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 Co-Chair
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 Co-Chair
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 Secretary
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 Treasurer
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 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 Communications Coordinator 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 tastetrektravel.com.
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.
Nathan Lou Food Justice Co-Chair
Nathan is a 2nd generation San Diego native with a keen appreciation for the rich biodiversity and cultural beauty the county has to offer. Nathan grew up in the suburbs of El Cajon where one of his favorite childhood memories was enjoying time at his grandparents’ urban garden. Food and arts are at the center of his family’s culture, from culinary and fine arts to agriculture and fishing. Nathan’s enriching upbringing supported his interests in health and wellness through food and medicine. He completed his AS in Agriculture at Yuba College and continued on to Oregon State University receiving his BS in Natural Resources, specializing in Fish and Wildlife Conservation. Nathan’s professional endeavors are as diverse as his interests. He has worked as a Sous chef at a local seafood bistro, performed endangered plant surveys at Camp Pendleton, and most recently as an agriculture consultant for Mt. Hope Community Garden. Nathan and his wife Alicia are the co-founders of Mongol Tribe, a non-profit organization that provides consultation and educational programs uniting health and wellness with civic ecology. Nathan enjoys spending time with his family of four at their urban farm, in-shore fishing, and exploring the beauty of the natural world.
Dan Mueller Food Justice Co-Chair
A passion for intercultural exchange has sent Dan to Belize, Jamaica & Puerto Rico to support grassroots community development initiatives through various organizations, such as the U.S. Peace Corps. These experiences deepened her connection to Afro-Caribbean culture, allowing her understanding of complex social paradigms to broaden, while her passion for curious cuisine helped her cultivate the notion that food is a vessel for connecting to heritage that has otherwise been stripped away. Her work with food access & policy coalitions has allowed her to expand upon and put this theory into practice as she’s developed programming around agricultural & environmental education as well as health & wellness programming. Dan has a degree in Communication, Culture, & Community, training in Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation and Program Design & Management, and currently serves as Managing Director to Mongol Tribe. When she’s not advocating or volunteering, Dan enjoys camping, exploring the local food scene, gardening, hiking, practicing Kemetic yoga, spending time with her cat, and visiting art museums.
Michelle Poliner Good Food Community Fair Chair
A born and raised suburban Midwesterner, Michelle grew up with a limited understanding of Slow Food values but had a great appreciation for delicious and nourishing food. In 2015, she got rid of most of her possessions and moved out west in a 185 sq. ft. tiny house on wheels. This lifestyle change inspired her to really develop her passion for sustainability and in particular regenerative food systems. Michelle now works for the Leichtag Foundation, where she executes events and programs that support food justice, Beyond Sustainable farming, social entrepreneurship, and self-sufficiency. When she is not working, she enjoys gardening, cooking, practicing yoga, and seeing live music. Michelle successfully led the production of the 2017 Good Food Community Fair and looks forward to another year of gathering our local community to work toward a good, clean and fair food system for all San Diegans.
COLIN H RICHARD ARK OF TASTE CHAIR
Studying ecology, facilitation and leadership development through Outdoor Recreation Administration at San Diego State University after relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area, Colin H. Richard is a lifelong lover of nature and people. His interests have included a wide range of topics and activities on land, at sea, and amongst rural and urban communities interested in environmental stewardship. Having worked with a wide spectrum of food systems and stakeholders, Colin has formally studied and participated in horticulture, sustainable community development and permaculture projects in the USA, Asia, Africa and Latin America. From edible landscaping and urban farming, to certified organic farming and environmental education, he is passionate about food, farming, community and biodiversity. His exposure to both domestic and international conservation and ecological agriculture, including the GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems), a program of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), helped inform his interest in agricultural biodiversity, as well as the threats facing heritage crops, livestock, farmers and farming systems. Colin is thrilled to join the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board as Ark of Taste Chair, a position that supports 'an international catalogue of endangered heritage foods which is maintained by the global Slow Food movement. The Ark is designed to preserve at-risk foods that are sustainably produced, unique in taste, and part of a distinct ecoregion.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining our Board.