production. Kathy has produced web videos for top fortune 500 companies, production managed 30+ television commercials, and managed photo shoots on four continents. With two careers, in public health and production, plus a Masters in Public Health from Yale University, Kathy has combined experience in business development, communications, management, marketing, and public relations.

Lilia Smelkova is Campaign Manager for the Food Day campaign at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, DC. Lilia holds a Master’s in environment and development from King’s College London, and a certificate in environmental management from UC Berkeley, where she co-authored an experimental research study. She also has a Master’s in languages from Turin University in Italy. Prior to joining CSPI, Lilia worked for Slow Food International in Italy for 10 years and initiated the Slow Food network in Eastern and Central Europe and Canada. She supervised international communications and directed the launch of an international education program that birthed the first European network of sustainable school cafeterias. She also worked on the core team that planned the first Terra Madre, a meeting of food communities from 150 countries.

Juli Staiano joined the American Association for the Advancement of Science as Director of Development in March 2008. Prior to coming to AAAS, she served at the Foundation for the National Institutes for seven years. As Director of Partnership Development, she implemented a model of public-private partnership designed to accommodate the unique challenges and policies facing private-sector and government partners in order to facilitate joint investment—both financial and intellectual—in biomedical research. As a culmination of this work, she led efforts to conceptualize, organize and launch The Biomarkers Consortium, a Foundation-managed collaboration linking partners from across sectors. As Director of Strategic Initiatives, she investigated and documented various models of research collaboration and best practices to ensure their success. In just over a decade, she has both led and supported fundraising efforts resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in philanthropic funding for the arts and sciences from foundations, corporations, and individuals.

Sharon Feuer Gruber and Wendy Stuart, co-founders, also are members of the board of directors.


J.J. McDonnell and Co. is one of the premier fish processors and distributors in the mid-Atlantic. Their dedication to the Wide Net Project has been a critical part of WNP's success. We admire their high standards of traceability, their attention to detail on product, and their simultaneous focus on the bottom line and the broader community. 

Wide Net Project is fiscally sponsored by Dreaming Out Loud, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to design and implement innovative human development programs and high-impact social enterprises that empower the potential in underserved communities. During this period when our 501c3 application is being processed, our relationship with DOL enables us to benefit from the structure and wisdom of a longer-established non-profit. Please click here to learn more about tax-deductible donations to the Wide Net Project.

Pro Bono Support

We are grateful for the pro bono services that have brought the Wide Net Project to this place. 

The legal team of Brian Israel and Emma Lewis at Arnold and Porter was invaluable in shepherding WNP through the 501c3 application process.

Priya Baskaran of the Georgetown University Social Enterprise and Non-profit Law Clinic generously donated her time to oversee WNP's trademark application.

Every time we see this shiny, new website, we are thankful to Bent Creative, the design studio that helped make it possible.

Black Eye Productions beautifully crafted the new WNP video that adorns the landing page of the website.

Sarah Dachos, maritime security specialist, is WNP's go-to for all things fish. Her expertise in fisheries and sustainability make her a top resource.

Jay Finkelstein and Cara Hupprich of DLA Piper provided essential legal expertise as WNP was launching.

And last, but certainly not least, Lisa Ellern Feldman, JD, a founding board member, offered critical guidance as we established new partnerships.