Chelsea Hanson

Health Equity and innovation Strategy Specialist

 Chelsea is passionate about working at the intersection of business and impact, particularly where she can advance racial equity and social justice in our health care and food systems. She is innovative and change-oriented, having launched, grown, and sold successful start-up ventures, as well as initiatives within large organizations.

 She was the founding Director of Equity & Innovation at the American Medical Association, where she launched the In Full Health initiative to advance equitable health innovation. Chelsea also served as AMA’s Director of Strategy & Partnerships focused on tracking emerging trends in health care and collaborating with external partners to accelerate innovation and impact.

 Previously, Chelsea launched a for-profit social venture that sold healthy prepared meals to low-income families through community distribution networks. She then held sales leadership and strategic operations roles at two high-growth health and wellness start-ups. Chelsea began her career as a consultant at Accenture, where she led change management, organization design, and communication strategy efforts in the consumer products, financial services, and technology industries.

 Chelsea has been a close associate and contributor to the food system development work at New Venture Advisors almost since its inception, bringing a unique and valuable mix of experience and skills to the projects she leads. She holds a B.S. from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

 Whatcom County Food System Plan

In 2021, the Whatcom County Food System Committee conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors partnered with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan focuses on five key goals for building a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system, and was informed by an inclusive community engagement process. The Food System Plan will provide the county with a policy roadmap that will strengthen the local food system for years to come. (2023)

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a collaborative production kitchen benefitting food access, school system, and community organizations. The goal is strengthening Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. The facility will also feature an incubation kitchen, demonstration kitchen, event and classroom space, collaborative office and conference facilities, and housing.  New Venture Advisors developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development through engagement and operational development. (2023)