AARON HARDISTY, PRESIDENT
Aaron Hardisty has been involved in food security and food education in the Bay Area since 2009. He began as a volunteer for Cooking Matters (then called Operation Frontline) then became a member of the Cooking Matters Advisory Committee. He joins 18 Reasons as board member after serving as a founding board member for Three Squares. Aaron is a Mission District resident who walks 18th street between Mission and Dolores at least twice a week to shop at Bi-Rite Market, grab dessert at Bi-Rite Creamery or walk with his wife and mini Shar Pei, Elvis.
PATRICIA FARRAR-RIVAS, SECRETARY
JESSICA MEKSAVAN, TREASURER
Ever since she was a child, Jessica Meksavan has loved food - eating it, sharing it, and combining ingredients, flavors, and textures to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Though she now spends her days in financial services focused on debt structuring and credit underwriting for technology companies in the Bay Area, Jessica is able to combine her love for cooking and sharing a meal with her finance skills set as Board Member of 18 Reasons. Jessica joined the board in 2016 and is currently the Treasurer of the Board of Directors. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and her daughter and strives to instill the same love and appreciation for food and shared meals with her daughter.
Calvin Tsay has always been at home in the kitchen, gathering inspiration from Julia Child and cooking meals for the family. With over twenty years of strategic planning, financial analysis, and operations management experience, he has served as a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton, director of strategic planning at Macy’s, and general manager at Joie de Vivre Hospitality. He has a BS and MBA from Stanford University and attended the Cordon Bleu in Paris where he learned that the key to any dish is to monter au beurre!
Following a career as a chef, Sam Mogannam re-opened Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco’s Mission District in 1998 in the space his family had operated since 1964. Since then he’s opened Bi-Rite Creamery, founded 18 Reasons, and tilled ground on Bi-Rite’s own Sonoma farms. Sam co-authored Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food (Ten Speed Press, 2011). He volunteers on the Board of Directors for the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), for the Good Food Awards, and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). He’s the proud father of two girls, ages 9 and 13.
Sarah Nelson has worked on food-related projects in the Bay Area since 2008. She launched the Bay Area’s first Market Match, which gives farmers’ market customers who use food stamps extra funds to spend at the market, and a Veggie Rx program that helped diabetes patients increase their produce consumption while measuring positive health outcomes. Previously, she taught yoga and guided bicycle tours in France. In 2011, she founded the nonprofit Three Squares, which merged with 18 Reasons in 2013. She is passionate about cooking, rock climbing, riding her bike, and, yes, her job. She lives in San Francisco. Contact her at email@example.com.
Susanna Poon is the Director of Philanthropy Services at CTC|myCFO, LLC where she advises donors on charitable giving. Before that, she was a trusts and estates attorney for more than nine years, and she practiced at Hanson Bridgett LLP. She is a graduate of Boston University and UCLA School of Law. She loves travel, outdoor adventures, swimming, yoga, food, volunteering, and training her three nephews and niece to be future chefs.
Juri Sanchez is proudly Latinx with roots that tie her to El Salvador. She believes in the power of education, food, and community. Her career has been dedicated to elevating marginalized voices through advocacy, peer-to-peer education, and civic engagement. Juri is a former Program Manager at 18 Reasons, and has held positions at the SF Department of Public Health and at the San Francisco Unified School District, where she designed and piloted the School Food Advisory, which has been implemented across the District. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters in Social Work with a practice in Social Policy and Evaluation at the University of Michigan. She loves traveling, cooking, kickboxing, spending time with her family and friends, and learning.
Isaac Buwembo is a business designer and social entrepreneur passionate about finding a better way. He currently works in health care innovation at the Center for Care Innovations supporting leadership with growth strategy and design research. He is Co-Founder of Civil Labs, an Oakland-based social enterprise supporting youth development in the Bay Area. Isaac is passionate about helping business and society find a better way through market-based mechanisms, localized solutions and social innovation. He believes that helping people be awesome can change the world. He holds a Masters in Business Administration in Design Strategy from California College of the Arts and a BSc. in Cell Biology and Genetics from University of British Columbia.
Maggie Spicer's earliest memories are of food and have guided her path ever since. From the curiosities of eggs to years of cooking holiday meals with her Southern grandmother, many of her fondest moments are centered around the stove and the farmers’ market. With a 15-year career in experience design and corporate event planning, along with a background in brand strategy and design thinking, she brings a unique skill set to the Board. Maggie was an early member of 18 Reasons (since 2009!) and runs an organic grocery & cafe, Douglas, as well as a creative event space centered at the intersection of food and art, Baana. She's a regular contributor to Edible SF and Ambrosia, and has served as Guest Editor for both Ambrosia and Drift magazines. Over the past 10 years, she has volunteered with Slow Food San Francisco, Slow Food Nation, Kitchen Table Advisors, and currently serves on the Events Committee for CUESA.