Our staff trains our teams in the field and sets our strategy for growing healthy schools.

Wish you were a part of the team below? Join our staff.

  • Syed Ali

    Digital Communications Manager

    Born, bred, and based in New York City, Syed believes in the potential of healthy, sustainable, equitable communities. He graduated from rural-in-relation Wesleyan University, where he led the student government committees on information technology and community outreach, wrote for student life blog Wesleying, and was a member of campus sustainability group Wesleyan Eco-Tools. He is grateful for his time with the NYC Department of Health’s Green Carts initiative for originally sparking his interest in healthy food access.

  • Adrienne Allen

    Senior Director of Development

    Adrienne comes to FoodCorps after almost a decade in various development roles for a number of environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and Environmental Defense Fund. Environmental justice is both a personal and professional passion of Adrienne’s, and she is inspired by FoodCorps’ ability to narrow the achievement gap through sustainable practices. Outside of work, Adrienne enjoys trying new recipes weekly, traveling and rooting for the North Carolina Tar Heels.

  • Ryan Ames

    Data and Evaluation Manager

    Ryan comes from a blue-collar automotive belt in Michigan that served as inspiration to discover why there were such stark socio-economic divides in our communities. His work has included measuring the impact of increasing food security, providing access to healthy food in schools, food banks, farmers markets, and in conducting community evaluations of organizations improving child health. When he is not diving into data, you can likely find Ryan playing music or exploring the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

  • Mary Ancelmo

    Human Resources and Events Coordinator

    Mary is a native Houstonian who is passionate about sustainable options for food security. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree and prior to FoodCorps she has worked for different nonprofits both abroad and in Houston, TX. In her free time, Mary enjoys gardening, dancing, and reading.
  • Alexa Arnold

    Manager of Philanthropic Investments

    Originally hailing from the midwest and south, Alexa is driven by her passion for food, the people who produce it, and the places where it’s grown. Prior to joining FoodCorps, Alexa managed Kentucky’s largest farmers market and built networks throughout the Central Appalachian region that connected schools, institutions, communities and farmers. When she’s not spending time with the FoodCorps team, you can often find her developing new recipes, browsing Greenmarkets for inspiration, and attempting to cultivate a little, but mighty, garden on her NYC balcony (err – fire escape).

  • Ashton Barrett

    Development Research & Operations Manager

    The passion and dedication of our corps members and community partners inspire Ashton in her work each day. She is a proud AmeriCorps alum herself, having served with Washington Reading Corps and with the Seattle arts and youth empowerment nonprofit, The Power of Hope. When not at her desk, Ashton can be found browsing cookbooks at the public library, baking bread, or hiking one of the Northeast’s beautiful trails.

  • Kelso Brasunas

    Grant Finance Coordinator

    Kelso grew up in a small, tight-knit “town within a forest” in Maryland (yes, the town has a motto). She spent two years as a FoodCorps service member in Little Rock, Arkansas before moving to Portland, Oregon to work as a member of FoodCorps’ national staff. Kelso is driven by the communities and relationships that surround local, real food. In her free time, you can find her exploring Portland, reading, and hanging out with cats.
  • Julia Bromka

    VP of Finance & Operations

    Julia comes to FoodCorps with 10 years of nonprofit finance and growth strategy experience. Having worked as a Growth Capital Consultant at Nonprofit Finance Fund and as Finance Director at Citizen Schools during their period of rapid expansion, she brings a unique perspective to FoodCorps’ leadership team. While getting her MBA at UC Berkeley, she also worked at Revolution Foods, igniting her passion for bringing healthy food to kids who need it most. When not at work she can be found playing with her wildly active son William or reading menus online to plan date nights with her husband, Peter.

  • Laura Budde

    Program Manager - Northeastern Region

    Originally from the Midwest, Laura’s interest in food equity work stems from her personal experience and international travels. Since serving with FoodCorps in 2011, she’s become dedicated to our mission and today is honored to work with a breadth of school food systems across the Northeast, ranging in size from Machias, Maine to New York City. Laura works from her home in central Maine, where she’s building a small homestead with her partner and enjoys living amongst many living creatures.

  • Edgar Carillo

    External Affairs Coordinator

    A California native, Edgar studied politics and environment in college and has worked and volunteered with organizations promoting responsible use of natural resources, wildlife conservation, and first-generation college education. Currently residing in Brooklyn, Edgar has a personal goal of visiting every national park in the United States by the time he is 35.
  • Dawn Crayco

    Connecticut Program Director

    Dawn spent the beginning of her professional career working on anti-hunger and nutrition program and policy. She joined FoodCorps to lead the Connecticut Field Office after being involved with the start of FoodCorps CT in 2012. Dawn is always on the hunt for a new personal challenge, outdoor experience, and anything chocolate.

  • Erica Curry

    Director of Program Resources & Practices

    Erica’s background includes over a decade working as a food and agriculture educator and leading trainings with farmers, teachers and farm to school practitioners. Her previous work with Shelburne Farms, The National Farm to School Network and The Farm Based Education Network took her around the country and internationally building networks to connect schools, communities and farms. She loves exploring the western mountains with her family and is an avid gardener. She has Master’s Degree focused on sustainable food and farm education.

  • Stella Doughty

    Government Partnerships Coordinator

    In her beloved hometown of Minneapolis, Stella unknowingly began her path toward a passion for food justice as an 8 year old when she joined a youth urban agriculture program in her neighborhood where she first plucked a carrot from the ground and took a bite. Many years later, Stella joins FoodCorps national staff after that long ago planted seed brought her to an elementary school in Washington, DC as a FoodCorps service member where she turned countless picky eaters into proud salad eaters. Off the clock, Stella is probably dreaming up her next canoeing adventure, experimenting with new ways of eating sweet potato, zooming around on her bike, or tending her little backyard vegetable garden.

  • Tyler Driscoll

    Connecticut Director of Philanthropic Investments

    The only thing Tyler loves more than cooking great food is eating great food. And the only thing he loves more than those two things is working with committed partners to make schools healthier places for kids! But what brings him the most joy are his wife and four kids.

  • Emily Earle

    Director of Institutional Support

    Emily joins FoodCorps with more than a decade of resource development experience, most recently leading these efforts nationally for Per Scholas. Throughout her career, she has enjoyed building partnerships that enable great work to happen on the ground. Emily grew up in New Hampshire, where her family belonged to the Temple-Wilton Community Farm, one of the first community supported agriculture efforts in the U.S. She carries on this CSA tradition in Brooklyn with her daughter, who especially likes tomatoes.

  • Curt Ellis

    Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

    Curt’s film King Corn, on the role of subsidized commodities in the American obesity epidemic, received a national theatrical release and PBS broadcast, shaped policy debate about the Farm Bill, and earned a Peabody Award. He has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow, a Food and Community Fellow, a Claneil Foundation Emerging Leader, a New Profit Social Entrepreneur, and a recipient of the Heinz Award. Curt has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and NPR, is a frequent speaker on college campuses, and serves on the steering committee of Voices for National Service and the advisory committee of the Blue Sky Funders Forum. Curt lives in Portland with his wife Caitlin Boyle, their three-year-old son, and two chickens.

    Food is a prism. Peer into it and you see America’s greatest challenges refracted: health, sustainability, equity. Solving these challenges in food is a momentous task. But do it there, and we can do it everywhere.

  • Lucy Flores

    Director of National Programs

    Prior to joining the team as one of FoodCorps’ first employees, Lucy developed social issue and public health initiatives through her work in non-profit communications and documentary film. She has studied at the Centre for Film and Media at the University of Cape Town and received degrees in Political Communication and Journalism at the George Washington University. She is also a big fan of hiking in the Pacific Northwest, classic cinema, vegetarian cooking, and Jeff Goldblum.

  • Max Fripp

    VP of Programs

    Max’s career has focused on closing education and opportunity gaps for our nations most vulnerable youth. And he frequently says that his other dream job would be to own a awesome breakfast & lunch spot that hosts occasional pop-up dinners. Max recently moved to Portland from Boston with his wife and two sons.

  • Erica Goodman

    Key Partnerships Manager - Corporate Support

    From growing up on her family’s New York dairy farm to spending the warm months in her mom’s garden, Erica learned at a young age the value of getting your hands dirty. Prior to joining FoodCorps, she oversaw strategic communications efforts at American Farmland Trust and served as a Fellow with the U.S. Golf Association. When not at the FoodCorps office in New York, she can be found out running or spending too much money in bookstores.

  • Medhanie Habte

    Salesforce Administrator

    As Salesforce Administrator at FoodCorps, Medhanie incorporates his passion for technological innovations and bridging the gap between communities and FoodCorps’ mission of connecting kids to healthy food in schools. A Los Angeles native and son of Eritrean immigrants, Medhanie enjoys hiking, road trips, and the occasional chili-cook off.

  • Leah Harrison

    Program Manager - Western Region

    Leah has spent the last eight years connecting communities to healthy food through service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, as an AmeriCorps member in Oregon, and as a service member in the first FoodCorps cohort in North Carolina. She is now thrilled to be working with members and sites across her native Western region. When not in the garden or the kitchen, Leah enjoys trail running through the enchanted forests of the Pacific Northwest.

  • Sarah Hausman

    Senior Director of Programs

    Sarah’s career began in New Orleans, where she served as a special education teacher and administrator. Her school was home to the first Edible Schoolyard in Louisiana, where she saw the power of good food to grow strong and healthy communities. Sarah is an avid traveler who enjoys exploring new cultures through regional cuisine, and bringing new flavors back to her own home kitchen.
  • Jerusha Klemperer

    Co-Founder & Communications Director

    Prior to working for FoodCorps, Jerusha was an Associate Program Director at Slow Food USA, where she helped design and implement national lifestyle and advocacy campaigns that sought to transform food policy as well as individuals’ relationships to food. She has over 15 years experience working in nonprofits, and in her free time tries to turn her black thumb green, and occasionally practices the art of storytelling at a microphone, around office tables, and over meals with unwitting listeners.

  • Jim Laden

    VP of Leadership & Talent

    Jim is a long time resident of Portland, OR who has spent almost three decades in the nonprofit realm, focusing primarily on program management, organizational development, human resources, and training. Jim has a graduate degree in counseling psychology and a passion for working with others to develop their professional dreams into realities. On the food front, Jim spent two years as an agriculture volunteer in the Peace Corps, helped start a school garden program in his kids’ elementary school, and continues to dig in the dirt as frequently as possible.

  • Daniel Marbury

    Program Manager - South and Central Regions

    Daniel loves to celebrate the connections between people, nature, and food. He spent two years as a FoodCorps service member with the Michigan Land Use Institute in Traverse City, helping school food service staff feature seasonal and locally grown produce in six elementary schools. He partnered with teachers to tie student’s lunchroom experiences to classroom activities by teaching academic subject areas through topics featuring healthy and local foods. Daniel now supports FoodCorps service in six FoodCorps states in the Central and Southern regions of the country by managing state partner and local site relationships.

  • Tiffany McClain

    Recruitment Manager

    Tiffany came to FoodCorps after five years in Alaska working to advance LGBTQ equality through community organizing and social justice philanthropy. She was joined the staff during the second year of programming and was particularly excited to be part of an organization in its early, start-up years. When she is not recruiting next year’s crop of FoodCorps service members, you can find Tiffany traveling to some historically interesting destination or on Ancestry.com trying to fill in the gaps of her family tree.

  • Eva Meszaros

    Development & Communications Writer

    Eva embraced the world of good food when she started writing about the specialty food industry and simultaneously discovered her local farmers markets in Brooklyn, NY. A journalist by trade, she is now happily applying her writing and editing prowess to support child nutrition and an equitable food system. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Eva grew up in the Bay Area, started her career in New York City, and now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and dog-like cat.

  • Anna Metnick

    Human Resources Manager

    As a dedicated HR professional, Anna enjoys supporting service members and staff. Anna has spent time abroad in Asia in South America, and has an MA in Psychology. In her spare time, Anna loves hanging out with her little boys and husband, and waits impatiently for the summer when she can enjoy her local farmer’s market every weekend.

  • Tobia Neufeld

    Key Partnerships Manager

    Before joining FoodCorps in 2013, Tobia was engaged in a variety of human rights and social justice issues through her work with youth from at-risk environments in Canada’s Northwest Territories; as researcher for a former Canadian foreign affairs minister; and in Nepal where she studied rights violations of migrant domestic workers. Her passion for just and sustainable food systems first sprouted in her parents’ vegetable garden where she discovered that tomatoes don’t grow on supermarket shelves. Tobia earned a master’s degree in international affairs from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy in New York City.

  • Kayo Okada

    National Program Coordinator

    Kayo is thrilled to bring her passion for public service and sharing good food to FoodCorps. She grew up in Japan where she learned about healthy eating habits and the joy of sharing nutritious food. Before joining FoodCorps, she was a digital producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting and created multimedia features about chefs, artists and other inspiring people.

  • Kathleen Paylor

    Director of Philanthropic Investments

    Kathleen love kids, loves healthy food, and is fiercely determined to bring them together.  She has been fundraising for nonprofits, social enterprises and social impact for-profits for more than 20 years, helping raise more than $100 million dollars. Her focus has been on creating strategies to foster growth, running capital campaigns and building major donor programs to take organizations to scale.

  • Eva Ringstrom

    Director of Impact

    Eva has been working in and around food for over a decade, as a pastry chef, an urban planning consultant, a food educator, and an evaluator. She loves helping FoodCorps use research, learning, and feedback to improve its program and its impact on kids, schools, and communities. When she’s not doing that, you can find her hiking Pacific Northwest mountains and cooking for friends and family.

  • Derryck Rosalez

    Finance & Operations Manager

    Derryck grew up in the eastern Oregon town of Ontario, which happens to be the birthplace of the tater tot. While he’s not directly responsible for that deep-fried contribution to American cuisine, he would like to provide some balance by supporting FoodCorps’ nutrition education initiatives. As the Finance and Operations Manager he supports the staff, fellows, and service members by keeping the offices open, the bills paid, and the computers working (“have you tried turning it off and on again?”)

  • MJ Santiago

    Service Member Recruitment Coordinator

    Originally from a small town in central Florida, MJ has worked to increase access to critical resources for underserved communities across the nation. Prior to joining FoodCorps in 2016, MJ served a year in AmeriCorps with Reading Partners. When not at work, they can be found visiting museums and parks across New York and beyond.
  • Lesley Shelton

    Data and Evaluation Coordinator

    Lesley’s background spans from the educational to the analytical. As a former high school math teacher in Arizona, she understands first-hand the impact of healthy food and community upon kids’ ability to succeed. After teaching, she worked in accounting and data and analytics at both small and large organizations, including sustainability-centered startups. Her love of data visualization is matched only by her love of traveling and seeking out fun and new food to try with her wife and family.

  • Ashley Taylor

    Government Partnerships Manager

    Ashley joined the FoodCorps team with past work experience in both the nonprofit and government sectors, both at home and abroad, as well as a strong commitment to public service. An avid gardner and mushroom forager, Ashley loves cooking with fresh local ingredients and spending time around a table with family and friends.

  • Ashley Turk

    Assistant to the CEO

    Ashley hails from the Midwest, where she learned to love gardening while studying at the University of Illinois. She served for two years with FoodCorps Iowa before moving across the country to Portland, OR. In her free time, you can find her reading, eating, or thinking about food.

  • Cecily Upton

    Co-Founder & VP of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships

    Cecily cut her teeth in school food work as the co-creator of a marginally successful garden experiment at her high school in Maine. A decade later, after stints in arts management and farming in Italy and India, she returned to school food, first managing Youth Programs with Slow Food USA and then by co-founding FoodCorps. Cecily received her B.A. from Bowdoin College, her M.A. from NYU and currently lives in Maine with her husband and daughter, who are probably getting sick of her annual exclamation, “I think our vegetable garden should be bigger next year!”

  • Josephine Vu

    Director of Human Resources & Talent

    Originally from Oregon, Josephine started her human resources career in Chicago and Washington, D.C. before coming back home to settle in Portland. Her love of food and culture developed when writing her undergraduate thesis about her family’s kitchen. It’s a love she still shares today with her family at home and at FoodCorps!

  • Robyn Wardell

    Alumni Manager

    Summers spent farming, mentoring kids and finding community around food led Robyn to serve with the first class of FoodCorps in Flint, MI. She is motivated by the potential of our alumni network to continue making positive, healthy changes in the lives of children after they move on from service. When she’s not supporting alumni in their careers and development, she’s outside hiking and foraging for mushrooms or in the kitchen cooking something up from the garden.

  • Olivia Webster

    Training Manager

    Olivia joined FoodCorps after many years of working in community based non-profits and schools focused on food education and youth development. In her current role, Olivia loves dreaming up training opportunities that will be beneficial and interesting for service members. When she isn’t busy planning a FoodCorps training event, she can be found outside running or hiking trails, biking, gardening or painting in her art studio.

  • Elizabeth Wolf


    Elizabeth joined the FoodCorps team with a legal and accounting background and came from six years of experience managing a hunger relief program for the residents of Portland Oregon. When not at the office Elizabeth loves to spend time with her daughters.

  • Ellen Moncure Wong

    VP of External Affairs

    For more than two decades, Ellen Moncure Wong has helped connect philanthropic dollars with organizations driving major social and environmental change. Prior to joining FoodCorps, Ellen worked in resource development for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Coro New York Leadership Center, the Environmental Defense Fund, and So Others Might Eat. Ellen’s commitment to sustainable food systems stretches back to her roots as a farm girl in rural Virginia, but her passion for connecting all kids to real food is inspired by raising two sons in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Ellen believes in healthy communities and schools, is an active volunteer and community activist, and is the Founder of the Flatbush Family Network.

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