CUESA Announces Departure of CEO Marcy Coburn and Appoints Interim Executive Director

January 9, 2020


CUESA Director of Development Christine Farren (shown at left, with Marcy Coburn) to serve as Interim Executive Director as nonprofit begins search process heading into a pivotal year

SAN FRANCISCO (January 9, 2020) — CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) today announces the departure of Chief Executive Officer Marcy Coburn. Coburn is moving on to an exciting future opportunity in San Francisco that will be announced in the coming weeks.

CUESA, the 26-year-old nonprofit dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food, is well known for operating the internationally renowned Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and cutting-edge food education programs for eaters of all ages. Through its markets and education programs, CUESA provides local food access to tens of thousands of community members and 300+ restaurants, hosts 150+ local farms and food businesses, and serves 3,000 students every year.

“It has been an incredible honor to lead CUESA,” said Coburn, “and to manifest the vision of our market community and founders while building an innovative association as it has expanded and matured. I make this move with the knowledge that I am leaving the organization in the best possible position at the best possible time.”

During Coburn’s five-and-a-half year tenure, CUESA grew its reach and reputation as a valued movement builder in the Bay Area and beyond. The organization expanded its presence beyond the iconic Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, taking over operations of Jack London Square Farmers Market in Oakland, and Mission Community Market in San Francisco’s Mission District. Coburn provided strategic direction for the nonprofit’s education programs, as the organization doubled the number of students served through Foodwise Kids (a free farmers market field trip and cooking class) and launched Foodwise Teens (a youth development and entrepreneurship program). The nonprofit also secured a 10-year lease renewal at the Ferry Building, and increased overall revenue by 30 percent through grants, sponsorships, and events.

“Marcy ushered in a new era of growth for CUESA,” said Sonya Dreizler, President of CUESA’s Board of Directors. “She brought dynamic energy and vision to CUESA’s work during the last five years, while broadening the organization’s impact in the service of small farmers, food entrepreneurs, and the good food movement at large.”

Coburn’s last day will be February 1, 2020. The Executive Committee of CUESA’s Board of Directors will oversee the search for Coburn’s replacement. During the search, CUESA’s Director of Development Christine Farren will serve as Interim Executive Director. With more than 17 years of experience at CUESA, extensive expertise in fundraising, and strong ties to the food community, Farren is well positioned to steward the organization through a seamless transition, ensuring its future growth and success.

“CUESA has exciting initiatives underway for 2020 and beyond,” said Farren. “I’m honored to lead the organization during this transition, and I am confident in the CUESA team and in the support of our community as we continue to create a resilient, connected, and just food system.”

“As we enter this critical decade for our region, country, and planet, CUESA’s work championing sustainable farmers and healthy communities is more needed than ever,” said Dreizler. “We are grateful to Marcy for all of her contributions, and look forward to starting a national search to find the best person to continue this important work into the next phase.”

Join CUESA in thanking and sending Coburn off with a farewell toast at CUESA’s Choose Your Own Adventure: Winter Cocktails of the Farmers Market fundraiser at the Ferry Building on January 29.

Read Marcy Coburn’s farewell letter »

Please contact CUESA’s Communications Director Brie Mazurek at or 415-291-3276 x104 for more information.



CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Founded in 1994, CUESA operates the world-renowned Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and Mission Community Market in San Francisco, and the Jack London Square Farmers Market in Oakland. CUESA is a cutting-edge force in influencing how people grow, produce, and eat food in the Bay Area and beyond.

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