Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International

Board Members

Meet Slow Food Urban San Diego’s Board of Directors. We are all volunteers dedicated to good, clean and fair food for all throughout the San Diego region. We are stewards of good food and healthy, thriving communities outside the organization as well.

Kathryn Rogers

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 backyard. Travel in Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain and Morocco opened her eyes to cultural cuisines and the challenges facing diverse communities as they seek to feed growing populations while remaining connected to their food heritage. Pairing her love of food with 10 years’ experience in strategic planning and marketing, she is committed to advancing Slow Food’s mission of good, clean and fair food for all and cultivating meaningful relationships with the regional food community. As founder of Vivacious Dish, she connects people more deeply to San Diego’s food system through private chef services featuring local produce, as well as community suppers and conscious living retreats. She also writes for Oregon Tilth’s In Good Tilth magazine. When she’s not cooking or eating delicious food, she enjoys connecting to Mother Earth by surfing, hiking and camping.

Lisa Joy

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 Acting Director of  Dining Services at UC San Diego Housing, Dining and Hospitality.

Stephanie Parker

A craft beer enthusiast, dog lover and local foodie, Stephanie’s involvement with Slow Food came naturally. After a few farm volunteer days with Slow Food Urban San Diego, she was hooked! Stephanie is the founder of Epicurean San Diego, San Diego’s only food, farm and libations tour company specializing in culinary tours, agritourism and events. 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. In her free time, you can find Stephanie outdoors with her dogs, trying out a new restaurant, cooking or hanging

Darcy Shiber-Knowles

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.

Julie Diaz
Education Chair

Food has always been an important part of Julie’s life. She grew up in Louisiana in a family where cooking, eating and large family gatherings were central themes in her life. She watched her mom and grandparents create delicious meals from simple, often home-grown ingredients. Her view towards food and sustainability was radically changed when she read Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. She began seeking out locally produced food in Dallas, then when she and her family moved to San Diego in 2007, she joined a CSA and never looked back. In 2010, while teaching preschool, she began teaching kids cooking classes, introducing them to local foods and flavors they had never experienced. In 2011, with the encouragement of her co-teachers, she started the business, One Fresh Meal, with her husband. For 5 years, they made and sold organic vegetarian soups and salads in several local farmers markets, using as much local produce as possible. Julie continues to teach both children and adults how to have fun in the kitchen by cooking with simple, fresh and local ingredients. She looks forward to serving Slow Food Urban San Diego and envisions the world coming together through local, sustainable food.

Ariel Hamburger
Policy Chair

Ariel Hamburger is a Food Equity Specialist with the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency and manages the Live Well Community Market Program where she works to create a more equitable food system for all San Diego residents. Ariel has been instrumental in the County’s local food system efforts and helped with the establishment of the Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative and co-chairs the San Diego Food System Alliance’s Healthy Food Access Working Group. Ariel sees improvements to the food system and built environment as a proxy of social justice and believes these approaches have the ability to transform communities. Ariel has also worked on cross-border issues through the County’s Office of Border Health. She graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a Master’s in Public Health and a Master’s in Latin American Studies.

Rachel Hommel
Communications Co-Chair

When not rallying for fair food, Rachel can be spotted at the farmers market, practicing yoga and dancing to the “beet” of life. She is the current Social Media Manager and Writer at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. In her freelance work, she has written for Edible Magazine, the Santa Barbara Independent, and Seasons Magazine. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, she helped found the Gaucho Certified Farmers Market on campus. Inspired by culinary adventures, street food and world travel, she lives by the motto “eat well, travel often.” In her free time, you can spot her cycling around San Diego in search of the best almond croissant. Follow the fearless gourmet at

Jennifer Ikoma
Membership Coordinator

As a California native, Jennifer was brought up with the basic principles of Slow Food. Since first becoming involved with Slow Food in culinary school, she has attended Terra Madre in Turin, Italy in 2010 as a delegate, 2012 as an attendee, and most recently, Slow Food Nations in Denver, CO in 2017. She has been volunteering for many years with Slow Food Urban San Diego, and most recently she served as the Education Committee Vice Chair.

Tom Kiely
Slow Beer Chair

Tom is from Whitman, Massachusetts, home of the first chocolate chip cookie. His time in Boston, San Francisco and San Diego has left him a grizzled, ten-year beer industry veteran. His final role with his former employer was as Operations Manager at Craft Beer Guild Distributing San Diego, a company he was employed with for over six years. Currently he handles sales and logistics for Thorn Brewing Company. Outside of beer, Tom Chairs the Supervisory Committee at Point Loma Credit Union. He looks forward to the opportunity to find ways in which Slow Beer can help the San Diego Beer Community be more good, clean and fair.

Arwen Kimmell
Communications Co-Chair

Arwen has researched natural, sustainable food and health and 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 Diego’s parks, restaurants and farmers markets.

Tom Paolicelli
Farm Liaison/Ark of Taste Chair

A New Yorker who relocated to San Diego in 2017, Tom first discovered Slow Food through its classic culinary guide promoting Italian regional cooking. With a love of traditional Italian cooking, Tom immediately found the College Area Community Garden and began to grow his ingredients, seeking out unique varieties. He works for the County of San Diego as its Chief Deputy Treasurer, and is a civil engineer by training, with a BS in Civil Engineering and a Master of Public Administration. He also enjoys photography, travel, and enjoying the great Southern California weather.  

Michelle Poliner
Good Food Community Fair Chair

A born and raised Midwesterner, Michelle attended Ohio University in 2008 and during her time there developed an interest in local, sustainably grown food. In early 2016, she radically transformed her life by donating most of her possessions and moving out west in a 165 square foot. home. This lifestyle change expanded her awareness of alternative food systems and the importance of good, clean and just food. Naturally, this refined her event production career in a manner befit of the beautiful planet we occupy. Michelle is the Event Coordinator for Golden Coast Mead, where her work rejuvenates the honey market by raising awareness of mead and increasing demand for ecologically generative honey.

Sarah Shoffler 
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 creating community around San Diego’s local seafood – connecting our local seafood producers with San Diego’s broader community and vice versa. 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. In her free time, you can find her surfing the Shores, shopping at San Diego’s fishermen’s and farmers’ markets, hiking, and exploring Baja food and wine.

Please email us at if you are interested in joining our Board.

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