Market Ambassador: Cathy Curtis

September 19, 2013

We are very excited to announce our newest customer service initiative: the CUESA Market Ambassador program. Based out of the Info Kiosk in the back plaza, the Market Ambassador is like a roving concierge, available to answer your questions about where sellers are located, what’s in the market, parking, programs, culinary tips, and more!

Kicking off the program on Saturday, September 21, will be Cathy Curtis, Vice President of the CUESA Board of Directors. She’ll be wearing an easy-to-spot green sash, so stop by and say hello. Meet Cathy.

CUESA: When did you join the CUESA board and what projects have you been working on at CUESA?
Cathy: I joined the CUESA board in 2011. I’m currently Chair of the Marketing Committee, and our focus has generally been on bringing awareness to CUESA’s educational programs, events, and fundraisers and also incresing the number of San Francisco Bay Area shoppers coming to the Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday markets. Currently and more specifically, we’re working on the Market Ambassador program to improve our shopper’s experience at the market, and also on CUESA’S biggest fundraiser of the year, the Sunday Supper being held on October 20.

CUESA: What made you want to join the CUESA board?
Cathy: First of all, I’m a huge supporter of eating local produce, grains, meats, and fish for health reasons and also to support  the financial health of small farmers and producers. I want to be a a part of changing our national food system in any way I can. I got to know the CUESA staff through my volunteer work as chair of the Bay Gourmet Forum of the Commonwealth Club. I respect and admire both their professionalism and enthusiasm in the work they do. Also, I was born and raised in San Francisco and love being associated with the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market!

CUESA: What have you learned during your board tenure?
Cathy: I’ve learned that it’s very important to listen and respect other’s opinions. That everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard. That open and respectful discussion can lead to good decisions.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?
Cathy: I think it’s really hard not to be interested in food when you’ve lived in or near San Francisco your whole life. We are so spoiled with the bounty that Northern California has to offer. And, it keeps getting better. To me, food brings people together in such a positive way. My best memories are usually formed around a table with good friends or family.

CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t conducting CUESA board business?
Cathy: I founded a financial advisory firm about 13 years ago (after a long career in the corporate food industry). I do financial planning and investment management for individuals and families. I’m also an avid cook, diner, reader, swimmer, and hiker.

CUESA: What is your favorite part about being on the CUESA board?
Cathy: It’s so great to be around people that share a similar mission but at the same time bring different perspectives due to their experiences either in business, the arts, education, or farming. The best boards bring in members with different experiences and skills and CUESA has accomplished this.

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?
Cathy: My insider marketing tip is to get to the Saturday market by 9:30 for the shortest lines and more elbow room. Make use of the Veggie Valet and after you finish shopping go for a walk along the Embaracadero to enjoy the sights. My favorite produce item for the last few weeks has been the stone fruit at Tory Farms…delicious!

Photo by Drew Altizer Photography.