Rodney began his professional career as a high school teacher, eventually becoming a principal. In 1983, he became involved with the newly founded Aris Project, which provided practical and emotional support to people living with HIV in Santa Clara County.
He served as a volunteer, board member, and president of the board of Aris until he was invited to establish the Office of AIDS Education for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1988. In 1990, Rodney co-founded the National Catholic AIDS Network, which provided resources to individuals and organized ministries, including an annual gathering that also included Catholic service providers from around the world.
In 2004, Rodney began to volunteer at Food For Thought. He has also served as a member and chairperson of the Board Finance Committee since 2007. He was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors in 2016.
Ric was born in New York City and raised on Eastern Long Island. He moved to Washington, D.C. for his undergraduate training at Georgetown University and then completed a degree in law at The Catholic University of America. While there, Ric became interested in issues of social justice and social equity.
Ric moved to San Francisco in 1973 and was active in a variety of “for the greater good” volunteer activities, focusing on the AIDS crisis in the late 1980s. He completed three 600-mile AIDS Rides and one AIDS marathon to raise funds for HIV/AIDS relief and research. Ric has previously served on several nonprofit boards in the Bay Area and Northern California.
He first joined Food For Thought as a volunteer in 2010, even before he was a resident of Sonoma County. Ric is presently the Workforce Development Manager for the County of Sonoma. He and his husband, John Ross, live in Santa Rosa with two adorable toy poodles.
Shan was drawn to Food For Thought because of her lifelong interests in healthy food, organic gardening, health, and social justice, all of which are embodied by Food for Thought. She grew up in France and Germany, and her family always ate a healthy diet and had a big garden. She brought these values and habits with her when moving to the Bay Area in 1975. Shan received a Master’s Degree in Social Psychology from San Francisco State University and began a career in nonprofit management in 1986. She has managed diverse programs serving low-income seniors, children, parents, teens, and families in San Francisco and Sonoma County.
Shan has a grown son who is a local jazz musician, a stepdaughter in Oregon, a stepson in Hawaii, and she is grandmother to four grandchildren. She is honored to offer her skills and experience to the vital services Food For Thought offers to people in need in our community and is proud to serve on the Board of Directors.
Mark grew up on a farm in Iowa and graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. He was U.S. marketing director, a regional worldwide director, and a worldwide team leader for vaccine research & marketing of Pfizer's veterinary division. He was directly impacted by HIV/AIDS, which caused the death of his late partner; Mark survived three AIDS-defining illnesses himself. Prior to moving to Sonoma County, he sang and was on the board of directors of the NYC Gay Men's Chorus and supported other charities by hosting large fundraising events in his restored suburban NYC home.
Mark returned to his farming roots by moving with his husband and their two dachshunds to Sebastopol in 2011. They enjoy raising food in their organic orchard and vegetable gardens. Mark volunteers with West County Community Health Centers where he is a Ryan White Patient Advocate and also serves in other advisory roles. Mark is focused on making a difference with his life and continues to check off (and add) items on his 20+ year old “bucket list.”
Elisa has been both a staff member and a volunteer at Food For Thought and always left the food bank feeling better than when she arrived. She was hired as the Volunteer Program Manager at Food For Thought in 2008 and retired in January 2018.
Elisa was the volunteer coordinator at Canine Companions for Independence for five and a half years. Before that, she coordinated Artrails and was the exhibitions curator for the Sonoma County Cultural Arts Council. She was a librarian in San Francisco Public libraries, Sonoma County library system, Ursuline High School, and Santa Rosa Junior College.
She was born in Noblesville, Indiana and earned her masters in Library Science from U.C. Berkeley. Elisa has one son, Andy, and in her spare time enjoys drawing, gardening, games, reading, movies, and friends. She is very grateful to be a part of a compassionate, caring, fun-loving organization with great staff and volunteers.
Nancy has worked in the field of health promotion and health education for over 25 years. She earned her Masters in Public Health and Social Work at the University of Michigan. She joined Kaiser Permanente in 1997 and has been in the leadership role of Director of Health Education at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center since 2013.
She joined the Food For Thought Board in November 2018. She is drawn to Food For Thought’s powerful mission and is especially interested in supporting and promoting the Welcome Home and Medically-tailored Meal programs.
She was born in Northwest Florida and has been a resident of California since the age of 13. She moved to Sonoma County in 2002 with her husband to raise their two children after falling in love with the area. She loves the bountiful healthy food, natural beauty, and community spirit of Sonoma County. In her free time, she enjoys dinner parties, hiking, movies, and raising her German Shepard puppy.
Diana moved from Philadelphia to northern CA in 1976. She graduated from the University of Colorado and obtained a BA degree in Psychology and Education. In 2006, she obtained a certification in conflict resolution from Sonoma State University. Her 32 years of experience in human resources and office administration has been of great value in her life-long learning adventure, and she has a passion for peace making. She has worked with both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She has also worked closely with boards of directors on personnel and strategic planning committees.
Diana has lived in Sebastopol since 1991 and enjoys nature hikes, gardening, and dancing, among other things. She is grateful to be a part of this marvelous Sonoma County community. Currently, Diana has a consulting business that focuses on human resources, employee relations, and conflict resolution. She is also a docent in the Learning Laguna program with the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. Dianaserved three years as president of Food For Thought’s Board of Directors from 2016 to July 2019
HR Director & Accounting Manager, Artizen, Inc.
Full bio to come.
Born and raised in New York, Larry has lived in west Sonoma County since 1974. After graduating from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, he worked in various aspects of the food industry for almost 25 years. His experience includes restaurant management, catering, airline feeding, college and hospital food service, food equipment importing and manufacturing, and food product development (for 10 years working exclusively with tofu and soyfoods). He’s an avid and healthy cook.
For the past 22 years Larry has operated a small residential property management business. He served on the board of Willow Wood Waldorf School in Sebastopol (now Sun Ridge Charter School) for five years (2 1/2 as president). Larry has been a potter and ceramic sculptor since 2001.
Mitch moved to the Bay Area from New York and then Washington, DC, in 1978. After completing an Internal Medicine residency in San Francisco he practiced Emergency Medicine full-time until his retirement a few years ago. He moved to Sebastopol 12 years ago and enjoys living here with his wife and English Springer Spaniel. His two daughters live in Seattle and New Orleans. He enjoys traveling, cooking, and reading.
Mitch began volunteering at Food For Thought in the food bank and subsequently in the kitchen. A chance request from FFT regarding automated electric defibrillators led to his obtaining, distributing, and training staff in the use of AEDs for multiple nonprofit enterprises in the greater Sebastopol area.
While growing up, Mitch was influenced by his mother, who loved to host large gatherings of family and friends and prepared mountains of food. The mission of Food For Thought beautifully matches the ethos she imbued in him.
Misti was born and raised in Truckee, California. Blessed with a loving family, she was raised to be independent, fight injustice, and help people and animals in need. She moved to Sonoma County in 2001. After earning her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Planning from Sonoma State, she decided to stay because of her deep love for Sonoma County. Misti works for the Sonoma County Sheriff as the Community Engagement Liaison. .
In September 2011, Misti joined Food For Thought as a volunteer. She works in the food bank, at food drives, and at fundraisers throughout the year. She enjoys riding motorcycles, yoga, traveling, camping, and being a dog mom.