Executive Board

Amanda C. Miller
Executive Director

Amanda C. Miller lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has a master’s degree in arts administration from Columbia University, and has worked for over 15 years in nonprofit management. Miller would like to see AFJ engage more deeply with millennials to inspire dedication to ethical practice in an era motivated by profit. She is thrilled and honored to begin her new role at AFJ in January 2017.
Kathleen Purvis
President
Kathleen Purvis has been the food editor, columnist and reporter for The Charlotte (NC) Observer since 1989 and a professional journalist since 1978. She is a longtime member and past officer of AFJ. In addition to several stints as a regional co-director, she has previously served as AFJ’s vice president and recording secretary, and she hosted an AFJ conference in Charlotte in 2006.She is also a member of the awards committee for the James Beard Foundation. She is a former chair of the foundation’s book awards and was the founding chair of the JBF Leadership Awards, and currently serves as a special liaison for the humanitarian and lifetime achievement awards. A two-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation journalism awards, she has won awards from AFJ and the N.C. Press Association and is a winner of the Missouri Lifestyles Journalism Award for news feature reporting. She is the author of the books “Pecans” and “Bourbon” in the Savor the South cookbook series from UNC Press. She is working on a new book for UNC Press, “Distilling the South,” a food-travel book on touring Southern craft distilleries.
Hanna Raskin

Vice President

Hanna Raskin is the food editor and chief critic of The Post and Courier. During her first full year in Charleston, Raskin wrote and directed a documentary on camp meeting fried chicken that was honored with an IACP nomination, and was named the nation’s best food blogger by AFJ. Most recently, in partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance, she produced the paper’s first podcast, an exploration of Gujarati kitchens concealed behind the check-in desks of Southeastern motels.

Raskin previously served as restaurant critic for the Seattle Weekly and the Dallas Observer. In 2013, she published “Yelp Help: How to Write Great Online Restaurant Reviews,” which received an M.F.K. Fisher Award from Les Dames Escoffier International.

A food historian by training, Raskin is a founding member of Foodways Texas and is active in the Southern Foodways Alliance. She has served as a regional co-director for AFJ and led the effort to update its ethics code.

Additionally, Raskin completed two terms as co-chair of the AFJ membership committee, a role which allowed her to track the changing nature of professional food writing and appreciate the needs of those engaged in it. As vice-president, she proposes to help make AFJ relevant to food journalists working outside of traditional newsrooms, including visual and audio journalists, and to establish the organization as a leading voice for the culinary world’s fourth estate. Her top priorities include emphasizing diversity, embracing technology and advocating for the preservation of journalistic and ethical standards in the industry-at-large.

Gwen Ashley Walters
Secretary
Gwen Ashley Walters is a veteran freelance food journalist and author of three award-winning travel destination cookbooks. She is also a professionally trained chef and the editor and publisher of the food blog “Pen & Fork,” which the Phoenix New Times twice named “Best Food Blog in Phoenix.” Her work has appeared in print in Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light, The Arizona Republic, PHOENIX Magazine and Sun Valley Magazine, and digitally on Eater.com and Grubstreet.com.Gwen is past President and a current member of the Phoenix Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a philanthropic organization of women culinary leaders. She has been a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) since 1999. Gwen joined AFJ in 2009 and has served as Region V co-director for the past two years.
Bob Batz Jr.
Treasurer
Bob Batz Jr. has been active as an AFJ member since 2007, when he became food editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/post-gazette.com, and has been an active board member since 2010, serving two terms as AFJ vice president. He’s proud to have led the paper to several AFJ awards, including Best Newspaper Food Section in 2009 and 2011, and to have helped move the group to its own WordPress website among other achievements with the executive board. As of June 2015, he’s no longer food editor at the paper, but keeping his hand in food and drinks coverage. For the good of the organization, he’s running for the now-undefined role of treasurer, which is changing since AFJ has changed its bylaws to hire a financial director. While he understands the group’s finances and their rather dire straits, he has some good ideas for turning that around, and works well with incoming financial director Patricia West-Barker. He sees his main role as being a veteran on the executive board to help the new leadership, with executive director Amanda C. Miller, to keep things going in a positive direction.