Our Staff and Interns

Y. Armando Nieto, Executive Director

Armando is a seasoned executive and development professional, with experience in management and organizational development, membership development, annual giving, foundation prospecting and grantwriting, and special events. Successful capital campaigns include the Environmental Defense Center Cordero Adobe Campaign and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center. He has been Associate Producer of the Kenny Loggins Christmas Unity Telethon since 1999, and prior to joining the CFJC, Armando served as C.E.O. of Redefining Progress, Managing Director with the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, and Executive Director at Eagle Eye Institute in Somerville, Massachusetts, Earth Share of California and the Environmental Defense Center. In 2005 Armando set up the Communications and Community Engagement Department at the Coalition for Clean Air and since 2005 he has served as organizing member of Summit 2007: Diverse Partners for Environmental Progress, and facilitator and report co-author for the related Western Regional Roundtable in Oakland and Southwest Regional Roundtable in Albuquerque, NM. Professional affiliations include Hispanics in Philanthropy, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, North American Association for Environmental Education, and Golden State Environmental Education Consortium. He is president of the Tulare County Community Water Center and has served on the Advisory Boards of Just Communities, the PG&E ClimateSmart External Advisory Group, and the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy. Email: yanieto@cafoodjustice.org

Christina Spach, Program Manager

Christina received a B.A. in Anthropology and Minor in Spanish, and prior to CFJC was a community organizer for eight years. As a Rural Community Development Officer with the United States Peace Corps-Belize in a small Maya village, she taught youth and computer literacy as well as marketing to a local women’s craft group. Christina also helped establish a community resource center and a local community organization focused on environmental justice and education. Both are strong organizations today. Upon returning to the states, Christina became ACORN’s National Trainer for Community Organizing and was the Education Organizer for San Francisco Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment before joining the food justice movement. Christina has organized around the country on issues that most concern our working-class communities such as neighborhood safety, immigration reform, financial justice, quality education, and community health and sustainability. Supporting a bottom-up, community empowerment approach to making sustainable change, Christina has experience developing local leadership, mobilizing communities, and working on local and state-wide campaigns. As Program Manager, Christina brings her passion for rebuilding a food system that works for all people. Email: cspach@cafoodjustice.org

Courtney Hendrix, Communications Specialist

Courtney earned a BS in Health Education, with an emphasis in Community-Based Public Health, from San Francisco State University. She provided nutrition education as a PEACH (Peer Educator Advocating Campus Health) and was nominated and chosen for the Community Service Learning Student Award for her commitment to food security, social justice, and health equity. Courtney is passionate about cultivating social and political conditions that support an equitable and just food system. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering on a local farm, roller skating, and making all natural body care products.
Email: chendrix@cafoodjustice.org

Jessy Gill, Policy Specialist

Jessy received her B.A. in Anthropology-Environmental Studies with a minor in African Studies from St. Lawrence University.  During her time at St. Lawrence, Jessy studied in Kenya, where she worked with the International NGO PISP (Pastoralist Integrated Support Programme) in the Marsibit region.  This work spurred her interest in food and water as a basic human right.  Her passion for food equity led her to work on food issues in the States. Jessy lived and worked on a farm in Vermont where she practced sustainable agriculture and  learned about local food systems.  Jessy currently works on policy and relationship building at CFJC. Email: jgill@cafoodjustice.org

 Holly Calhoun, Program Coordinator for Healthy Farms Healthy People Coalition (HFHP)

HollyHolly graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in Comparative Religion. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in local agriculture and public health. Holly began working for the nonprofit Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA) as a seller for local farmers at certified farmers’ markets. For the past five years she served as Program Coordinator of the Bring the Farmer to Your School Program and Market Manager of the Echo Park Farmers’ Market. In 2010, SEE-LA joined the Roots of Change California Farmers’ Market Consortium to design and implement a Healthy Incentive Program at five of its certified farmers’ markets. Holly took on the leadership role of SEE-LA’s “Market Match” program, and worked to increase the use of SNAP/EBT at farmers’ markets throughout Los Angeles County. Holly’s passion and experience lies at the intersection of agriculture and public health. She is highly motivated and personally committed to improving the food system and the health of the nation, and is eager to serve the coalition in pursuit of these goals. In her spare time, Holly loves to garden, ride her bicycle, and take hikes to enjoy the natural beauty of California.

Alyssa Sheets, Food Policy Research Intern

alyssasheetsAlyssa is a senior in the class of 2015 at Mount Holyoke College, where she is earning her B.A. in Politics. Alyssa is a Bay Area native and grew up in the East Bay. She is pre-law and spent her middle school and high school years competing in public speech and debate tournaments. Alyssa studied abroad in Pune, India during the fall semester of her junior year, where she studied development economics and interned at a pro bono legal advocacy organization called Sahyog Trust. Alyssa has always been passionate about international human rights and social justice issues, and is excited to be focusing on domestic issues relating to food justice while interning with the Community Food and Justice Coalition. As a student at a Seven Sister, he focuses her research through a feminist lens and is primarily interested in researching how food policies affect women and children. Alyssa hopes that through her research, she will contribute to understanding what works and what is ineffective in empowering women through the food justice movement.

Catherine Paulson, Climate Change and Food Policy Intern

Catherine_PhotoCatherine graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2009. Through her studies in anthropology and sociology she learned about the importance of social justice. She volunteered at many community organizations in the Kansas City area and worked with Burmese refuges after graduating. After several moves she found herself in San Francisco working in an unrelated field. Deciding to follow her passion for social justice, equity and environmental justice she enrolled in the Urban Affairs graduate program at the University of San Francisco where she currently focuses on climate change and food system policy. Catherine is dedicated to promoting food justice and sustainability through action.

Skyler Lewis, Climate Change and Communications Intern

CFJCphoto_SkylerLewisSkyler is working on a B.A. in Environmental Analysis at Pomona College, with a concentration in Environmental Economics. He is interested in the intersection of food justice, environmental justice, and the development of food and energy systems that are socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable. Growing up in Monterey County, a region with limited water resources, abundant conservation efforts, and the agricultural hub of the Salinas Valley, Skyler has become very aware of California’s food and environment issues. He has studied and researched issues including climate change, pollution, and the political economy of food systems and agriculture, and interned with Fallen Fruit from Rising Women, a food justice-focused social enterprise. Next spring, he hopes to study for a semester at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in a program that deals with the relationship between globalization and environmental health, and the particular food system and environmental challenges dealt with in South Africa’s local communities.

Rosalind Waltz, Food Policy Research Intern

rosalindwaltzRosalind is an Environmental Studies major at Mount Holyoke College, with a concentration in Environmental Politics, Policy, and Economics. She grew up surrounded by large gardens and volunteering at Heifer Project’s Overlook Farm in Rutland, MA, which is how she became interested in food policy. Rosalind enjoys cooking and hiking, and is looking forward to exploring the Bay Area this summer.

Alexa Kaczmarski, Communications and Development Intern

1377621_10152000333923278_1145084234_nAlexa is currently working on her B.A. in Environmental Studies at Brown University. Her focus within her studies is on sustainable and just food systems. She has worked with organizations in Providence, Rhode Island to educated the public on issues of food justice and security, specifically focusing on involving young children and their parents through garden education clubs and workshops at local schools. She spent a semester in Australia studying agricultural systems and Aboriginal culture/philosophy, exposed to the harsh reality that minority and low-income populations disproportionately lack access to healthy food and healthcare. She is dedicated to changing that inequality and believes that nutritious, inexpensive, culturally appropriate food should be available to all.

Anna Larson, Evaluation and Policy Research Intern

AnnaLarson1Anna is currently working on her B.A. in Environmental Studies– Food and Agriculture at Carleton College in Minnesota. She became interested in food activism as a first-year through a student organization called Food Truth. Through Food Truth, she became involved with a nonprofit called the Real Food Challenge, who supports college students working for more sustainable food procurement in campus dining halls. In the summer of 2013, she worked as a research assistant at UC Santa Cruz on several biological control projects regarding organic strawberry and brassica production and learned about the complexities of healthy agroecosystems. In the fall of 2013, she spent 4 months in Ecuador studying ecology and conflicts surrounding conservation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Through these experiences, she realized that food and agriculture issues are deeply connected to justice, climate change, and environmental health.

Aquetea Goodman, Administrative and Community Outreach Intern

1495237_713758048664664_157775440_oAquetea is currently working on her B.S in Society and Environment with emphasizes in Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. As an upcoming senior her focus in her study is around food justice and environmental health issues. She grew up in Oakland known for its high social and environmental degradation which affects the health of many of its residents. The problematic social and health outcomes are because of lack of access to healthy foods and resources which spark her interest in food justice. She became interested in sustainable efforts by participating in many environmentally conscious organizations to address the injustice that she wants to be address. Through active engagement with the community, teaching ways to prevent high blood pressure and diabetes and also become active participants themselves by engaging with healthy food practices with gardening installation in urban areas. Her ultimate goal is to meet the needs of the community through public health initiatives and active engagement. She is committed to changing the food disparity to improve the health of local residents. This is where she truly feels she is giving back to her hometown.

Many thanks to our past CFJC Interns


Cate Flanagan
Whitney Ball
Chris Loomis
Sabrina Peterson
Julianna Oldroyd
Adrienne Pollack
Kara Young
Melissa Thayer
Marine Dageville
Cassidy Bennett
Naomi Reimer
Ashley McKenna
Anaïs Dodson
Ruby Tumber
Elizabeth Carlton
Danielle Rodgers
Sarah Oh
Christine Batten
Ruby Tumber
Igor Geyn
Lauren Anderson
Molly Lawrence
Ceressa Allen
LaShonda Deckard
Anita Wong
Victoria Endsley
Porus Mistry
Rebecca Eiseman
Amy Radding
Adrian Gonzalez
Shanna Atherton
Alyson Murphy
Aleisha Baldé
Nicole Willman
Marina Moro
Karen Siverson
Sarah Schmitt
Naiana Brum