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, Community Partner 

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. Previously, Christina was CFJC’s Program Manager. She moved back to the Southeast a year ago and has re-focused her efforts on regional community organizing around voting rights, food sovereignty, women’s rights, and racial equity. Christina is grateful to remain part of the CFJC team in her new role as Community Partner. Email: cfreespach@gmail.com

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 making jewelry, 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.

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.

Kira Lou, Food Policy Research Intern

Kira graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Chemistry. While in Atlanta, she had the opportunity to spend two summers as a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working in a laboratory that researched biomarkers of tobacco exposure. This work introduced her to the field of public health, and environmental health in particular. Kira chose to continue studying in this field and is now pursuing a Master of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. The work that CFJC does provides her with a new and meaningful perspective on environmental health that focuses on engaging communities and working with partner organizations to make significant changes in food policy, access and justice, as well as the effect that climate change has on these processes. In her free time, Kira enjoys exploring the Bay Area, finding new favorite restaurants, and playing Ultimate Frisbee. 

 

Many thanks to our past CFJC Interns
Catherine Paulson
Alyssa Sheets
Alexa Kaczmarski
Skyler Lewis
Anna Larson
Rosalind Waltz
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