Pompea Smith, founder and director of the Hollywood Farmers Market and 7 others, has been let go by her board of directors. Without detailed information, nothing can be inferred from this decision, but I will say, the commercial kitchen the organization had recently built worried me a great deal. It’s unfortunate that somehow open air markets suffer from the perception of being difficult (or for some) impossible to maintain funding for their operation, when often it is the ancillary projects and added staff for those other projects that reduce the markets’ financial health. To be clear, I am not saying what contributed to this particular change as I have no idea, but the economic future of markets is something I work on for many communities and assume that sooner or later every board is having this type of economic future conversation with its market leadership.
I know and admire Pompea, having worked with her on some research a few years ago. She deserves the thanks of her community and the entire market movement. I also support the need of this board and staff to move forward with new leadership. It’s time to welcome the next generation of leaders.