Our Team

Taste the local difference

TLD's Team:

Taste the Local Difference® has its headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan.  Our small team covers the state with distinct roles.

Bill Palladino - TLD Chief Executive Officer

Bill Harvest PieBill has spent decades assisting both for-profit and nonprofit businesses around the world. He has sustained roles as Executive Director, Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Instructional Designer, CEO for Hire, Economic Development Director, and Keynote Speaker with over 25 years of management and business ownership experience.  His client list includes Fortune 500 companies, large nonprofits, community groups and governmental agencies.  Bill left his corporate training and consulting practice in December of 2012 to join the Michigan Land Use Institute (MLUI) staff after spending several years on its board of directors.

MLUI brought Bill into the organization specifically to help transform Taste the Local Difference (TLD) and to accelerate its growth potential to serve more communities.  TLD is a new collaborative local food marketing campaign designed to lead northwest Michigan to the 20% x 2020 goal.  The goal warrants that 20 percent of our region's food come from local sources by 2020. Bill is excited to move back to the nonprofit world as it allows him to pursue his passions while lessening the rigorous travel schedule demanded of consulting.  He enjoys using the skills and tools gathered over the past decade of working with the world's most innovative organizations and companies, applying those to his new assignment with TLD.

Bill currently serves on the Michigan Good Food Charter steering committee and is a member of its shared measurement advisory board.  He is chair of the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network, is on the board of the Grand Traverse Foodshed Alliance (managers of the GT Food Innovation Hub) and serves on the board of Blackbird Arts, a local nonprofit arts organization.  He is well known in Michigan for his work assisting small businesses, nonprofits, communities and economic development agencies.  

He lives with his family in downtown Traverse City.

Tricia Phelps - TLD Operations Director

Tricia is a driven leader and manager with experience in both the agriculture and business sides of the TLD business. She  is deeply involved in the Agricultural community of Northwest Michigan through her personal and business commitments.  Tricia also understands the demands of business and marketing through her three years of work with The Minervini Group, developers of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, the largest mixed-use historic redevelopment project in the state. 

Her skills in writing, communications, problem solving and database management give her the perfect foundation to support TLD's growing farm and business community.  She manages the entire TLD operation in Northwest Michigan, from building and maintaining all the relationships that make this work possible, to playing a major role in planning the strategy for TLD's future.

Tricia is a fixture in the burgeoning food and farming community in the region.  She serves on the board of Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC), the advisory board of the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market in Traverse City, MI, and is an active member of the leadership team of the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network.  She hails from the city of Cary, IL and is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelor of arts from The Residential College of Arts & Humanities, with a Minor in Environmental Studies.  She is an avid photographer whose photographs can be found throughout this website.


Christina Carson - TLD Retail Support and Photographer

Christina CarsonChristina brings a diverse background of experience throughout the food system to her work TLD. Since her graduation from The University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, Christina has worked on farms and with artisan food businesses, managed farmers markets, taught cooking and gardening classes to youth, and worked with schools, farms, and local food businesses to coordinate school fundraisers featuring healthy local products. 

You'll be seeing Christina in our retail partner stores helping to demonstrate the amazing tastes of locally grown and produced foods. She's also an accomplished photographer with a passion for food.  So you may see her wielding a camera dangerously close to culinary works of art, a farmer's field, or the farmer herself.

In addition to her work with TLD, Christina runs her own business (Toot Sweet) and writes for The Awesome Mitten. Toot Sweet offers a full line of photography services with a focus on food photography and hosts a lively blog of locally-focused recipes.  Contact her via her website at http://tootsweetness.com  We're happy to have Christina on our TLD team for 2015.