Volunteer of the Month: Jill Drish Koenen

October 13, 2016

CUESA’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. CUESA relies on volunteers to help with education programs, special events, public outreach, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to cultivate a sustainable food system. Learn more about volunteering and sign up here.

CUESA has the great fortune of having a volunteer corps that helps us with the weekly operations of our farmers markets and educational programs. We also rely on our generous Events Committee, which supports our two major fundraising events of the year: Summer Celebration and Sunday Supper.

Jill Drish Koenen, one of our event chairs and a regular Ferry Plaza Farmers Market shopper, joined the team after attending CUESA’s Sunday Supper with her employer Bon Appétit Management Company, which has been a longtime presenting sponsor of the event. She wanted to support CUESA and help ensure the future of our markets and educational programs.

“Jill is delightful to work with on so many levels,” says Director of Development Christine Farren. “She pushes us to see how we can make our fundraisers better, but in a thoughtful way that indicates she knows how much effort events are to produce for a small nonprofit team. She won’t suggest something wildly expensive or impossible to execute. Instead she’ll say, in the most positive voice, ‘Have you thought about this? Wouldn’t that be fun to add for next year? I’ll help you do it!’ I appreciate that she is able to balance both the needs of our organization and the hopes of guests, so we can continue to make our events meaningful as well as fun.” 

“Also, I honestly look forward to meeting with her in person because her enthusiasm and attention to detail also shows up in her attire. She has the most amazing collection of jewelry. What huge and colorful necklace will she be wearing this time? She’s my #WCW for sure!” Meet Jill.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Jill: My wonderful St. Louis family is always cooking, hosting, and bringing people together with food. I’ve grown up loving to do the same both in my personal life and at work.

CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for CUESA?

Jill: Ideal answer: Enjoying San Francisco with my husband and twin toddlers. Real answer: Chasing our one year old twins around San Francisco and sneaking in as many date nights as we can manage!

CUESA: What was your favorite part about volunteering with CUESA?

Jill: The Saturday market is my happy place. The energy and vibrancy with SF as a backdrop is unbeatable. I love that I am helping to support this special market and the hardworking CUESA staff in their efforts.

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?

Jill: One of my favorite tips is to peek at other shoppers baskets as you pass them on your way into the market. I have stopped many on my way to ask “Oh wow! Where did you find that?!”