Lifting Up Leadership with CommonWealth Kitchen

We’re excited to release the next episode of the “Lifting Up Leadership” video series to highlight the amazing leaders behind some of the most influential food systems organizations in the country. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to speak with Jen Faigel, Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Boston-based non-profit, CommonWealth Kitchen (, to learn about their groundbreaking work supporting food entrepreneurs. And what did we hear? A whole lot more! View here: Refreshing and real, in Lifting Up Leadership: CommonWealth Kitchen, Jen discusses her transition from 25 years of working in affordable housing development to becoming the Executive Director (not by choice, she says) of a food enterprise incubator. In her own words, the role of ED is hard and can feel lonely (sound familiar?!) but, despite that, her passion for supporting the growth of aspiring food entrepreneurs is palpable. With a go-getter attitude and commitment to constant and innovative problem solving, Jen is a wealth of wisdom. “We have a universal opportunity to think about food as a way for people to get on a journey of moving out of poverty, moving into a place where there's opportunities for wealth creation and asset building. And so for me, the work was trying to figure out how can I use my skill set to create opportunities for people to start those businesses and lower the barriers to entry in the food industry.” Hear more about the CommonWealth Kitchen and Jen’s unique journey, her perspective on leadership – “lead from the back” – and the guidance she offers to the next generation of emerging leaders – “be bold” – in this video. Are you an Executive Director? Do you have any advice for other ED’s as they enter or continue to serve in this leadership position? Have you received any words of encouragement that have stayed with you over the years you’d like to offer to fellow FSLN members? Please share it here in the comments below!

FSLN Admin