Tyler Strom
Managing Director, Illinois Agri-Food Alliance

Prior to his current role, Strom was a Fellow of Global Agriculture and Food at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the leading foreign affairs institution in the Midwest committed to educating the public—and influencing public discourse—on global issues of the day. A fourth-generation farmer, Strom also produces row-crops and mixed specialty crops. As a McCloy Fellow, he traveled to Germany to research the roles Germany’s academic, policy, corporate, and civic institutions play in understanding the linkages between climate change and food security and developing sound and sustainable food and agricultural policies. Strom earned his BSc in agricultural business and economics from Iowa State University and was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at Lund University in Sweden where he earned his MSc in environmental studies and sustainability science.

Sam Bretz
Projects and Office Coordinator, Illinois Agri-Food Alliance

In her most recent role, Sam was a Sales Account Manager for Chicago-based Local Foods managing their over 50+ farm and food sales accounts to Chicagoland restaurants, colleges, caterers, stores, and consumers. Previously she was with The Roof Crop, LLC having started as a farm worker and quickly ascending to be their Sales and Operations Manager handling accounting, contracts, and logistics. She has personal experience in food and agriculture, ranging from restaurants and hospitality, to urban agriculture production, to food aggregation, marketing, and sales. She’s developed a strong business and relationship-focused approach to her work that elevates organizational operations, communications, and network engagements. Sam has a BASc in Business Management from Governors State University. As well as a culinary arts degree from Joliet Junior College.