Staff & Board


Sarah Dillon, Interim Executive Director
Sarah served on the board of Alchemist CDC for two and half years before stepping down to fill the role of interim ED. She has previously worked in development, nonprofit marketing, and field organizing for political campaigns. Holding a B.A. in Urban Studies & Planning from UC San Diego and a Masters in Food Systems & Society from Marylhurst University, her passion for health, food justice, and livable urban spaces brought her to Alchemist.

When she’s not at Alchemist, Sarah works as the Grants and Communications Manager at California ReLeaf, a nonprofit working to preserve, protect, and enhance California’s urban and community forests. She can also be found hiking, doing yoga, painting, at trivia nights, and camping with her second cousins.

Davida Douglas, Programs and Operations Director
Davida was Alchemist’s first employee. She oversees programs and manages the day-to-day operations of the organization. Davida came to the organization with over ten years’ experience working with non-profit organizations, as well as several years with a private community outreach firm, and general business management experience. She is originally from rural Missouri, and has been a Sacramento resident for over 18 years, currently residing in the Oak Park neighborhood.


Emma Burke, Farmers’ Markets Program Coordinator
Emma works on our CalFresh: Connecting Families to Farmers and Market Match programs, including volunteer and intern recruitment and coordination. Emma is a recent graduate of California State University East Bay where she received her Masters in Public Administration and Policy. While attending graduate school, Emma worked in the public sector as a nonprofit strategic planning consultant and as an organizer for the California Faculty Association. She is excited about bringing her passion for community development and nonprofit work together at Alchemist.


Jacob Sacks, Administrative Manager
Jacob assists with all programs on the administrative side. He is also the project manager for the Alchemy Kitchen Project. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from UC Davis in 2011 and has experience working at public interest law firms. In addition to having a passion for social justice issues, Jacob is also passionate about Red Sox baseball, cooking and travel. 


La Tisha Sohai, Healthy Communities Program Coordinator
La Tisha is our nutrition and food access expert. She manages the Valley Mack Farmers’ Market, provides CalFresh booth staffing and outreach support for our CalFresh: Connecting Families to Farmers and Market Match programs, and develops food safety and nutrition-related curriculum for the Alchemy Kitchen Project. La Tisha is a Sacramento native and holds certifications in Health & Wellness Education, Food Service Management, Culinary Arts and Medical Assisting. After moving to Denver for college, she returned home in 2015 and has worked extensively with various nonprofits.


Randy Stannard, Neighborhood Development Project Manager
Randy has been working with Sacramento area nonprofits for 13 years, focusing on food access, urban agriculture and community activation. He is passionate about working with residents and neighborhoods to transform underutilized spaces into community assets. He is a natural connector and loves to help people find opportunities to utilize their special talents and skills to benefit Sacramento – so don’t hesitate to give him a call, text, email or even a Facebook message. When he’s not working with residents and nonprofit partners, you can likely find him fishing, gardening, building compost piles or doing something else outdoors.


Rachel Chaddock, Farmers’ Market Associate
Rachel conducts outreach and staffs the CalFresh booth for the Auburn Old Town Farmers’ Market in Placer County. Rachel has a background in sales and food service, as well as having previously worked for Auburn’s Sentinel Newspaper. She’s passionate about her community and enjoys being able to contribute to the vibrancy of the town she calls home.



Jon Johnson, Planning & Community Development Specialist
Jon conducts research and advises on planning, development and design issues for our land-based neighborhood development projects. He brings experience as a Land Use Planner from various jurisdictions, and has a B.A. and M.A. in Environmental/Urban Studies.


Carly Smith, Farmers’ Market Associate
Carly conducts outreach and staffs the CalFresh booth for the Natomas Farmers Market. She joins Alchemist CDC with over 10 years of experience working for non-profits and higher education. When she is not at the Natomas Farmers market, she supports the California Community Colleges by conducting mental health, civic engagement, and CalFresh outreach programs to colleges across the state. She is excited to spend her Saturdays directly working in the Sacramento community, decreasing stigma and assising the community in gaining access to valuable resources.

Azizza Garcia, Community Engagement Specialist
Azizza is the Community Engagement Specialist for the Pansy Community Garden Park.


CalFresh: Connecting Families to Farmers Program interns:

Nancy Leung: Midtown Farmers’ Market

Navleen Jhaj: Sunrise Farmers’ Market

Find out more about internship opportunities with Alchemist CDC, click here.

Board of Directors

Jamie Cutlip, President
Jamie is a Local Government Affairs Representative at SMUD. She has an extensive background spanning 15 years in government and nonprofits including community planning, economic development and environmental advocacy. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University, and is a former board member of the Northern California Solar Association. As a former Associate Planner with the City of Sacramento, her expertise extends from permitting/entitlement reviews to sustainability program management and policy development focused on green building, solar permitting and infill development. When not exploring new campsites or wineries, Jamie resides in Sacramento with her husband and two dogs.

Matthew Joy, Vice President
Rabobank, N.A.

Matt Read, Treasurer/Secretary
Matt is a lawyer and advocate working on transportation, health, and municipal policy in Sacramento. Matt has over five years experience on nonprofit boards and has contributed to increasing the internal sustainability of organizations through good hiring and committed management. When he is not helping develop good, green, community-led projects, he is a District Representative for Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen. He sits on the Sacramento City/County Bicycle Advisory Committee and tries to ride his bike as much as he can. To his mind, bagels are the single-best yeasted bread and he is constantly amazed by the quantity and quality of Prince’s catalog.

Elizabeth Smoker
Holding an M.S. in Food Systems and Society from Marylhurst University, Beth is a Policy and Communications Consultant for the California Climate and Agriculture Network. She also consults for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, contributing to research on their Agroecology Knowledge Hub, and serves as Vice Chair on the Sacramento Food Policy Council. Beth has volunteered with numerous nonprofits: helping market managers at farmers’ markets and teaching cooking and nutrition classes in low income communities. Prior to joining Alchemist’s board, she helped us facilitate the use of CalFresh benefits at farmers’ markets. Beth also loves to experiment in her own kitchen, baking homemade bread and pickling anything she can get her hands on.

Shawn Mainville
Shawn is a CalWORKs Employment Policy Manager with the California Department of Social Services. He has worked in his time at Social Services with county partners, Community Based Organizations and advocates to implement policies that increase CalFresh program access. A Sacramento native, Shawn received a Bachelor of General Studies from Arkansas State University in 2000, and was a member of the 2013 cohort of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, conducted by the Sacramento Housing Alliance. Shawn lives in Tahoe Park with his daughter and greyhound. In his free time he enjoys fishing and riding with the 2nd California Cavalry living history re-enactors.

Mariko Yoshihara
Mariko is the the Legislative Counsel and Policy Director for the California Employment Lawyers Association.  She works on legislation, education and outreach, and amicus briefs, to help advance and protect workers’ rights in California.  In 2015, she helped pass the Fair Pay Act, giving California the strongest equal pay laws in the nation.  She is also the board chair of the Center for Workers’ rights in Sacramento.  In law school, Mariko studied health law and food policy, which helped develop her interest in food access and food justice work, and steered her toward Alchemist.  In her free time Mariko enjoys volleyball, soccer, and traveling.

Jamila Bebe Khan
Born and raised in Sacramento, Jamila is the Content and Social Media Coordinator for Sacramento365, the year-round source for events. Jamila is a graduate of the University of California, Davis Community and Regional Development program, where she first was introduced to Alchemist’s work. Before joining the Board in 2011, Jamila worked as an stipended intern at the nonprofit’s Bryte and Broderick urban farm stand in West Sacramento. In her free time, Jamila loves to add new stamps to her passport, attend community events, discover new music, and try out new recipes in her kitchen.

Mary Martin-Mabry
During Peace Corps, Mary worked with rural communities in West Africa to build capacity and export baskets. She still works for the government, this time in the media office at the California Department of Public Health, spreading messages of disease prevention and health equity. In her free time she’s failing at Pinterest, trying not to get hurt in co-ed recreational soccer, and walking her dog.

Tamara Srzentic
Tamara is the Outreach and Communications Director for the California Department of Public Health.