Food Chain Staff

Dan Cahill Mathews
Lead Facilitating Coordinator

My memory of loving food began when I was 2 years old and my Dad taught me how to scramble eggs while standing on a kitchen chair so I could reach the stove. My professional life with food systems began in an abrupt career change from a high school Spanish teacher to the rigors of line cooking in restaurants. It was a pursuit of passion. Fortunately, I found my way into the kitchens of restaurant leaders in the farm-to-table movement. During the summer months, a group of employees from the restaurant would form a “Crop Mob” and volunteer a day of work on a local farm. I volunteered every chance I got. From that moment forward, I recognized the importance of close relationships between local producers and consumers in a sustainable food system. I am excited to combine my experience as an educator with my passion for all things delicious while serving as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Finland Food Chain.

My wife and I moved to the Finland area drawn by the natural beauty of forests and rivers, abundance of outdoor recreation, and a required change of pace from our work schedules. We stay busy working careers in the mental health field, planning our mobile BBQ business (Baptism River Barbecue Co.), selling chips and salsas at the Finland Farmer’s Market, and learning new skills to grow and harvest food, thanks to resources from the Finland Food Chain. As a relatively new transplant to the Finland community, I am excited to immerse myself deeper into this vibrant, resilient, and welcoming community.

Contact Dan: dan.c@friendsoffinland.org


Lucy Carlson
General Project Coordinator

Hi all, I’m Lucy Carlson, and I’m a Project Coordinator for the Food Chain.

Food and agriculture became a part of my life when my mom taught me garden as a kid. Since then, I’ve been involved with food or growing veggies in any way I can- cooking, gardening, volunteering and working at farms, or studying ag in school. I recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in food systems, focusing on organic agriculture. I also love to ski, fish, climb, hike, forage and swim in all the rivers and lakes-I feel so lucky to call the north shore my home! I currently have a big garden with fruits and vegetables, but I am hoping to purchase land soon and start my own farming operation here on the north shore.

I’ve had jobs in viticulture, soil science, food service, and more, so I’m excited to bring those experiences to my job here in Finland. I’ll be helping to coordinate and support current projects at the Food Chain, so I hope to see you around! I am truly grateful to be in Finland and get to know you all. Please reach out if you have questions, project ideas or just want to chat.

Contact Lucy: lucy@friendsoffinland.org


Meghan Mitchell
Wild Rice Project Coordinator

I’m Meghan Mitchell and I am the Wild Rice Project Coordinator for the Finland Food Chain. I bring to this position a passion for wild-harvesting edible and medicinal plants, and a sincere interest in preserving /reviving/ exploring traditional and cultural practices surrounding such harvests. I am looking forward to a role in which I can facilitate the preservation of a local wild food that is of such importance to communities in the region. I have two short seasons of wild ricing under my belt, but I’m excited for the more involved education that the position is sure to offer.

I also have under my belt seventeen years of traveling around North and South America and the Caribbean. I captained my own sailboat seasonally for ten of those years; worked on and with other non-profit, education-based boat projects; worked a vast array of seasonal migrant jobs; and all the while I’ve managed to come home every summer to spend time with family in Rochester, MN. In my down time I write and play music, and study “all things nature.”

Although Minnesota born,  I am new to the north shore region and I’m very excited to become involved in the community.

Contact Meghan: meghan@friendsoffinland.org


Heather Sve
Digital Communications Coordinator

Hey.. I’m Heather Sve, Digital Communications Coordinator for the Finland Food Chain. I’ve been part of this awesome team since June 2022 and love it! I grew up in Finland, so it’s especially exciting to be involved with new (and existing) projects that’ll benefit our community for future generations. I also work for the Organic Consumers Association, another great non-profit organization in Finland. Both jobs are very rewarding and I’m thankful to be doing what I’m doing.

Fun fact… I’ve been on the St. Urho’s Committee for like 15 years! St. Urho’s Day is my absolute favorite holiday… 100%. Hands down. Yep.

I live in Isabella with my boyfriend, 3 daughters and 2 kitties, although I hope to make Finland my home again someday. When I’m not working, I enjoy hanging out with my kiddos, agate picking, tacos, grouse hunting, gardening, fishing, cheesecake, 4-wheeling, swimming in the Baptism River, cooking, listening to Tom Petty, and playing cribbage with my elderly friends at Our Place, while sipping a Bailey’s and coffee. Cheers!

Contact Heather: heather@friendsoffinland.org


Kyle Flack
Finland Farmers Market Coordinator

My love of both the North Shore and growing my own food go back as far as I can remember. My father would bring us to the Shore from the Cities each summer for family camping trips. I knew then that I wanted to live here someday, a goal that would take me over 20 years to fulfill. After years of having a part in transforming wilderness into suburban developments, I decided that being an electrician and living in the city was not the path I wanted to continue on. I knew I needed a change for the good of myself and my family. This needed to include my interest in growing food and food security.

Growing up hearing stories from my Grandpa about the old family farm in Iowa was an inspiration for me. Since then I have created a garden at every place I’ve lived. Sometimes that meant only a window or two full of potted herbs, fruit, and veg while living in an apartment. However, I’m now lucky enough to have the space for something much bigger.

I moved to the Finland area in 2014 and couldn’t be happier. Living here allows me the
opportunity to not just follow my passions of sustenance hunting/fishing and growing/preserving my own food, but live them. As the Farmers Market coordinator, I am pleased to have the ability to work with our local producers as well as be a resource in helping our community members achieve food security. Increasing our local foodshed while decreasing our region’s reliance on food from elsewhere is an essential aspect of having a resilient community. I am honored to be in such a unique position to help our community in this way now and for future generations.

Contact Kyle: kyle@friendsoffinland.org