Cynthia Kanner (2021-2023)

Cynthia believes that with amazing resources right here in McHenry County that we are more than capable of supporting our local food system and sharing it with our community through a cooperative grocery store – The Food Shed.  Keeping things local is better for the environment, people and our planet.

Cynthia has spent her career in non-profit management and has held leadership positions in the three organizations for which she has had the honor to work, including the current one – The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County where she is Executive Director.  She has been a member of The Defenders since 2001 and has worked for them in various capacities since 2007, including as newsletter editor for 10 years.  During that time, she also worked for Friends of the Fox River as a Stream Monitoring Educator.  Before Cynthia moved to Illinois with her new husband in 2000, she was Director of Communications at Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered.  Prior to residing in Flagstaff, Cynthia lived in her birth city, Washington, D.C., where she worked at The World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. from 1987 to 1998.  She was Executive Director of that organization from 1995 to 1998.  Cynthia graduated from Duke University, where she studied Comparative International Studies, in May of 1987.  She grew up in the beautiful state of New Jersey where they grow the best tomatoes and loves nature, animals, outdoor activities, especially hiking and kayaking, and traveling.  She has extensive overseas travel experience, some of which included organizing and leading overseas study tours to Vietnam, Morocco, and South Africa.  Other destinations of her travels include Egypt, the former USSR, Scandinavia, most of western Europe, parts of Eastern Europe, Latvia, Taiwan, South Korea and Costa Rica.  She has enjoyed amazing local foods from her travels and knows that good food brings people together.  Cynthia plays blues/rock flute and is married to physicist, Gary Kanner, and has two teenage boys – Dylan and Benjamin.