Ron Karp
Executive Director

Ron has served as Executive Director at Food For Thought since 1996. He brings a combination of skills to the organization which includes previous non-profit executive management, a B.S. degree in computer science with 15 years of related work experience, and management abilities first learned at a family-run business.

Ron played an essential role in the capital funding campaign and the building project for Food For Thought’s current facility in Forestville. He has provided stable leadership by staying focused on the mission of providing excellent nutrition to people in Sonoma County affected by HIV and other serious illnesses.

Mary Bigelow-Gale
Store Manager, FFT Antiques

Mary comes to Food For Thought with over ten years of nonprofit experience in fundraising, relationship management and special events. She has also owned her own furniture business and co-owned a painting company. She is a Sonoma County native who is very happy to be serving in the community she was raised in.

She has two wonderful adult children, Katie and Steven. She enjoys entertaining, cooking, walking, reading, and being outdoors as much as possible. For inspiration, Mary looks to the words of renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead: "never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Robert Bogdanoff
Office Manager

Robert brings a wide range of experience to the position of Office Manager. His career includes 20 years in the film industry managing demanding project schedules, over ten years in the wild world of the World Wide Web, volunteer service with Food For Thought and a number of San Francisco non-profits including Frameline, IGLHRC, and Digital Queers. He enjoys using his skills and knowledge to help make Food For Thought an even better resource for its clients and the community.

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Liv Chaaban Thomas
Food Drive & Volunteer Coordinator

Liv was born and raised in Sonoma County. She came to Food For Thought with over five years of experience working with a volunteer based nonprofit organization. She found it very fulfilling to work somewhere that really gave back to the community that she lives in. Her love for nonprofits and giving back to the community really paved the way for her to be involved with many volunteering opportunities herself, including being a foster parent to animals at risk in overcrowded shelters. Liv shares a passion in healthy living and eating and truly believes in the power of food as medicine.

In her free time, Liv enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking in nature with her husband and their dogs, practicing yoga and creating mixed media artwork.

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Pepe Conran
Assistant Store Manager, FFT Antiques

Pepe joined Food For Thought in 2011 as a Friday food fairy volunteer! After several years of flying around, as only a Food Fairy can do, Pepe was asked if he was interested in working part-time at the Antique Store. Several years later, Pepe was promoted to Assistant Store Manager. He assists in the daily running of the store, volunteer management, and promoting the spirit of volunteering for a nonprofit.

Pepe comes from an international background of retail and management including: communications center in a hospital, popular restaurants located in busy tourist spots in Ireland, and an international make-up company. Pepe has a quick wit, optimistic outlook, and loves his hats! Look for him on a bow-tie Saturday!

When at home, he unwinds with Tim, his husband, who took his hand in marriage back in 2008 when that ‘window’ of opportunity existed. Two doggy daughters, Lady BellaDonna and Miss Jessica complete the modern 21st century family!

Jonathan Cooper
Administrative Assistant

Jonathan came to Food For Thought as a weekly volunteer in 2010 and joined the staff in 2014. He brings a diverse range of computer skills, a head for numbers, and a passion for creative problem-solving to his role as Administrative Assistant, and is thrilled to be able to use these skills to help keep the food bank running smoothly and efficiently during a time of growth and change for the agency. Jonathan is also a part-time student pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at CSU Monterey Bay.

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Dominique Flores
Events & Stewardship Manager

Dominique began volunteering at Food For Thought in 2013 while completing her M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management at Sonoma State University. She later joined Food For Thought as a staff member in 2017. Dominique has worked in the nonprofit field for the past five years in program, marketing, and development roles.

In her free time, Dominique enjoys watching baseball, running, and spending time with family and friends.

Karen Gardner
Grants & Special Projects Manager

Karen began working with Food For Thought in 2014 and brings ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector. With an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management, she has worked in a variety of program, administrative, and development roles for organizations including Daily Acts, the Tuolumne River Trust, the Salmonid Restoration Federation, and the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Originally from Sebastopol, Karen has a passion for the outdoors. Karen especially enjoys permaculture gardening, hiking, and mushroom hunting, and is also an accomplished Irish Step Dancer.

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Dave Hall
Operations Director

Dave first came to Food For Thought in 2009 as a volunteer at the antiques auction, then in the food bank, and as a volunteer photographer. He was hired for the Food Program and Facilities Manager in 2012.   He brings a wide variety of skills, technical knowledge, organizational ability, and dedication to Food For Thought.

Dave started as a box boy in a small grocery store in Davis where he was born and raised. He also worked in Sacramento for Bel Air Markets. With over 25 years in the grocery industry, he has worked in many positions, including courtesy clerk, checker, and grocery manager.

In his free time, Dave gardens, works on old houses, hikes, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.  He is a cheetah photographer at Safari West and has a keen interest in landscape and portrait photography.

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Jude Mariah
Client Services Coordinator

Jude has been connected to Food For Thought since it's inception. After working with people living with AIDS in the early days of the epidemic, Jude continued to work in the world of human services and social work. Happily, she joined the Food For Thought team working in client services two years ago. She feels she is doing the work that is close to her heart.

Jude's loves are spending time with her precious family and friends,  being on or near the ocean, gardening, cooking and expressive art.

Roberto Martin
Food Program Manager

Roberto's résumé includes working one-on-one with Spanish-speaking children and families for Growing Readers, a non-profit that partners with Santa Rosa’s libraries. His experience with that job made him realize the importance of making sure Latino and Spanish-speaking populations have access to resources that might be otherwise denied to them because of the language barrier. Roberto recently moved to Sebastopol and appreciates the opportunity to unite his love for people, food, and community service at Food For Thought.

Roberto was raised to value community, kindness, and common sense. His parents, both natives of Mexico, moved to California when Roberto was a few months old to give Roberto opportunities only found in the States. Roberto was drawn to the creative and communal values of working with food and worked in the kitchens of several fine-dining restaurants in Sonoma County. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Helen Myers
Volunteer Program Manager

Originally from a small town in Northern Illinois, Helen graduated from Augustana Collge with a B.A. in Anthropology and minors in Sociology and Music. Upon graduation she joined AmeriCorps and was matched for a year of service at Redwood Empire Food Bank. She spent the next two and a half years at the food bank working as the Volunteer Services Coordinator before joining Food For Thought as the Volunteer Program Manager.

In her free time, Helen enjoys running, practicing yoga, and playing violin. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Food and Agricultural Law & Policy through a distance learning program at Vermont Law School.