Dory Bennett
San Gabriel Valley Harvest Coordinator
Joe Bobman
Technology & Engagement Manager
Celia Cody-Carrese
Outreach & Communications Coordinator
Taylor Crotty
Volunteer Engagement Supervisor
Wendy Chen Epstein
Finance & HR Manager
Ally Gialketsis
Ventura County Branch Manager
Pamela Guerra
Data & Design Coordinator
Tanzi Jackson
Farmers Market Recovery Coordinator
Laura Jellum
Outreach & Communications Director
Zachariah Jobe
Facilities Supervisor
Pearson King
Agency Relations & Field Manager
Jason Landers
Los Angeles Harvest Supervisor
Dani Lyons
Grants Manager
Felipe Maldonado
Wholesale Recovery Program Driver
Rick Nahmias
Founder/Executive Director
Emily Parker
Development Director
Leo Paz
Wholesale Recovery Coordinator
Emily Redfield
Ventura County Branch Coordinator
Jason Reedy
Farmers Market Recovery Program Manager
Samantha Royall
Development Associate
Samantha Teslik
Harvest & Education Manager
Annie Vought
Events & Partnerships Manager
Christopher Wehling
Ventura County Branch Coordinator
Richard Weinroth
Director of Programs
Luis Yepiz
Wholesale Recovery Program Manager

Our Board

 

Scott Jarus, Chair, 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/Communications by Ernst & Young.

 

Christy Remey Chin, Treasurer, 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.

 

SuzAnn Brantner, Secretary is the owner of The Family Business, a Los Angeles based digital and content marketing company. Founded in 2013, The Family Business works with various film, music, and entertainment clients such as Steve Aoki, Fox Pictures, Alanis Morissette, Smithsonian Channel, and Sony Records. Having served in various roles throughout her 20 plus year career, SuzAnn most recently served as WME’s Worldwide Head of Digital. In that role, she worked with all departments devising digital marketing and content strategies for the agency’s clients, consulted and serviced company investments as well as operating as a digital resource for the company. Committing herself to public and non-profit service, SuzAnn is also a Director at Large and the Sustainability Committee Chair for the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council and is also on the Leadership Committee for the LA Chapter of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

 

Crystal L. Frierson is a lawyer in private practice with over a decade of experience representing private equity and other alternative asset managers in raising and managing private investment funds. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley and, while working at her family’s small local delivery service, was first introduced to the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market, the hard work required to bring food to market, and the scale of food waste. Crystal is a graduate of Howard University, Berkeley Law and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.

 

Jedd Gold is the co-founder of Artkive, the leading app and service that solves the problem for parents of what to do with all the art kids create. Jedd also serves as head of business development for JibJab. Previously, Jedd co-founded a gaming company that built virtual training games for corporations and the government. He has held senior executive positions in the entertainment and interactive industries, and received his MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. Jedd is the father of two girls who work tirelessly every summer attempting to keep the squirrels from eating all the plums off their plum tree.

 

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.

 

Neil Haltrecht 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.

 

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)

Council of Advisors

Laura Avery – Former Farmers Market Supervisor, Santa Monica

Carl Buratti – Empowered Engineering Group, Inc

Jim Churchill and Lisa Brenneis – Churchill Orchard, Ojai

Erica Dent – Senior Project Manager, AltaMed

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

Jill Overdorf – Director of Business and Culinary Development, Corp. Chef, Coosemans LA Shipping

Maxine Pollack – Retired CFO & Business Executive

Lee Smith – Attorney

Al Vangelos – Wholesale Produce Veteran

Nancy Volpert – Director of Public Policy, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles

 

Council of Advisors: Ventura County

Rod Cordova – Public Works Department, Sustainability Division

Lucky Lynch – The Kaleidoscope Institute

Tobie Mitchell – County of Ventura Public Works Agency, Integrated Waste Management Division

Suki Sir – The Turning Point Foundation

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

Evan Kleiman – Host of Good Food on KCRW

Roxana Jullapat and Daniel MatternFriends and Family

Josh LurieFood GPS

Annie Miler – Chef/Owner, Clementine Bakery, Cafe & Catering

Minh Phanporridge & puffs

Laurie PorterSmog City Brewing

Henry Tarmy and Anthony Caspary – Co-Founders, Ventura Spirits Company

David ThorneElysian

Kitchen Cabinet

 

Edna R.S. Alvarez – Retired Attorney and Founder, First Friday Ideas Salon

Margaret Bach – Founding President, Los Angeles Conservancy

Robbin G. Cohen, M.D., M.M.M. – Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Keck/USC School of Medicine

Annette Eason – Owner and Principal, Eason Design Group

Jesse Gilbert – Founder, Dark Matter Media LLC

Joan Hanawi – Social Impact Manager, Lyft

Gay Yee Hill – Media Relations Specialist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Erica Kopmar – Former Harvest Coordinator and Founding Board Member, Food Forward

Mary MacVean – Executive Director, GrowGood

Paul Robbins – Founder, British Garden Company

Karen Sillas – Actress

Sarah A Spitz – Former Publicity Director KCRW, Master Gardener, & Master Food Preserver