Nicole Rogers lives the ultimate food literacy lifestyle. As Farm to Fork Manager for Sacramento Convention Visitors Bureau, Nicole collaborates with partners throughout the regional food system, from farmers to restaurants and nonprofits. Her background includes marketing for Chipotle and working for national public relations firms. She also serves on the boards of Center for Land-Based Learning and Child Abuse Prevention Center.
“When there are kids who have never seen a pear or broccoli, we have work to do! I want every child to taste the healthy food growing in this region.”
Dawnie Andrak is the Chief Operating Officer of Capitol WebWorks, LLC. She is a graduate of our Food Literacy Academy and has volunteered in our classroom for several months. Dawnie also completed Center for Land Based Learning’s Farm Academy, a program for beginning farmers.
“There’s nothing more important than educating our kids about where their food comes from.”
Justin Nordan, treasurer of the Board of Directors, has worked in the events and music business for over 15 years. Justin is also a huge supporter of local creativity, embracing local change, and showing the world how Sacramento can be a leading city for social change through conscious events and music.
Also a husband, and father of two girls (Caleigh & Delilah), Justin understands the importance of fruits and veggiecation. Justin is a supporter of the “educational food revolution”, and is determined to spark change in school food programs.
“The more we educate our youth on the value of a healthy meal, the more they will ignite change in future generations.”
Elise Bauer is the founder and publisher of SimplyRecipes.com, an award winning, popular food blog focused on simple, wholesome home cooking. Elise is considered a pioneer in the blogging field, having started Simply Recipes in 2003. Elise curates FoodBlogAlliance.com, a tutorial site for food bloggers, as well as produces FoodBlogSearch.com, a recipe search engine that searches over 3000 high quality food blogs. Elise is a veteran of Silicon Valley and Apple, Inc. She has a B.S. degree in Environmental Earth Science, an M.A. in Food Research, and an M.B.A., all from Stanford University.
“Kids are naturally curious. The best time to teach them about food—where it comes from, how to cook it, if it’s good for you— is now, when they are still young and open to the magic of it all. What they learn today can help them build healthy habits for life.”
Jillena Hernández started learning to love incorporating unique and exciting whole grains and vegetables into her daily meals from her mother who refused to eat white flour and sugar. She blogs about creating delicious plant based meals on her blog Eat Well, Live Free. She is a founding member of the California Maternal Mental Health Task Force and currently works for the California State Assembly.
Jillena spent six years in Santa Barbara catering and is an avid vegetarian home cook. She is learning to grow her own food in her backyard garden, and loves to share the bounty with her neighbors and friends who frequent her Sacramento house. She is excited to bring her policy background and her love of sharing healthy foods to the Center.
“The work of the Food Literacy Center is critical to the education and health of our community, especially our children. In a society where there are dedicated aisles to ‘health foods’ in select super markets, it is imperative that people know what they are eating and where it comes from.”
Laura Braden has over 12 years of experience in public affairs and strategic communications. She currently serves as Senior Director of Communications for the Sacramento Kings where she develops and directs all public relations and media activities for business operations, including the Sacramento Entertainment and Sports Center. Before joining the Kings, she ran her own consulting business, Braden Strategies, LLC and served as Vice President at Mercury Public Affairs. Prior, she served as Deputy Communications Director for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Event Director for Schwarzenegger’s 2006 re-election campaign. Laura is also the Co-Founder of GirlsOnTheGrid.com, a lifestyle blog for professional women that live, work and/or play on Sacramento’s grid.
“My food literacy education started the day I moved to California. I want to help ensure that we reach younger generations right from the start to set them on a path for a lifetime of health and wellness. I also believe that Sacramento is the epicenter of the food literacy movement – the innovation and dedication seen here can (and should) be replicated around the nation.”
Meghan Phillips is the Principal and co-founder of Honey Agency. Nestled in California’s agriculture belt, Honey Agency is a creative and marketing agency committed to connecting craft food, drink, and people. The Honey Agency has helped clients through the use of great design and clever marketing since their founding in 2008.
Elena currently serves as Finance Director for Bera for Congress in California’s 7th District. In this position, Elena manages a multi-million dollar fundraising operation in one of the most competitive congressional districts in the country. Prior to this, she has served in numerous fundraising and communication roles for political campaigns and non-profit organizations. Elena is passionate about both working with students and promoting healthy lifestyles, and is excited to join the efforts of the Food Literacy Center!
“Some of my best childhood memories were in the kitchen, cooking and spending time with my family. I want all kids to have that experience and understand the importance of a healthy meal– and be excited enough to share that knowledge with their friends and family.”
Greg Lucas has reported on California’s capital for over 20 years as a widely acclaimed journalist for celebrated publications such as the Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and is the current senior editor of the Sacramento Capitol Weekly. With a Bachelors degree in Communications from Stanford University and Masters degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, his sharp writing skills and long relationship with the capital provide deep insight and a clear personal connection with this state’s rich history and promising future. Currently, Greg serves as a board member at the Friends of California Archives and was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as the new California state Librarian in 2014. His appreciation and respect for literacy goes beyond the books and into our classrooms at the Food Literacy Center, creating bridges between food, literacy, and community well-being.