OUR TEAM

CALVIN EATON, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Gluten Free Chef Calvin Eaton is an educator, chef, and writer who launched the website, the Gluten Free Chef Blog, in 2012 after years of living with the effects of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and celiac disease – conditions that are exacerbated by the presence of wheat, gluten, and dairy products in foods.

His goal has always been to make gluten free living accessible to everyone. His blog www.theglutenfreechefblog.com features fool proof recipes and meal plans, ensuring that everyone could and would eat wonderful gluten free meals – and never tell the difference.

Mr. Eaton continues to raise awareness for holistic living, wellness, and education by curating a variety of workshops, classes, and networking events,  by Founding the mission based learning academy 540WMain in June 2016.(www.540westmain.org)

KATIE HALLIGAN, MARKETING & EVENTS ASSISTANT

Katie is 540WMain’s amazingly talented marketing & events assistant. A Rochester native; creativity runs through her veins. When she’s not dreaming up eye catching visuals for our weekly and monthly events and programming she is performing and singing in her band Tart Vandelay with her band mate Martin LoFaso. To learn more about Tart Vandelay visit www.tartvandelay.com

MICHELE ASHLEE, VOLUNTEER EVENTS PHOTOGRAPHER

Hailing from Kuckville, NY Michele Ashlee is a self-taught photography guru who has imagination and creativity running through her veins. She has taught private classes (Stephen Craddock and Arleen Thaler) and also assisted in teaching a class at the Community Darkroom. She owns a hair salon in Brockport, NY but calls Rochester home. When she isn’t shooting private events at 540WMain and weddings around the city; Michele is pouring her expertise into social activism focusing her lens on shooting social, economical and political issues in Rochester. Her subjects include Rochester’s Refugees, childhood poverty and the LGBTG community.

MERCEDES PHELAN, COMMUNITY ACTIVISM LIAISON

Mercedes Phelan is a self- professed lover of sandals, mom, inter sectional feminist, student and all around awesome person. She currently works as a Teacher with Action for a Better Community (ABC) and is also a member of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

In this role Mercedes works closely with our Executive Director to organize, develop, and design creative opportunities for 540 to engage, cultivate, and collaborate with fellow organizations pushing for change in the Rochester community.

ERIN EGLOFF, FEATURED BLOGGER & VOLUNTEER GRANTS ASSISTANT

Erin Egloff was born and raised in Lowville, NY, and graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She pursued a career in the Los Angeles nonprofit sector for 14 years, and moved to Rochester in 2017 with her husband and cats.  Erin is a lifelong learner who is particularly passionate about intersectional feminism, racial justice, sexual violence and misconduct, education equity, and government transparency.

JAKE SELL HICKS, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER

In this new role Jake will serve as 540’s ambassador at community events, aid in the development, execution, and continuation of new programs at 540WMain. He will curate the scope of this new role and help us expand the definition of the “community organizer”

Jake was born and raised in Northern New York, but has lived in Oakland, SF, Seattle, Rochester, and spent many months at a time traveling in Europe, North America, and the Islands. He’s on a constant quest for meaning, justice, and hope. Some of his previous jobs include TransAmerican Tour Guide, Big Tech Company Business Consultant, Flower Garden Designer, Bike Messenger, and Conservation Photographer. Volunteering, editing photos, and networking occupy most of his time at the moment, while he waits to hear back on postgrad admissions in Social & Political Theory. Passions include queer theories, historicization, feminism, postcapitalism, critical race theory, and the global South. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or through Email!

MINNIE LOPEZ, 540 INTERN

JADEN HAYES, 540 INTERN

To schedule a visit, propose a class, or ask a question submit the contact form below or email info540westmain@gmail.com

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