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. Sam is passionate about building strong equitable communities where the 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.

Lyssa Black

Lyssa Black, Bookkeeper and CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Associate

Lyssa has lived all over California and finally settled in Sacramento in 2014. As a bookkeeper, she has had the opportunity to work with some unique organizations, like fine press book publishing and animal foster programs. In addition to working as Alchemist’s bookkeeper, Lyssa is also staffing the CalFresh booth at the Natomas Farmers’ Market.  She is especially excited about working with Alchemist as she appreciates the importance of creating food security in communities and supporting local farmers and entrepreneurs. She recently bought a couple of acres of raw land in the high desert that she is converting into a permaculture farm. She loves to spend her free time working with stained glass and planning her next car camping adventure.

Alchemist Kitchen

Jacob Sacks, Alchemy Kitchen Program Manager / Administrative 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.

Seynabou Sohai, Alchemist Microenterprise Academy (AMA) Program Manager
Seynabou is our nutrition and food access expert. She develops food safety and nutrition-related curriculum and technical assistance for entrepreneurs participating in AMA. Seynabou is a Sacramento native, currently working remotely from Denver, CO. She holds certifications in Health & Wellness Education, Food Service Management, Culinary Arts and Medical Assisting. After moving to Denver for college, she returned home from 2015-2020, and has worked extensively with various nonprofits.

Regina Range, Alchemist Kitchen Assistant

Regina is a native of Louisiana raised in the Bay Area. She is a single mother of 4 and grandmother of 10. After overcoming homelessness and graduating from Women’s Empowerment 13 years ago. Regina‘s passion for food kept her afloat selling sweet potato pies while marching for justice. She continued her journey catering and raising her family.  In 2018 she became familiar with the Alchemist CalFresh match program.  In 2021, she took a leap of faith and applied for the Alchemist Microenterprise Academy.  She is now the proud owner of The Burnt Skillet which specializes in Plant Forward Vegan Soul Food. Regina left traditional Soul Food to pivot in the pandemic due to being diagnosed with Diabetes. In her spare time she loves creating magic from the dirt as she says.  Regina looks forward to a long lasting journey with Alchemist to achieve her dreams as a Black Woman Business Owner and create generational wealth for her family to leave a legacy for her grandchildren. 

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.

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.

CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets

Emma Burke, CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Manager, She/Her/Hers
Since joining Alchemist CDC in 2017, Emma has grown and developed the CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets and Market Match programs to expand food access in the Farm to Fork Capital. Emma oversees all functions of this work including program staff, interns and volunteers, local advocacy efforts and policy initiatives, and CalFresh education. Most recently Emma developed CalFresh Access Services for regional market operators and has deepened connections in the community to increase food access during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Outside of work, Emma enjoys hiking with her dog, yoga and exploring local restaurants.

Charlie Variano, CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Coordinator, She/Her/Hers
Charlie works on our CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets and Market Match programs, including community outreach, volunteer coordination, and CalFresh application assistance. She first started at Alchemist as a CalFresh volunteer at the Florin and Central Farmers’ Markets before joining the staff in 2019. Outside of work, Charlie enjoys knitting, drinking local coffee, volunteering at River City Food Bank, and visiting family and friends across the country.

Sarah Young, CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Assistant
Sarah Young assists the CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program after starting off as a volunteer at the Florin Market, like many others. Sarah has worked and volunteered in the social services sector with a focus on economic and community development. Since transitioning from the Bay Area years ago, her passion for sustainable and equitable food systems grew rapidly while living in this agricultural capital. Sarah is enthusiastic about traveling, trying new recipes, hiking up mountains, and then snowboarding down them in the winter. 

Kal Schiller, Food Access Associate 

Kal works as a Food Access Associate with CalFresh at the Laguna Farmers’ Markets and as the Community Connections Coordinator, including volunteer recruitment and CalFresh application assistance. They first started at Alchemist as a CalFresh volunteer at the Central and Midtown Farmers’ Markets before joining the staff in February 2022. Outside of work Kal enjoys diving into a good book, exploring places to eat around in Sacramento, swimming, relaxing and playing with dogs.

Chris Garcia, CalFresh at Farmers’ Markets Program Associate
Chris staffs the Midtown Farmers’ Market CalFresh booth in Midtown Sacramento.  Chris is currently attending Sacramento State University majoring in Food and Nutrition. In his spare time he loves working out, watching movies and spending time with his four cats.

Kenya Franklin, 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.

Saige White, Vice President, She/Her/Hers
Saige currently works at GO Public Schools as their Communications Manager, working towards building a more equitable and enriching public school experience for kids and their families. Prior to this role, she worked in environmental education and recreation for various conservation organizations. With a passion for environmental stewardship, sustainability, and community, Saige strives to create and maintain accessible, relatable, and inclusive communicative pathways between an organization and the communities it collaborates with. As a passionate gardener and nature enthusiast, she recognizes the immense importance of access to open spaces, fresh foods, and community land. She is proud to be a part of the Alchemist CDC Board and work towards fulfilling it’s meaningful mission. When not working, Saige enjoys painting, reading, and baking.

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 a Program Coordinator for the Center for Land-Based Learning in Woodland, focusing on workforce development in agriculture. Originally from Wisconsin, she holds a B.S. in Community & Nonprofit Leadership, Environmental Studies, and Spanish from UW-Madison. She previously worked 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.

Jamie Cutlip-Gorman
Jamie is a Regulatory Administrator with Xcel Energy. She is an energy policy professional with an extensive community planning, economic development and environmental advocacy background, spanning 20 years in local government and nonprofits. As a former Associate City planner and community organizer, her expertise extends from entitlement reviews, to sustainability program management, and green building and renewable policy development. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University. As a recent transplant to Colorado, Jamie is fond of discovering new campsites, hiking trails and the many creative uses of green chiles.

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.

Matt Read, He/Him/His
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 Staff Counsel for the California Strategic Growth Council. Matt provides legal support to advance SGC’s work to help California achieve its climate change goals through place-based, community-driven programming.  He previously served as Policy Director and Chief of Staff to Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen. He managed a broad policy portfolio of housing, sustainability, homelessness, public works, transit, and active transportation issues, along with a team of dedicated staffers. 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.

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.

Mary Martin-Mabry
Mary is the Marketing Director for California Volunteers, focused on programs that foster civic engagement and community connectedness. She previously worked at UC Davis, for both Public Scholarship and Engagement and Global Affairs, helping faculty and students use research, teaching and knowledge to serve the public — locally and globally. Before UC Davis, she worked on health education campaigns in the media office for the California Department of Public Health, and served in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, as a community economic development volunteer.

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.

Roxana Garcia-Ochoa
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.

Aliyah Moreno

Aliyah works as a Waste Zero Specialist for Recology in Vacaville, creating waste and diversion assessments for customers, performing waste audits and promoting a waste zero philosophy. Aliyah earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of California, Berkeley in Society and Environment and a Minor in Food Systems. She is a Yolo County Native, who has previously worked at Yolo Food Bank for three years. During that time, she worked with local food system partners, such as farms and seed companies to procure fresh fruits and vegetables for those who find themselves food insecure. Aliyah enjoys building connections and networking with organizations and people who share similar values and passions. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, trying new food spots, cooking, and spending time with her dog.

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.

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