Meet SFUSD’s Board of Directors. We are all volunteers and many of us wear several hats within the organization. Many of us wear several hats outside the organization, too, especially when it’s cold.
Rachel Marie Helmer
Through the family’s citrus and avocado ranch in Valley Center and her Italian roots Rachel found a strong passion for fresh produce and cooking from scratch with love and local ingredients. She turned this passion for food into a career ten years ago and started a gluten free baking and recipe development company known as Mari Made. Rachel got to know the San Diego food community and in 2008, hung up her Mari Made apron to pursue a career with Specialty Produce. Since then she’s worked as their creative director managing food photography, product research, marketing and event production. Rachel’s work takes her throughout California and allows her to participate in food, health and community betterment events throughout San Diego County.
Vice Chair & Seafood Liaison
A fishery biologist, culinary tinkerer and sometimes writer, Sarah is committed to seafood sustainability and providing the best information for the public and fishery managers to make informed seafood choices. She is passionate about connecting San Diegans with their local seafood producers and connecting our local seafood producers with the community. Sarah teaches a Sustainable Seafood class at UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is on the Slow Fish Pacific Region board and is the seafood liaison to Slow Food California. She aims to bring Good, Clean & Fair Seafood to All San Diegans.
Dana is passionate about all things related to food! She works as a dietitian at the VA Medical Center and at Rady Children’s Hospital where she provides education and teaches classes on a variety of nutrition related topics. After work she is most likely cooking with her CSA box, taking a long hike, or enjoying a meal and brew with friends. Through her education and career she has learned the value of sustainability, plant biodiversity, and a that healthy food systems make for healthy communities/citizens. She is very excited be part of Slow Food URBAN and to further work toward educating, promoting, and helping people understand and have access to good, clean, and fair food.
An Oakland, CA native, Darcy fell in love with the Slow Food movement through the farmer’s markets of New York City, her home for almost a decade. Today, Darcy runs Operations Services and Innovation for Dr. Bronner’s, the organic and fair trade body care and food company based in Vista. Prior to joining Dr. Bronner’s, Darcy worked in sustainability for Organic Valley, the nation’s leading organic dairy cooperative, and managed advocacy and organizational development efforts at an environmental nonprofit. Darcy earned a BA in Environmental Science from Barnard College, Columbia University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, singing with the San Diego Master Chorale, and exploring San Diego’s many restaurants and breweries.
Food Justice Chair & Outreach Coordinator
Kathryn has been passionate about health, sustainability and food systems for as long as she can remember. She spent her formative years helping her mom create healthy recipes from the herbs and vegetables they grew in the back yard. She saw firsthand the damaging impact that pesticides have on workers, the community and the environment during a trip to Costa Rica when she visited a commercial banana plantation. Pairing her love of food with 10 years experience in strategic communications, she now blogs about food justice and conscious eating. When she’s not crafting nutrient dense menus for private clients and events, Kathryn works with community organizations to develop strategies so all San Diegans can live better.
Farm Liaison & Ark of Taste Chair
A craft beer enthusiast, dog lover and local foodie, Stephanie’s involvement with Slow Food came naturally. After a few farm volunteer days with SFUSD, she was hooked! Stephanie is the founder of Epicurean San Diego, San Diego’s only food, farm and libations tour company. Showcasing everything local, sustainable and delicious, Stephanie takes her guests on a journey through our local artisanal food, beverage and agricultural scene through behind the scenes tours, education and tastings. Stephanie’s passion for supporting our local artisans is contagious. She loves learning about the new craftsmen around town and building relationships within our community. An advocate of eating locally, Stephanie loves to talk to other like-minded individuals who share her passion for eating, cooking and learning.
Chicago native Lisa Joy came to San Diego by way of Washington D.C., Staunton, Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She began cooking in an assisted living facility as a teenager, became the executive chef at D.C.’s renowned Hotel Tabard Inn, and eventually owned her own restaurant in the Shenandoah Valley. Her lifelong passion for food includes graduate studies under Madeleine Kamman at the School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards. In Virginia, Lisa worked with local growers and community members to found what is now one of the most successful farmers markets in the state. She is currently a Food Service Coordinator with UCSD’s Housing, Dining and Hospitality.
Doug is considered gastronomic amongst his family and friends with an abundance of crops also growing in his backyard garden. His career has propelled him to explore cultural differences in food while experiencing unique local flavors throughout those travels. Doug is the Director of Ingredient Sales for Woodspur Farms the largest organic date farm in the U.S. He holds a M.S. in Food Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University and B.S. in International Business/International Studies from Millersville University. Doug joined SFUSD to help spread his love for local food and sustainable agriculture.
Arwen has researched natural, sustainable food and health & wellness academically and professionally. She has a PhD in Anthropology and her thesis focused on consumers of sustainable coffee and chocolate in the Pacific Northwest. Professionally she has explored consumer behavior, food culture and sustainability trends for companies large and small. Arwen moved to San Diego in early 2015 to work for the Kashi Company. In her free time she loves to bake, hike, experiment with fermentation and explore San Deigo’s parks, restaurants and farmers markets.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining our Board.