Conscious Kitchen was founded in 2013 by Judi Shils, Executive Director of Turning Green, and Justin Everett, Executive Chef at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, California


Judi Shils | Founder & Executive Director, Turning Green & Conscious Kitchen

Judi has spent the last 28 years of her life spearheading grassroots community projects. The dearth of answers around Marin County’s high cancer rates led Judi to found the nonprofit Search for the Cause, now Turning Green, a global student-led movement advocating for healthy food, safer products, and ethical businesses. She is also the force behind The Conscious Kitchen, a paradigm shifting model for school food service, transitioning school meals from pre-packaged, processed, heat-and-serve to chef-prepared, scratch cooked local, organic food, cooked in on-site zero waste kitchens. Believing that access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege, she began this work on a campus where 95% of children live below the poverty line, qualifying for free-and-reduced government-subsidized school meals. Moving to the Bay Area in 1989 and becoming a mother to daughter Erin changed the course of Judi’s life. Prior to this, she was an Emmy Award-winning television producer for 25 years with ABC Sports, FOX and Oxygen, founded The Diary Project forum for youth at the onset of the internet, and ran a successful student art exhibition, Celebrate Arts. Judi has been a consultant with the California Coastal Commission around public education for the past two decades.

Erin Schrode | Co-Founder, Turning Green

Erin Schrode is an activist and social entrepreneur. This leading voice on sustainability, social justice and millennials recently ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California. Since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she’s developed eco-education and action platforms for millions of students and beyond. Erin speaks and consults internationally, contributes to ABC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Refinery29, and is featured in The New York Times, Today Show, Vanity Fair, CNN, FOX, Seventeen, Forbes, more. After Hurricane Maria, Erin led Chef José Andrés’ #ChefsForPuertoRico to serve 3.7+ million meals, while investing in local, sustainable agriculture and food systems islandwide and is now driving her non-profit’s Conscious Kitchen feeding program to serve hot, organic, nutritious meals to students, elders and vulnerable populations near her home in Marin County. This bold innovator and community organizer champions civic leadership, conscious living, and environmental stewardship on a lifelong journey to inspire and mobilize people to discover and activate passion for social impact and policy change. 

Aniket Aich | Program Manager

Aniket is a sustainability enthusiast with a background in food and education. Aniket started out working as a field researcher working with farmers on different agriculture projects. He has worked as a high school teacher teaching Math and Science in an underserved community in New Delhi. After briefly working as a program manager for Pratham, one of the largest NGOs in India, Aniket decided to get his master’s in development economics along with a graduate certificate in food systems. Aniket co-facilitated the Plant Futures Challenge Lab on Food Systems at the Haas School of Business, exploring the intersection of education and food systems. As a consultant, Aniket has worked with organic farms to develop sustainability metrics and programming strategies. In his free time, he loves to cook elaborate dinners. 

Caralee Ellis | Program Coordinator

Caralee graduated from UC Berkeley where she received a B.S. in Society and Environment and a minor in Food Systems. Throughout her academic career she held leadership positions across several student organizations advocating for environmental and social justice. She started her journey with Turning Green as a lead intern on the Conscious Kitchen team in 2021 and was quickly promoted to a fellowship position where she supported key initiatives like Project Cereal and conducted a comprehensive cost analysis on organic school meals for her senior capstone project. As our Program Coordinator since 2022, she wears many hats to ensure the program’s success, such as managing the Ambassador Program, facilitating organic procurement, overseeing social media and communications, and mentoring our interns. Caralee is organized, adaptable, and driven by a deep passion for protecting the health of the planet and all those who inhabit it.

Sue Waiss | Program Administrator

Sue has worked with Turning Green for ten years and has helped bring all of our key programs to life. She is passionate about sustainability, education, and bringing our programs to students across the country and around the world. Prior to TG, Sue worked as a Project Manager and Studio Manager in the graphic design industry and co-founded two video production companies.

Kelly Cary | Kindergarten Teacher & Conscious Kitchen WCCUSD Liaison

Kelly is a teacher at Peres K-8 School in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. For twenty years, she has taught schools across the country aiming to promote academic achievement, alongside physical development and mental health. After seeing firsthand how students’ socioeconomic backgrounds directly impact the quality of school meals and nutrition, she spearheaded an effort to dramatically improve food service. In collaboration with Conscious Kitchen, Kelly helped organize a weeklong pilot in 2017 to prepare fresh, local, organic lunches for students at Peres Elementary in Richmond. That success led the district to approve a one-year CK food program at two WCCUSD elementary schools. In addition to teaching, Kelly leverages her Master’s degree in elementary education as the faculty lead for Conscious Kitchen Ambassadors, a student-centered project-based after school program that promotes food literacy. Kelly’s goal is to create programs that inspire student curiosity to learn about where food comes from, while strengthening eco-literacy, understanding of nutrition, and the nourishment of young bodies, minds, and souls

Yadira Mendiola | Farm Owner & Central Coast Farmer Liaison

Yadira owns and operates The Queen of Vegetables Organic Farm – appropriately named after herself as the only woman in her family – in Royal Oaks, CA. She developed a passion for organic after going through the Agriculture & Land-Based training Association (ALBA) education program, and she was really able to see the difference between conventional and organic farming after tending to her first half acre of organic land. This crucial experience led her to quit conventional farming altogether and pursue a career in organic farming. Despite the challenges associated with organic growing, Yadira believes that providing her community, including her 3 sons, with pesticide-free produce is worth it. Yadira’s biggest aspiration is to keep her community happy and healthy, and she continues to strive towards this through her role as a small organic farmer.

Guillaume Pfahl | Executive Chef

Born and raised in San Francisco, Guillaume brings his passion for our local food culture and community to his role at Conscious Kitchen. As Executive Chef, he directs the kitchen team at Willow Creek Academy, and mentors student leaders. He also supports Conscious Kitchen’s strategic planning and growth, including, menu, recipe, ordering and supply chain development. Prior to joining Conscious Kitchen, Guillaume worked as production sous chef for TASTE catering and helped open a farm-to-table restaurant in Sausalito. He sees food and family as the common denominator between people, and is inspired to create community for children centered around food in order to unite multi-cultural school settings. 

Kevin Grossman | Strategic Consultant

Kevin is currently pursuing an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business where he holds a position as a Student Advisory Board Member at the Center For Responsible Business. Prior to going back to the classroom, Kevin spent over seven years working at Clif Bar, a multi-bottom line organic food company, where he held various roles ranging from managing retailers and distributors to developing product launch and channel growth strategies. Here, Kevin began to see the many challenges and opportunities facing the K-12 school food system and how organic food suppliers can reframe their business model to serve school food programs better. Kevin is eager to help rethink our existing food system to create equitable access to nutritious, organic foods in all communities.

Adam Kesselman | Strategic Consultant

Adam is a sustainable food systems entrepreneur and dedicated to cultivating a food system that grows in harmony with nature and the people who steward it and consume its bounty. As a chef and co-owner of Acre Gourmet, Adam collaborated with growers and producers to create a better food culture. Through his consultancy, The Lunch Trust, Adam brings his experience and passion for sustainable food systems to clients in the education and consumer packaged goods industries, developing innovative programs and products. Most recently, Adam was the Executive Director of the Center for Ecoliteracy, a non-profit dedicated to education for sustainable living and school food reform, and the recent co-sponsor of California’s School Meals for All bill that led to California becoming the first state to fund Universal Free School Meals.

Wendy Tobiasson | Sustainability Consultant

Wendy spent a career designing, implementing, and evaluating Energy Efficiency programs across the United States as well as working on numerous International Energy projects. She is enthusiastically applying herself to local food system projects in her quest to work on local, sustainable, climate positive initiates. She is currently immersing herself in collective impact work happening across Marin county. She worked on the Drawdown Marin Local Food and Food Waste team which identified local initiative to help our communities reduce CO2 emissions and sequester carbon. She brings her love of numbers and the stories they can tell along with data analysis, program planning, and collaboration skills to support various projects. Wendy has a BS in Mechanical Engineering and is rapidly learning more about the food system through local courses, connecting with community initiatives, and growing food at both a community and personal garden. Wendy and her family are often out hiking in the hills of Marin, bike riding, or rowing on the San Francisco Bay. She is an avid baker and chocolatier and enjoys turning home grown produce into special meals for the family.

Vanessa Lyons | Garden Coordinator

Vanessa joined Conscious Kitchen and Bayside MLK as the Garden Science, Nutrition and Yoga Teacher at the start of the 2016 school year. She teaches through hands-on learning with students ranging from pre-k through 8th grade, as well as facilitating high school, club and corporate service learning opportunities. Vanessa is an experienced educator with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry and strong professional skills in nonprofit organizations, service learning, environmental education, and science. She is passionate about how fresh local organic food benefits land, economies and farmers.


Ella Fesler | Summer Intern

Junior, University of Virginia

Ella is a rising 3rd year at the University of Virginia. She is majoring in Global Environments + Sustainability with a minor in public policy. Sustainability sparked Ella’s interest in high school, thanks to one of her teachers and her participation in the Project Green Challenge 2017. In particular, Ella is interested in the development of sustainable food systems. In her free time, Ella can be found journaling or cooking a good meal.

Brandon Vorrath | Summer Intern

Senior, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Brandon Vorrath is a fourth-year political science major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, concentrating in pre-law. Brandon currently serves as an intern on the Turning Green team. He is from the San Francisco Bay Area and is passionate about entertainment, politics, news, and social trends – with an emphasis on the intersection between politics and the arts.

Cameron McKenzie | Summer Intern

Senior, Bowdoin College

Cameron is a rising senior at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine studying Environmental Studies and Earth & Oceanographic Science. Growing up in western New York, she spent the majority of her childhood hiking in the Adirondacks, landscaping with her dad, and visiting her Uncle’s farm. Living in Maine for the past 3 years has only deepened her passion for sustainable agriculture. She worked on a local, organic farm last summer that worked to decrease food insecurity across MidCoast Maine and hopes to use her knowledge about sustainable agriculture practices while at Turning Green. After graduating, Cameron would like to pursue work within the environmental, non-profit agricultural sector. In her free time, she enjoys going on runs, hiking, reading, baking, and exploring local farmers markets.

Connor Webb | Summer Intern

Junior, San Jose State University

Connor is a junior at San Jose State University. He is majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in environmental restoration. Initially, he didn’t plan to major in environmental studies and didn’t really know what to expect, but it’s now become a passion and he’s come to enjoy writing because of it. Being in this major definitely changed his perspective on the world and how we inhabit it, and now he wants to do his part in protecting it. Some of his hobbies include backpacking and hiking.

Rachel Kessler | Summer Intern

Senior, University of Virginia

Rachel is a rising fourth year at the University of Virginia studying Environmental Thought and Practice and Music. She first grew up surrounded by nature in Florida and later in Virginia where she discovered her passion for exploring and conserving the natural world. She volunteers with lake and trail clean-ups in her hometown and hopes to work for an environmental non-profit that focuses on sustainability, conservation, and social justice through environmental action and education. In her free time, Rachel enjoys playing the piano, painting, playing tennis, hiking, and exploring different National Parks.

Dahlia Zail | Summer Intern

Junior, Pitzer College

Dahlia is a third year student at Pitzer College, studying environmental analysis and economics. She is extremely passionate about all things food and agriculture, a love that began with cooking with her mom at a young age. She hopes to spend her life working on both sustainable agriculture and the preservation of global food culture. She got involved with Turning Green as an intern for The Conscious Kitchen in summer 2019 and is excited to continue interning in summer 2020. In her free time, she loves to cook, hike, surf, and travel.

Devin Ferri | Summer Intern

Senior, Colgate University

Devin is a senior at Colgate University, majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies with minors in Biology and Geography. Her appreciation of her environment was fostered by growing up in rural Idaho with an abundance of homegrown produce and plenty of time spent outside with the horses. Devin is hoping to work in either an environmental or public health nonprofit focused on improving community health and well-being through environmental action and sustainable choices. On her campus, when the snow finally melts away, she loves working in the community garden and at the local farmers market as a way to promote nutritious and sustainable food choices. Cooking and amateur yoga take up most of her free time, but the day is never complete without watching some YouTube videos.

Emily McCabe | Summer Intern

Sophomore, University of California, Berkeley

Emily is a second-year student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Environmental Economics and Policy. She grew up in rural northern California, where she fostered a love for the environment through playing outdoors and enjoying the area’s many public parks. After graduating, Emily hopes to study environmental law and work for the Environmental Protection Agency. On the Berkeley campus, Emily works with the Housing and Dining Sustainability Association to advocate for food policy across campus as well as educate students about their waste habits. In her free time, Emily enjoys meeting new people, walking her dog, practicing yoga, and reading magazines.

Olivia Thomas | Summer Intern

Graduate, Whitman College

Olivia recently graduated from Whitman College where she studied Art. Her thesis was painting on glass, and how to change our own prescriptive in times of turbulence. She loves watercolor painting in her free time. She also has a passion for food, was trained in an intense professional kitchen for three years, and learned how to respect the process of cooking. Olivia also helped to create a charity called The Marin Cake Project where she worked with a local shelter to make specialty birthday cakes for the children living there. Often it was their first cake ever.  When not cooking or painting, Olivia can be found working out, watching movies, or hanging out with friends. 

Zoe Cowan | Summer Intern

Sophomore, Scripps College

Zoe is a sophomore at Scripps College in Claremont, California. She was raised surrounded by nature in Marin County, which has played a pivotal role in forming her passion for studying and conserving the environment. This passion has grown throughout her life, leading to volunteer work at Slide Ranch and Turning Green, as well as participating in the 2017 Project Green Challenge. When she is home, you can find her exploring the local trails on foot or mountain bike, baking, or working in the garden. She implements sustainability into her lifestyle by working to be zero waste and by supporting ethical and environmentally-friendly companies. At school, Zoe studies Environmental Analysis and Media and is involved in the Sustainability Club which works to bring sustainable change to the Scripps campus. 


Heidi Locke Simon | Board Chair

Former Partner, Bain & Company

Heidi recently retired as a Partner of Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm where she worked for 20 years. She was a leader of the firm’s performance improvement capability area and managed Bain’s marketing and client development efforts on the West Coast. Prior to joining Bain in 1993, Heidi worked in investment banking for Goldman, Sachs & Company and spent time in brand management with Colgate-Palmolive Company. Heidi earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Politics and Economics with highest honors from Middlebury College, including course work at the University of Paris. Heidi began volunteering for Turning Green with its first Search for the Cause campaign a decade ago. She has served in numerous roles, including Board Chair for several years.

Al Baylacq | Board Member

Partner, Good Earth Natural Foods

Al has co-led the growth of Good Earth Natural Foods since 1999. Since the early 1970’s, Good Earth’s mission has been to bring organic food into grocery stores in a consistent way, while supporting innovative and ethical organic growers and ranchers. Al’s dream was to be part of a marketplace that reflected the community it served. At the time he joined Good Earth, it was his intention that Good Earth would play a role as a “community hub,” while influencing and educating people and businesses far beyond its local community. Al is proud to have initiated an organic school lunch program through Good Earth in 2003. Good Earth’s school lunch program began with 4 schools, and currently is in 17 Marin County schools. Al and Good Earth’s support has been instrumental in the founding and growth of The Conscious Kitchen program.

Chuck Dietrich | Board Member

Corporate Vice President, OPG Mobile Data Applications and Growth

Chuck works for Rajesh Jha and leads the Mobile Data Labs team in San Francisco. The team builds and grows innovative, mobile-centric applications that help people to use their ambient data combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and delightful experiences to automate their valuable administrative tasks. Chuck also works on OPG and corporate strategy around the areas AI, engagement and growth. Chuck enjoys the challenges of matching user needs with product strategy and goto market models.

Chuck has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience and was most recently the cofounder and CEO of Mobile Data Labs, acquired by Microsoft December, 2015. Mobile Data Labs is the creator of MileIQ, the top grossing finance app across both Google and Apple’s apps stores. Chuck’s entrepreneurial past also includes building a retail products company, followed by joining in its inception and staying for 9 years. In the role of General Manager and Vice President, Chuck built and ran many of’s channel and partner programs, including system Integrators, marketing partners, product partnerships, and Latin American distribution. Chuck also built and led the company’s mobile strategy and business unit. After, Chuck was the CEO of SlideRocket, which grew quickly and was acquired by VMware in 2011.

Chuck earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Chuck has been guest lecturer at Harvard, MIT and Northwestern and presents at many technology conferences. He has served on boards of numerous early to mid-stage companies and is involved with the Pledge 1% nonprofit initiative.

Chuck grew up in New Mexico and lives in Northern California with his wife and two children. Chuck is an avid adventurer and lover of the outdoors. In his younger days he spent a lot of time ski mountaineering in the Andes, Alps and Himalaya. When not working, he and his family can be found traveling, skiing, climbing, biking and kite surfing.

Justina Lai | Treasurer, Finance Chair

Director of Impact Investing, Wetherby Asset Management

Justina is a private equity investor that believes in harnessing the power of capital – and applying the discipline and rigor of conventional investing – to create meaningful social and environmental impact. Justina joined Wetherby Asset management in 2015 where she leads the firm’s impact investment strategy. Prior to Wetherby, she was a Director and Senior Investment Analyst focused on private markets strategies at Sonen Capital, an impact investment management firm. Previously, Justina helped manage the Rockefeller Foundation’s Program Related Investments portfolio comprised of domestic and international impact investments in private equity and private debt. She was also a core member of the Impact Investing team where she advanced and shaped the initiative strategy focused on building the field of impact investing. In addition, she has held positions with Legacy Venture in Palo Alto, CA and Rwanda Ventures, a business incubator launching and operating sustainable agricultural companies in Kigali, Rwanda.
Prior to her career in impact investing, she was an Associate in the New York and Paris offices of Vestar Capital Partners, where she diligenced and executed growth equity and leveraged buyout transactions across the US and Europe. Justina began her career in the sponsor coverage group within Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division in New York. Justina received a BS in Finance and International Business, summa cum laude, from New York University and an MBA with certificates in Public and Global Management from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Justina is proficient in Cantonese Chinese and Spanish and has lived and worked in Hong Kong, France, the UK and Rwanda.

Sean Martin | Board Member

President | CEO, Martin Consulting Group

Sean works to create organizations that thrive. He partners with leaders to develop clear strategies, build strong teams and create companies that execute with success and pride, believing that the heart of effective leadership lies in authenticity, empathy and clarity – they are at the source of successful strategies as well as thriving cultures. Sean also believe that the greatest insights, critical to any organization’s success, reside with its employees, and an advisor’s job (his job) is to help leaders relate to their people such that the power and insight of the organization can flourish. The Martin Group is the current manifestation of Sean’s 20+ years of experience. With his colleagues, Sean is passionate about helping courageous leaders see, ignite and implement major changes in their organizations – ones that enable a positive impact on the world. His approach leverages a rich combination of expertise in strategy development, organizational design and leadership development helping leaders create thriving organizations with clear and meaningful strategies brought to life by employees inspired to do their best.

Neka Pasquale | Board Member

Founder, Urban Remedy

Neka is a licensed Acupuncturist, Author and the Founder of Urban Remedy. She created Urban Remedy as a natural evolution of her passion for health and healing and living a lifestyle with “food is healing” as her mantra. Growing up in the farm-to-table culture of Northern California, Neka was inspired by people who care about what they eat and who strive to eat for health as well as pleasure. In her private practice of over a decade, Neka combined acupuncture and Chinese medicine with cutting-edge nutrition and lifestyle modifications to heal, balance and create optimal health. Neka started leading wellness retreats with her patients and over and over again they described experiencing life-changing results after just a few days. Inspired by these transformations, Neka knew she had found her calling and in 2009, Urban Remedy was born.

James Schurz | Legal Advisor

Attorney, Morrison and Foerster

Mr. Schurz’s practice encompasses all manner of commercial transactions and intellectual property matters, including actions for breach of contract and business torts, including >unfair competition, fraud, trade libel, products liability, and joint venture/distributor termination. Mr. Schurz has broad experience representing energy companies, resource companies, electronics manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies. He has appeared extensively in courts throughout Northern California, and, in particular, San Francisco Superior Court, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California, and the California Courts of Appeal. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of California, San Francisco, Hastings College of the Law (1998 to present) is the co-author of “How to Choose a Forum that is Right for You” (International Commercial Litigation 2002) and “Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Mechanisms in International Environmental Conventions and Multilateral Trade Agreements,” (United Nations Environmental Programme 1995) and a series of articles for California Law Business, California Real Property Journal, and International Commercial Litigation.

Advisory Board

ALICE WATERS, Chef, Author, Food Activist, Founder & Owner of Chez Panisse & The Edible Schoolyard Project

Alice Waters has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school. She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007. Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007; the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008; and her induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change. Her most recent honor was her induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017. Alice is the author of fifteen books, including New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea, and, a memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook.

SUSAN GRIFFIN-BLACK, Co-founder and Co-CEO, EO Products

Susan is the co-founder and co-CEO of EO Products, the Marin-based parent company of two leading personal care brands: EO® and Everyone™. For nearly 25 years Susan has been a pioneer of the personal care industry, and has built a successful, exemplary company rooted in responsible business practices. Susan is an expert on safe, healthy personal care products and essential oils. She is involved with numerous advisory boards including Turning Green and Bay Cycle Project.

KELLY BROWNING, Teacher, Willow Creek Academy, Conscious Kitchen Teacher Liaison

Kelly is a 2nd grade teacher and Director of the Garden and Nutrition Program at Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito, California. She is passionate about inspiring students to eat and grow healthy food. A graduate of Dominican University with a Certificate in Sustainable Practices, she works to connect teachers and staff with the lunch program. Her focus and expertise is on education and curriculum building and connecting that to the FLOSN food her students eat daily. Previously, Kelly worked as a nutrition and cooking teacher in the Sausalito Marin City School District, and was the inspiration for the start of The Conscious Kitchen.

JUSTIN EVERETT, Chef/Co-founder, Conscious Kitchen 

Justin has a history of pleasing Bay Area palates for over two decades. His innovative approach in creating world-class cuisine and his philosophy of connecting, supporting and feeding local community has gained him great acclaim. Above all the success he has gained as a chef, he considers his role in developing The Conscious Kitchen his greatest achievement.

Justin and Judi Shils met in February, 2013 when she invited him to participate in an event that paired Bay Area Chefs with teams of Marin middle school students in a food competition. Eco Top Chef Marin challenged chefs and students to create and serve a meal following FLOSN guidelines while costing less than $1.35 per serving, which was the CA school lunch allocation at the time. After a long year spent on the food & wine event circuit and a sabbatical cooking in some of the finest kitchens in Europe, Justin jumped at the opportunity to reconnect with his community. Judi and Justin became fast friends and his life was significantly impacted while cooking and getting to know the students he was paired with at Martin Luther King Jr Academy. It wasn’t long before Judi and Justin were inspired to bring the experience of ECO Top Chef to the lunch room at Bayside/Martin Luther King Jr Acadamy. With no road map in accomplishing this, Justin fell back on his experience in opening restaurants, building kitchens and assembling a culinary team. This, paired with Judi and her team at Turning Green’s tireless dedication, The Conscious Kitchen launched in the fall of 2013.

As the success of the program grew, Justin helped develop the CK ambassador program. This allowed the CK team to get valuable feedback and connect with students on a higher level. Justin opened his kitchens one night a week putting student ambassadors in chef coats and letting them cook with his team. The positive impact on the students and chefs that mentored them was undeniable. Justin taught the students that having an adventurous and creative spirit paired with a strong work ethic was the key to being successful at what they loved. From this, many friendships were made and lives were changed.

Justin is an Innovation Chef working on clean food development in Seattle WA. When he is not in the kitchen, he can be found seaside or on a mountain with his Wife, 3 Sons and Peyton the Red Aussie.

NIMISHA GANDHI, BS, CNC, Founder, Moon Cycle Nutrition

Nimisha is a certified holistic nutritionist, certified Ayurvedic counselor, certified Yoga Nidra teacher, and former tech founder of a women’s gaming company. She holds a B.S. in Psychobiology from UCLA and has years of additional education in clinical research, human biology, gut microbiome, and environmental health. Nimisha taught a high school nutrition program, where her proud moments were when the teens came back for seconds of the healthy, organic, local meals they cooked in the classroom.

Nimisha serves as an advisor for Anchor Meditation Studio, FemTech Collective, and Integrated Medicine Initiative For Teens. She also advises wellness providers and companies on how to build a holistic, forward-thinking, sustainable brand and service. Nimisha is a connector and collaborator. She gives workshops, talks, and classes and webinars regularly.

In her private practice, Moon Cycle Nutrition, Nimisha works with teenage girls, fertility, prenatal and postpartum woman, and those with chronic gastrointestinal conditions. Her work weaves ancient wisdom with modern medicine and is highly individualized to meet the needs of her clients. She practices in the San Francisco Bay Area and virtually across the country. Nimisha is passionate about creating equal access to organic, local, unprocessed foods for everyone.

PETER HEINEMANN, Co-founder and Managing Director, Passport Resorts, LLC

Peter is Co-founder and Managing Director of the San Francisco Bay Area based hotel management company, Passport Resorts LLC. It is known for creating small, upscale destination resorts, developed and operated in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner. Passport Resorts LLC and its affiliated companies presently operate the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California and Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, California – a project created by a unique private/public/non-profit alliance. Peter’s responsibilities include overseeing the properties’ financial matters, arranging project financing, and structuring various business and real estate transactions. Peter also has the lead role in overseeing all of the day to day business operations at Cavallo Point Lodge. He received his law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley in 1977 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley in 1973.

DANA KUEFFNER, Environmental Director, Passport Resorts

Dana currently serves as Passport Resorts’ Environmental Director. She also serves as Project Design Director on many of the company’s development projects. A design professional for 20 years, Dana is an American Society of Interior Designers Industry Partner. She is also certified as a Green Building Professional and received a specialty credential in Green Building Remodeling and Retrofitting.

Prior to working in the design field, Dana was involved in Healthcare and Social Services. She served as the Deputy Director of Heathcare for Alameda County for 12 years. She was responsible for the County’s Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Treatment Services, Maternal-Childcare Services and for a brief period served as the Head of Operations at Highland General Hospital.

STACY MALKAN, Journalist, Co-founder, US Right to Know 

For over a decade, Stacy has led campaigns to shift the market to safer products, healthy food and clean production. She is a co-founder and co-director of US Right to Know, a nonprofit organization that investigates and reports on what the food industry doesn’t want us to know about our food. Stacy is author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society 2007) and she co-founded the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2002. For eight years, Stacy was the communications director for Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition working to transform the healthcare industry so it is no longer a source of harm. Prior to her work as an environmental health activist, Stacy was a reporter and newspaper publisher. Follow her on Twitter @StacyMalkan and @SafeCosmetics.

MICHELLE PERRO, MD, DHOM / Down To Earth Pediatrics 

Michelle is a veteran pediatrician with over thirty-eight years of experience in acute and integrative medicine. More than fifteen years ago, Dr. Perro transformed her clinical practice to include pesticide and health advocacy. She has both directed and worked as attending physician from New York’s Metropolitan Hospital to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Dr. Perro has managed her own business, “Down to Earth Pediatrics,” creating a new field of integrative urgent care medicine. She is currently lecturing and consulting as well as working with Gordon Medical Associates, an integrative health center in Northern California.  Dr. Perro has co-authored the highly acclaimed book, “What’s Making our Children Sick”  having toured nationally and internationally lecturing on the topic of the effects of industrial food on health as well as related environmental issues and the effects on children’s health.  She is Executive Director of a non-profit scientific-based website, She has authored many publications and has a new column with the journal, “The Townsend Letter”.  

JENNIFER RIENKS, PhD, Assoc. Director, UCSF Family Health Outcomes Project (FHOP)

Jennifer has been with FHOP since 1996. A native of Connecticut, Dr. Rienks received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut before heading west to complete her Masters of Science degree and PhD in Social Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include the application of social science theories and methods to public health to change health behaviors and health systems, and the role of the physical and social environment in shaping health behaviors.

Dr. Rienks has worked on a variety of research projects and brings data analysis, research and survey design and project management skills to FHOP. Past projects include researching the use of a risk assessment tool for the targeting clinical outreach and HIV prevention services to high-risk women; an evaluation of a breast-cancer navigator project in Solano County; a community collaborative research project funded by the University-wide AIDS Research Project to compare the effectiveness of standard HIV testing and counseling vs. an enhanced intervention that included STD screening; evaluation of the Seven Principles Project – a project to reduce black infant mortality disparities in San Francisco conducted by SF Dept. of Public Health; leading the 2010 – 2015 Title V Needs Assessment for the California Department of Health Services’ California Children’s Services program. Jennifer also provides technical assistance to and leads trainings for the staff of local health jurisdictions on a variety of topics.

In her free time, Jennifer serves on the publicly elected Marin Healthcare District Board, having originally been elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and 2014. She is passionate about ensuring access to high quality and cost effective healthcare for all, and enjoys photography, hiking and northern California’s abundant flora and fauna.

ERIC ROBINSON AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Paulett Taggart Architects

Though he has practiced in locales as distinct as the Arizona desert and New York City, Eric’s work is unified by a passion for creating architecture that resonates with place and purpose. His interest in technical systems and considered approach to materials is revealed throughout a portfolio that includes custom residences, corporate interiors, cultural institutions, and multi-family housing. Whether using simple materials to poetically respond to an intense climate or integrating technical infrastructure into a refined space, Eric strives to find a beauty that emerges from honest, simple solutions. Within our practice, Eric is responsible for overall quality control and brings to each project a commitment to both design excellence and project delivery. Eric graduated Cum Laude with an AB in Architecture from Columbia University, where he also earned his Master of Architecture degree. Additionally, he completed studies at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Switzerland and is a registered architect in California.

ADRIANA SILVA, Tomatero Farms

Adriana is the Owner of Tomatero Farms in Watsonville, California. She and her partner Chris began the farm in 2004 on four acres. With an original focus on growing tomatoes, they named the farm “Tomatero,” meaning “tomato picker” in Spanish. Within a year of opening they were certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).They now grow many different types of vegetables and raise hens for laying eggs. They focus on soil fertility, using beneficial plants, insects, and native hedgerows. Adriana was elected president of the local chapter of the CCOF in 2010 and the first farmer to partner with Conscious Kitchen.

BARBARA SOBEL, MS, CNS, LDN, Barbara Sobel Nutrition 

Barbara is a clinical nutritionist specializing in the functional medicine approach. She practices in the San Francisco Bay Area and virtually across the country. Barbara believes that with the right raw materials, which include healthy food, nourishing lifestyle habits, and supportive social bonds, we all have the ability to achieve optimal wellness. Barbara’s extensive training and clinical experience includes a Masters of Science in Nutrition & Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health, advanced post-graduate training with the Institute of Functional Medicine with a concentration on treating clients with complex, chronic conditions, and certification in the Bredesen Protocol for Reversing Cognitive Decline, which takes a functional medicine approach to preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to working with clients in her own practice, Barbara works as a nutritionist at Functional Medicine SF, a specialized practice delivering personalized medical care to those with complicated conditions. Barbara began her professional career working for elected officials at the state and local levels. She later used her advocacy skills to help health-related, education, and environmental non-profit organizations. She lives in Marin County with her family and is often found on the trails of Mt. Tam.

PAULETT TAGGART FAIA, LEED AP, Principal & Founder, Paulett Taggart Architects

Paulett founded the firm in 1986 with the premise that excellence in design not only enriches the lives of the people who live in, work in, and use our buildings, but also enhances the public realm and surrounding community. Whether housing, a community facility or a private commission, Paulett brings to each project sensitivity and commitment to our client’s needs and a focus on making elegant buildings that endure. The quality of the firm’s work has been recognized by dozens of awards, and by Paulett’s elevation to AIA Fellow in 2007.

Paulett received her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University and her Bachelors from the University of Oregon where she was first exposed to energy efficiency and sustainability issues. She has taught at UC Berkeley and the California College of the Arts, and has been a member of a number of local organization including LINE (the journal of the American institute of Architects San Francisco), the AIASF/SFMOMA Lecture Committee, the San Francisco School District’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Universalist Church of San Francisco.

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