Based in Muskegon, Michigan, Morse Marketing Connections, LLC (MMC) is a business consulting firm for food companies and organizations, owned and operated by Marty Gerencer since 2002. Prior to the launch of MMC, Marty spent over 20 years with Gerber Products Company and worked with cross-functional teams to implement collaborative approaches to business practices. While at Gerber, Marty received the Chairman’s Award for her role in a collaborative baby and toddler marketing program that engaged multiple internal departments and several outside agencies and companies.
Ms. Gerencer partnered with Wallace Center at Winrock International, based in Washington DC, to launch and co-lead the National Good Food Network (NGFN). The NGFN employs regional approaches to increase the supply of locally sourced food into communities through collaboration with regional teams around the country. Marty partnered with Michigan State University – Center for Regional Food Systems, to launch and operationalize the Michigan Food Hub Network. This statewide network brings together Michigan stakeholders interested in networking and learning to develop regional approaches that will increase the supply of locally produced foods in regions around Michigan.
In recent years, Ms. Gerencer partnered with the Community Foundation for Muskegon County (CFMC) and played an instrumental role in securing over $3 million dollars in grant and private funding to launch and operationalize the HEALTHY Muskegon network, the Muskegon Food Hub and the West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative. In 2019, Marty received broad based food industry support to formalize the Initiative into the West Michigan Food Processing Association and she was named Executive Director of the Association in 2020.
Ms. Gerencer was appointed by Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden to the United States Department of Agriculture Advisory Committee for Beginning Farmers specifically to represent a voice for women and minority farmers. Ms. Gerencer was a member of the National Women and Agriculture Network convened by USDA. She has contributed to the development of this network through informal briefings and updates with USDA. Marty has served as a member of the Women, Food and Agriculture National Advisory Council. Along with a team of local food experts, Ms. Gerencer was instrumental in getting “sustainable agriculture” included in the United States Green Jobs definition in 2009. She has been featured in the Washington Post and American Farm Bureau Federation News for her national work and has been featured in Mlive, Crain’s Detroit Business News and Michigan State University newsletters for her state and local work.
In Michigan, Marty was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Michigan Food Policy Council and has served as a member of the Michigan Good Food Fund Advisory Committee, Upper Midwest Regional School Food Working Group, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon Rotary Club, Mission for Area People, AgeWell Services of Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa Counties, Muskegon Farm to School Advisory Committee, and Aquinas College Alumni Association. Marty served on the planning committee for the Midwest Intertribal Food Conference – 2016 and planning committee for the Farmer Veteran Coalition National Stakeholders Conference – 2016, both held in Michigan.
Ms. Gerencer has contributed to the following publications; Sysco’s Journey from Supply Chain to Value Chain 2008-2009, Value Chains for Nutrition, International Food Policy Research Institute 2011, USDA Regional Food Hubs Resource Guide 2012, and the National Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study Results 2014 and 2015. Ms. Gerencer co-authored The Michigan Food Hub Network; A Case Study in Building Effective Networks for Food Systems Change publication, 2014, Muskegon Food Hub Operation Feasibility Study Final Report 2015 and Muskegon Food Hub Operation Business Plan 2016.
Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan and a Masters in Management from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.