Manager of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America

WHAT SHE DOES FOR LOVE: "I mostly eat. I am proud to serve as the President of the board of Slow Food Chicago, which promotes good, clean, fair food. Slow Food is a truly global movement, and that community has given me so many opportunities to explore my interests in storytelling, traveling, gardening, learning from farmers and producers, and of course cooking and eating good food."

HER 2015 GOAL: "For 2015, my professional goal is to find and clarify the common thread that ties my work and interests together, and then stick to it. My personal goal is to only buy things that I need, love and know will last."

A LADY SHE ADMIRES: "Mama J, Jules, Julie Ahern! Not only is her birthday on March 8th -- International Women’s Day (the day Lady Guns was founded!) --  she always taught us to be fearless, grateful, opinionated, vulnerable and authentic. I learned from her the power of a meal to bring people together, and the comfort in knowing that our friends and loved ones were always welcome at the table."

Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

Be sure to check out her Earth Day blog post, right here on Lady Guns Global!


NOMINATED BY: Emily Mason

WHY SHE'S A LADY GUN: "My relationship with Cortney sprouted at Colgate University. She is poised, personable and passionate (especially when it comes to sustainable agriculture). Her work at Feeding America is wildly inspiring and some how she manages to serve as the President of Slow Food Chicago when not in the office. She is an absolute lady gun who likes digging in the dirt to provide underserved populations with locally sourced produce!"


HER INITIAL REACTION TO HER LADY GUNS NOMINATION: "So honored and excited! I immediately read the profiles of every other badass Lady Gun on this site and was simultaneously intimidated and inspired."

HER STYLE: "My mom always let me dress myself as a kid, and only had two rules: 1) No hangers still attached (it happened) and 2) Underwear on the inside. Needless to say, there were some creative ensembles back in the day. Today, the most special aspects of my style still come from my mom. I’ve got her Coach leather bags in bold colors like mustard yellow and kelly green. I still invest in a fresh pair of Keds in spring. But easily the most special hand-me-down from my mother is my smile, which so strongly resembles hers."

"My Mom! " | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

"My Mom!" | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

HER BEAUTY: "In terms of beauty products, I’ve recently upgraded to a slightly more sophisticated regimen (thanks to some seriously chic and savvy lady friends). The only reason I can pull off bangs is thanks to Bumble and Bumble’s Cityswept Finishing Spray. I have a soft spot for Dr. Bronner’s because it must be a miracle if you can wash your hair, dishes, and laundry with one product! Next big step for me is switching to a natural and cruelty-free beauty routine. Suggestions welcome!"

"My first job out of college apprenticing on a farm in Upstate New York." | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

"My first job out of college apprenticing on a farm in Upstate New York." | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

preSERVE Garden |  Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

preSERVE Garden | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

ON CHALLENGES: "'We blame the obstacles for blocking the road, as if the obstacles aren’t the road.' I heard this somewhere in the last few weeks, and it has been percolating in my mind since. When I think about my own path, it admittedly hasn’t always been clear or direct. I've made a thousand decisions that may have seemed risky from the outside. But to me, each choice has been intentional, true to my instincts and part of the path towards developing into the version of myself I want to become. Thanks to support from some incredible mentors, I’ve become a strong believer in learning by trying, and even learning from failing. I’ve found that crossing something off the list (whether it’s a job, partner, city) can be just as important -- and gets you one step closer -- to finding the right fit.  

ON PERSPECTIVE: "My mantra for the last few years has been 'Do the best you can with what you have.' I find it to be both calming and motivating. In moments when the weight of the world is overwhelming and it doesn’t seem like you can possibly do enough to make it better, it’s a reminder to breathe and gain perspective. Conversely, it’s also a personal challenge to use every ounce of yourself - your talent, experience, connections, voice - to do your absolute best, and a reminder that what you have is a lot."

" Honey from around the world at  Terra Madre , the international gathering of the Slow Food movement held in Italy every two years. " | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

"Honey from around the world at Terra Madre, the international gathering of the Slow Food movement held in Italy every two years." | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

"A peach grown at the preSERVE Garden in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood." |  Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern

"A peach grown at the preSERVE Garden in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood." | Photo: Courtesy Cortney Ahern