Neil Haltrecht, Chair, worked at Decurion Corporation for nineteen years ending in 2010. In his roles as chief operating officer and then chief strategy and finance officer, Neil oversaw all business operations and led business planning, strategy development, and value creation processes for Decurion and its businesses: Robertson Properties Group (RPG), Arc Light Cinemas, and Pacific Theatres. He was the president of RPG where he oversaw all activities including the development, acquisition and management of real estate, primarily in California, Seattle and Hawaii. Since leaving Decurion Neil has pursued a variety of philanthropic and personal interests. Since 2010 he has been an active member of Home for Good, an initiative to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County. Neil obtained his master’s degree in business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. A James McGill Scholar, he received his Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction from McGill University.
Carl Buratti, Treasurer, is an essential part of our team and even served as Food Forward’s first volunteer coordinator when the organization started. Food Forward is a perfect reflection of Carl’s beliefs and values, and his passion for helping those in underserved communities. He is a native of the San Fernando Valley who owns and operates a consulting electrical engineering firm in Encino, California.
Scott Jarus, Secretary, is Chief Executive Officer of EV Connect, a provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging station solutions and developer of the most robust and feature-rich platform for managing the EV charging eco-system, which includes the charging stations, the drivers who use them and the electric utilities that feed them. Previously, he was Chairman and CEO of Ironclad Performance Wear, CEO of Cognition, CEO of j2 Global Communications (eFax), President and Chief Operating Officer for OnSite Access. He is a member of the Tech Coast Angels, a partner at Social Venture Partners, and a Sr. Fellow in the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. In 2005, Mr. Jarus was named National Entrepreneur of the Year for Media/Entertainment/
David A. Broering, is Senior Vice President of NFI Integrated Solutions, a division of NFI – a global 3PL services provider. David began his professional career with American Backhaulers, which was acquired by CH Robinson in 2000. David spent the next 12 years of his career at CH Robinson in their Chicago Central Location. David was in part responsible for that office’s rise to over $1billion in annual revenue in less than 10 years time. His specialty resides in domestic North American transportation and its many modes. Now with NFI, David is in charge of the non-asset services including both the brokerage and transportation management businesses as well as the asset based drayage business. His focus on technology based efficiencies, customer service, and diversity of services will be the key to the future growth and success of the business.
Christy Remey Chin is instrumental in finding, funding and supporting DRK entrepreneurs, as well as cultivating and engaging DRK’s network of donor partners. Christy has devoted her career to advancing social entrepreneurship and championing high-impact philanthropy. She worked as a research associate at the Harvard Business School, supporting Greg Dees who defined social entrepreneurship. Christy later served as a Senior Program Officer at the Skoll Foundation. Prior to DRK, Christy was the Deputy Director at the Hewlett Foundation’s The Philanthropy Workshop West. Christy received her MBA from the Harvard Business School and holds a BA in History from Colgate University. Christy currently serves on the boards of DRK portfolio organizations Accountability Counsel, Adventure Scientists, Education Opens Doors, Food Forward, New Story and Transcend. Christy also chairs the board of Benetech, serves on the National Venture Capital Association board.
Carol Goldstein is an urban planner involved in program design and strategic planning for cultural and community infrastructure. A consultant to non-profits, funders, designers and the public sector, she collaborates on new initiatives, from formulation through implementation and evaluation. Her work includes concept design, policy planning, project management, feasibility analysis, and organizational development and assessment. Carol is a practice faculty member of the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Carla Heer grew up in Newport Beach and has lived in Arcadia for the past 20 years. After graduating from UCLA, she developed a career as an event planner for the Bradbury Building in Downtown Los Angeles and later at various venues in the San Gabriel Valley. She has used this talent to successfully fundraise for local non-profits. Her passion for fruit harvesting began when she joined her friends, the Selby Family, at Fruit For All – a San Gabriel Valley-based youth engagement and fruit harvesting non-profit that is now a part of Food Forward. Carla is excited about growing Food Forward in the San Gabriel Valley.
Pam Kaizer, has 30 years of experience in charitable foundation and nonprofit management. She currently provides on-going foundation management services to the Maurice Amado Foundation, the Plum Foundation, The Opportunity Fund, the Consumer Education Foundation and the Batonga Foundation. Additionally, she advises the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation and the Vladimir and Araxia Buckhantz Charitable Trust. She has led nonprofit foundations in developing mission statements, determining program focus, and creating program guidelines and procedures with the goal to creating a plan, and a structure, to enable these organizations to accomplish their goals.
Rick Nahmias, Founder/Executive Director (See Our Team for Rick’s Bio)
Nancy Volpert is the Director of Public Policy for Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, advocating on behalf of JFS clients and programs at the local, state and federal level. She works to protect seniors, empower survivors of domestic violence and ensure dignity for those of all ages facing poverty. She frequently presents at local and national conferences about advocacy and civic engagement on behalf of vulnerable populations. Before joining JFS, Nancy worked in programs, marketing, operations and development at political policy, civil rights, and health care non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area. As a staff person for a recipient organization, Nancy knows firsthand the impact Food Forward picks, gleans and harvests can have on community members in need.
Council of Advisors
Laura Avery – Farmers Market Supervisor, Santa Monica
Jim Churchill and Lisa Brenneis – Churchill Orchard, Ojai
Juanita Gaglio – Produce Advisor
Anthony E. Ghosn – Information Technology Expert
Nike Irvin – California Community Foundation
Robin Kramer – Chief of Staff to both Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Richard Riordan
Carrie La Londe – Chief Operating Officer, Valley Fruit and Produce
Neil Newman – Consumer Products Marketing & Branding Executive. Proud “Can-It” Graduate
Maxine Pollack – Retired CFO & Business Executive
Lee Smith – Attorney
Sarah Spitz – Former Publicity Director KCRW, Master Gardener, & Master Food Preserver
Al Vangelos – Wholesale Produce Veteran
Culinary Advisory Board
Representing diverse corners of the culinary world, Food Forward’s Culinary Advisory Board members lend expertise and advocacy, are ambassadors to the food and beverage industries, and introduce customers and colleagues to Food Forward’s hunger-relief and food waste-reduction efforts. The Culinary Advisory Board seeks to foster both appreciation for Food Forward’s work as well as a broader awareness of food justice concerns in our community.
Matthew Biancaniello – Owner, Eat Your Drink
Clemence Gossett – Co-Owner, The Gourmandise School
Roxana Jullapat and Daniel Mattern – Friends and Family
Josh Lurie – Food GPS
Annie Miler – Chef/Owner, Clementine Bakery, Cafe & Catering
Minh Phan – porridge & puffs
Laurie Porter – Smog City Brewing
Henry Tarmy and Anthony Caspary – Co-Founders, Ventura Spirits Company
David Thorne – Elysian