Sam Greenlee, Executive Director, He/Him/His
Sam joined the Alchemist team in May 2020, after six years in the professional food safety industry and several years in community organizing as a co-founder of the Oak Park Fix-it Cafe. He serves as a member of the California Jobs First (formerly CERF) – Capital Region Leadership Council and as a Steering Committee member for the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets and the Sacramento Food Policy Council.  Sam is passionate about building strong equitable communities where our most vulnerable neighbors can flourish. He is a resident of the Oak Park neighborhood and can be found spending his free time gardening, taking evening walks with his spouse, and enjoying time with his children.

Davida Douglas, Operations Director, She/Her/Hers
Davida was Alchemist’s first employee. She manages the day-to-day operations of the organization, including HR, bookkeeping, contracts and compliance, and budgets/financials, as well as providing assistance to Program Managers for improving program efficiencies and excellence. She has over 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, including implementing healthy food access projects in the Sacramento region for 11 years. Additional experience includes three years with a private community outreach firm, and seven years of business management experience. She is originally from rural Missouri, and has been a Sacramento resident for over two decades, currently residing in the Oak Park neighborhood where many of Alchemist CDC’s Neighborhood Empowerment projects are focused. When not working, Davida enjoys teaching English as a foreign language, gardening, bird watching and baking.

Ginger Brammer, Bookkeeper
In joining the Alchemist team,  Ginger brings over 25 years of accounting experience with a passion to help others with an entrepreneurial spirit successfully start their own business.  Growing up in rural Placer County, gardening and raising livestock was a way of life.  Today happiness is found by searching for adventure, fishing, and enjoying time with family and friends. 

Alchemist Kitchen

Jacob Sacks, Alchemist Kitchen Program Manager, He/Him/His
Jacob assists with all programs on the administrative side and is a program manager for the Alchemist Kitchen Project. Since beginning at Alchemist CDC in 2016, Jacob has played a pivotal role bringing the Alchemist Kitchen project from concept to reality. As program manager, he co-facilitates the Alchemist Microenterprise Academy program and works with businesses in the Incubator Program. Jacob loves to work with entrepreneurs, see their creative business concepts and eat their delicious creations. Outside of work, Jacob is passionate about Red Sox baseball, cooking and travel.

Damorio Rayford, Commercial Kitchen Coordinator
Damorio joins Alchemist with over 20 years of experience in production kitchens. Damorio is a Chef, Certified Dietary Manager, and has a degree in Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts from American River College. A foodie at heart, Damorio enjoys travel, music, art and meeting new people. When he’s not in the Alchemist Kitchen, Damorio can be found tending to his front yard garden, spending time with his family/friends or cheering on his favorite football team, the Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders.

Julie Photo

Julie Liebenbaum, Alchemist Kitchen Program Coordinator

Julie joins Alchemist with more than 30 years of diverse food industry experience. Most recently she spent over 18 years running her own restaurant in rural Mendocino County, which she grew from a stand at a local farmers market selling pastry into a successful, seven-day-a-week, brick-and-mortar enterprise. She is thrilled to have found a place at Alchemist where she can work with entrepreneurs in the incubator program and help them navigate the challenges of the food world. Julie is an advocate of food access equality, a passionate DIYer, and self-proclaimed “food nerd” who loves diving deep into all things culinary.

Julie Anne Silva Oliver, Alchemist Kitchen Program Coordinator
Julie Anne comes to Alchemist with 25 years of food industry and nonprofit experience. After several years working in front of house positions, she decided to follow her love of cooking and enrolled in the Hospitality Management/Culinary Arts program at American River College. As a Yuba City farmer’s daughter, she grew up with knowledge and appreciation for local farm fresh produce. This love was reflected in her first business endeavor in Sacramento, a catering business specializing in vegetarian cuisine. Her passion for food access led her to managing the Nutritious Meal Program at Wellspring Women’s Center for 9 years. Her role with Alchemist Kitchen finds her once again in Oak Park with the idea that food is not just sustenance, but also celebration, love, and community.

Neighborhood Empowerment

Joe Robustelli, Neighborhood Empowerment Program Manager, He/Him/His
Joe joined Alchemist with over 25 years of nonprofit experience with the YMCA and several animal welfare organizations where he was responsible for bringing programs to underserved communities. He is also the owner/founder of a small urban nursery in downtown. Joe manages our land-based Community Empowerment projects, which include Oak Park Sol Community Garden, Oak Park Art Garden, and Pansy Community Garden Park. Outside of work he enjoys gardening, volunteering for Front Street Animal Shelter, and watching sports.

Alex Hoang, Garden Coordinator

Alex is a Sacramento native and USAF veteran with a passion for all things permaculture, homesteading, and preparedness. He has raised his family in the Oak Park neighborhood for the last decade. Even when he’s not working, he spends his free time developing regenerative food and community-based projects, such as the Oak Park Eggery, where Alex invites you to bring your kitchen scraps to feed the chickens, to transform it into fresh eggs/compost for his community. Even though Alex considers himself an introvert, his dream is to establish a multigenerational village based on regenerative practices. Share his interests? Come say hello and be prepared to have your ears talked off.

 

CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets

Image of Alma Wilcox standing in front of foliage.

Alma Wilcox, CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Manager, She/Her/Hers
In joining the Alchemist team, Alma brings over 4 years of diverse experience in local food systems and agricultural policy and advocacy as well as 2 years of experience working as a produce vendor in Sacramento, Davis and Bay Area farmers’ markets. Following her completion of a M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from UC Davis, she is thrilled to continue advocating for community food accessibility and the success of local farmers’ markets. Alma oversees the CDSS Fruit and Vegetable Pilot project, the People to Produce accessibility project, College Corps Fellowships, Market Match partnerships with farmers’ markets and farmstands in the region, and 8 CalFresh Access booths at Sacramento County farmers’ markets. Outside of work Alma enjoys music, hiking, gardening and spending time with her friends, family and Leo, her cat.

Nathan D., CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Assistant  I, He/Him/His

Nathan staffs the Florin and Laguna Farmers’ Markets’ CalFresh Booths. He has a great passion for serving his community, from being President of the UC Santa Cruz Vietnamese Student Association, a volunteer for the Davis Craft and Vintage Fair, and a previous CalFresh booth volunteer with Alchemist. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis, video games, watching anime, and traveling to visit family and friends.  
Monserrat Headshot

Monserrat “Monse” M., CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Associate

Monserrat staffs the Country Club Plaza Farmers’ Market where she ensures equitable access to fresh produce for the Arden Arcade community. She began as a volunteer at Alchemist and eventually took on their current position. Monse focuses on facilitating EBT and Market Match vouchers, building deep relationships with market vendors and the local community, which contributes to the success of Alchemist’s initiatives. They serve as a valuable bridge by providing translation services for both market vendors and families, fostering stronger connections within our diverse community.
Motivated by the positive impact of community programs, Monse aspires to further contribute to community well-being by pursuing a degree in Public Health. Beyond their professional responsibilities, she is a well-rounded individual who finds joy in reading, streaming thriller shows, making art with her kids, and playing video games with her spouse.

Vicente L

Vicente L., CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Associate, He/Him

Vicente staffs the Midtown Farmers’ Market and recently graduated from UC Davis with a double major in Economic Policy and Chicano Studies. He is excited to apply his passion for equity and sustainability to serve under-served communities around Sacramento. Outside of work, Vicente enjoys spending time with his cats and loves coloring, binge watching new shows, and spending quality time with his friends.

Kenya F., CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Associate

Kenya staffs the Country Club Plaza Farmers’ Market CalFresh booth in Arden Arcade. Kenya originally connected to Alchemist through the Alchemist Kitchen program and now runs her own business, Juiced By Kenya! She loves swimming and traveling with her son, serving her community, gardening and doing yoga! 

 

Board of Directors

Sarah Dillon, President, She/Her/Hers
Sarah is a non-profit consultant and former Interim Executive Director for Alchemist CDC. 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. She can also be found hiking, doing yoga, painting, at trivia nights, and camping with her second cousins.

Roxana Garcia-Ochoa, Vice President
Roxana is Director of Health Access Programs with the Health Education Council, a public health non-profit organization serving the Greater Sacramento region. She earned both a B.A. in Sociology and a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Davis. Roxana always puts others first both personally and professionally in her line of work that aims to identify the root causes of inequities faced by our most vulnerable communities. She loves to meet new people, is an avid thrift shopper, enjoys listening to upbeat music and spending time with her two four-legged children. 

Matthew Joy, Treasurer
Matthew is the Fair Lending Officer at Tri Counties Bank. Prior to working in banking, Matthew worked with nonprofits, including The International Rescue Committee, focusing on refugee placement and employment in the Sacramento area. In addition to serving Alchemist’s board, he serves on the Board of Trustees with NeighborWorks Sacramento. When not working, Matthew is riding his road bike, camping, playing board games, and visiting the many local playgrounds with his son.

Anna Tolle, Secretary
Anna is an Assistant Planner for the City of Lafayette, CA. Originally from Wisconsin, she holds a B.S. in Community & Nonprofit Leadership, Environmental Studies, and Spanish from UW-Madison. She previously worked at the Center for Land-Based Learning, in food service, and served on the board of Three Gaits, a therapeutic horsemanship organization in Stoughton, WI. In her free time, Anna enjoys hiking, gardening, bicycling, and spending time with her two dogs.

Ravenn Moon, She/Her/Hers
Ravenn is a Program Analyst with the State of California and is pursuing a M.A. in Diverse Community Development Leadership through the Tseng College, California State Universty Northridge. Ravenn earned a B.A. in Psychology from Earlham College in 2013 and soon after began her career with the State; working with the Department of Rehabilitation developing vocational rehabilitation programs designed to serve Californians with disabilities. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their miniature pinscher, reading, gardening, and listening to music.

Shawn Mainville, He/Him/His
Shawn is a Staff Services Manager I – CalWORKs Engagement with the California Department of Social Services. He has worked in his time at CDSS with county partners, Community Based Organizations, and advocates to implement policies that increase employment. A Sacramento native, Shawn received a Bachelor of General Studies from Arkansas State University in 1999, and was a member of the 2013 cohort of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, facilitated by the Sacramento Housing Alliance. Shawn lives in Tahoe Park with his daughter, a rabid teen fiction fan, Violette. In his free time he enjoys fishing and riding with the 2nd California Cavalry, a civil war living history group.

Jeff Jelsma
Jeff is a Sacramento native and lives in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento. Jeff works as a Transportation Planner with the City of Sacramento, helping to promote active transportation and create a more sustainable city. Prior to working for the City, Jeff helped manage the largest open-street program in the country, created and managed farmers’ markets, and somehow was able to pay off his student loans. In his free time, Jeff likes to play piano, read on his couch, and ride his bike.

Sneha Chand, She/Her/Hers

Sneha works as a Food Access Program Coordinator for Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, facilitating logistics for various SFBFS programs and maintaining community/partner agency relationships. Sneha earned her Bachelors of Science in Public Health, concentrating in Community Health Education, from California State University, Sacramento. She was previously an Alchemist intern and Calfresh Farmers’ Market Associate at the Midtown Market! In her free time, she loves to indulge in life’s simple pleasures: diversifying her palate, reading a good book, and best of all, retail therapy.