Board & Volunteers
Amber K. Stott, founder and Chief Food Genius of California Food Literacy Center, grows her own groceries in Sacramento, California. She blogs about living la vida locavore at Awake at the Whisk, a lifestyle guide about food that’s good for you and good for the planet. She writes for Edible Sacramento magazine. She also develops recipes professionally for food companies with healthy products.
She’s a steering committee member of the Sacramento Region Food System Collaborative, a coalition of public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders working to inform and influence policy initiatives relevant to the regional food system in the 6-county Capital Region, a project facilitated by Valley Vision and funded by The California Endowment. She serves on the steering committee of the Sacramento Hunger Coalition.
With 12 years of nonprofit fund development, management, and marketing experience, Amber has raised $5.5 million for local charities including WEAVE, Freedom from Hunger, and Women’s Empowerment. She holds several first place honors from the Sacramento Public Relations Association for her nonprofit work, and recently served as President-Elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals California Capital Chapter Board.
“Where I grew up, in rural Illinois, eating locally wasn’t a movement. It was just how people lived. I want everyone to experience the joyful flavors from eating good food grown by our local small farmers.”
Heather Teoh, founding volunteer and Wonton Web Correspondent of California Food Literacy Center, is born and raised in Singapore. Her food heritage is rich with a fusion of Indian, Chinese, and Malay cuisine. A recent Master’s of Arts in Communication Studies graduate from Sacramento State, she loves to research and write about how food can affect our bodies, the environment, and the economy. Heather has worked in the marketing industry as an account manager and as a freelance writer for nonprofit and educational institutions. An amateur cook and lover of ethnic food and world travel, she aspires to take local and sustainable ingredients and transform them into Southeast Asian cuisine and other global treats.
“Local and seasonal fruits and vegetables are not only good for the environment and our health, they also taste much better. Cooking with seasonal ingredients will definitely elevate your dishes to another level of flavor!”
Susan Vitulli, teaching volunteer and Big Wig Broccoli Brainstormer, has a background in accounting and a heart for communication. Growing up in the culinary landscape of hot dish and jello salad (hello Minnesota!), she moved to California in 2003, where she worked for seven years at Public Health Institute, a non-profit contracted with the Network for a Healthy California (CDPH) to provide nutrition education targeted at low-income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible Californians. It was while there that she came to appreciate the complexity of our food systems, the built environment, farming, nutrition and the impact of it all on our health. Susan is currently completing her graduate degree in health communication and loves to talk about and explore regional differences in food culture.
Aimee Darville, community relations volunteer is a certified Food Literacy Advocate and graduate of the inaugural Food Literacy Academy. She manages SpanishOne, a local translation agency and is a member of MetroEDGE’s Philanthropy Committee. Through her work with the center, Aimee wants to bring food literacy and fresh fruits & veggies into food deserts. Her team’s produce truck social enterprise, Farm2Family, won the Community prize at Sacramento Startup weekend.
Aimee writes blog articles like “The Farmer’s Market is coming to (Mid)town!” for Girls on the Grid and volunteers for the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center when she’s not at a farmers market or growing tomatoes/basil, feeding her caprese salad habit.
Board of Directors
Jay Cohen, board president of California Food Literacy Center, has been a sales, marketing and business development professional for 20 years, and has been working in non-profit fund development for the past seven years. He is currently an independent consultant helping the B Street Theatre accomplish their Capital Campaign. Jay was the creator/owner of The Black Cat Cafe, has served as board chair for Wonder Inc., and is presently on the boards of WEAVE and WIND Youth Services. He has a six year old daughter named Jaida.
Elise Bauer, board member of California Food Literacy Center, is the founder and publisher of SimplyRecipes.com, an award winning, popular food blog focused on simple, wholesome home cooking. Elise is considered a pioneer in the blogging field, having started Simply Recipes in 2003. Elise curates FoodBlogAlliance.com, a tutorial site for food bloggers, as well as produces FoodBlogSearch.com, a recipe search engine that searches over 3000 high quality food blogs. Elise is a veteran of Silicon Valley and Apple, Inc. She has a B.S. degree in Environmental Earth Science, an M.A. in Food Research, and an M.B.A., all from Stanford University.
Peg Tomlinson-Poswall, board member of California Food Literacy Center, is a food consultant, writer and activist, who is well known for her philanthropic work in Sacramento. In the 90s, Peg opened Food for Thought, an eclectic eatery that served simple yet delectable fare. For decades, Peg has combined food with community activism by hosting countless dinners to raise funds for nonprofits in Sacramento. Beyond fundraising, Peg has also brought people together to solve problems in the community.
Food literacy is a passion for Peg because she is concerned with the unhealthy food that people are eating these days. She believes in educating children on food literacy, and thus making a difference in their lives.
“If we can catch them early and teach them that food is medicine, then we might have a chance of changing the direction this world is going in.”
Carmen Raggio, program manager at a local nonprofit and board member of California Food Literacy Center, dreams of having a farm one day to grow her own food for her family, friends and the community. At a young age, Carmen’s Sicilian grandmother cultivated her love for healthy food by teaching her how to cook wholesome traditional fare.
Carmen earned her BA in Communication from Saint Mary’s College of California and her MA in Liberal Arts from Sacramento State, and graduated from the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce’s Catalyst Leadership Program. She is an advocate for local food and wine, and believes that education is the path to a healthier world.
“I am excited to combine my two passions – education and food – to support the California Food Literacy Center in developing conversation about the way we eat and therefore, live. Eating well isn’t hard, but you have to learn about it order to make it work for your family.”
Jillena Hernández, board member of California Food Literacy started learning to love incorporating unique and exciting whole grains and vegetables into her daily meals from her mother who refused to eat white flour and sugar. She blogs about creating delicious plant based meals on her blog Eat Well, Live Free. She is a founding member of the California Maternal Mental Health Task Force and currently works for the California State Assembly.
Jillena spent six years in Santa Barbara catering and is an avid vegetarian home cook. She is learning to grow her own food in her backyard garden, and loves to share the bounty with her neighbors and friends who frequent her Sacramento house. She is excited to bring her policy background and her love of sharing healthy foods to the Center.
“The work of the California Food Literacy Center is critical to the education and health of our community, especially our children. In a society where there are dedicated aisles to ‘health foods’ in select super markets, it is imperative that people know what they are eating and where it comes from.”
Shannin Stein is a board member of California Food Literacy Center and the general manager at Feeding Crane Farms. She worked in the restaurant industry for 15 years and was the Food Assistance program manager at the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Her experiences give her a unique perspective on the state of food access in the Sacramento region.
Shannin has a history of volunteering with nonprofits helping kids and also works to promote access to healthy food along with her team at Feeding Crane Farms. They also work with regional nonprofits and the community to inspire a love and appreciation of locally grown nutritious food. (Photo courtesy Debbie Cunningham/DL Photography)
“We can teach people about seasonality, how to appreciate food, how to make food part of your culture again and look at food as part of living.”
Katie Sullivan, board member of California Food Literacy Center, has had more than 20 years of experience in the business sector in Northern California. She has held leadership positions in Wink Communications, AT&T Wireless Services and I Magnin, and oversaw human resources, public relations, consumer marketing research, retail operations, and sales and marketing strategies.
Katie is very involved with non-profits and business associations in the Sacramento region, and has won several professional awards. An avid home cook, one of her healthy salad recipes was featured in Simply Recipes. A lover of the ocean and body surfing, Katie leads an active and healthy lifestyle amid her travel adventures.
“Food literacy is critical to making healthy eating choices.”