Stephanie Ekoniak – Past Chair
My dream is that one day our children (and most adults) will understand and appreciate where the food they eat comes from and that we will all make better food choices based on that knowledge. I feel honored to be part of Collective Roots to work toward universal understanding about how our food choices impact our health, the environment and our sense of community. I have worked as a volunteer over the past 5 years to promote better nutrition, obesity prevention and food systems change; I love how Collective Roots brings all of these concepts together in a meaningful way that impacts children and their families. Join me in supporting this effort.
Sally Chaves – Vice-Chair
I am honored to be a member of the multi-talented Collective Roots Board. My first memory of working in the garden was planting and harvesting corn and radishes with my father at five years old. The excitement of watching the first shoots appear and then later tasting the freshly pulled radish as we stood in our small backyard garden, shaped my attitudes towards nutrition and the concept that delicious food is fresh food. I am passionate about working with children and families in community gardens as they experience the satisfaction of growing the food they eat.
My name is Amy Sutor. I was born in Nebraska and moved to California in 2005 where I met and married my husband. I am a stay-at-home mother of our two daughters. I volunteer with Collective Roots, GreenSteaders and the San Mateo and San Francisco County Master Gardeners when I am not farming our high density garden or chasing my girls around. My idea of a good time involves hunting fruit or rocks, growing rare plants, visiting botanical gardens, seeing animals in the wild or learning loads of relatively useless but interesting information!
After a community cooking class in East Palo Alto in 2010, I was utterly hooked. I am so excited to be serving on the Collective Roots’ board and digging deeper into gardens and healthy, affordable food. With a degree in journalism, I have written for newspapers, travel guidebooks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and currently Stanford University. Amazing stories are underway through Collective Roots. I hope to help tell them.
Melanie Harris – Board Chair
While my career path has been focused in medical device technology, I have strived to maintain active involvement in the community. While working in Menlo Park, I served as a mentor, teacher, and tutor for various programs at the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula in East Palo Alto. The project that I was most passionate about during my MBA program was working on the strategic plan and branding for a non-profit focused on women athletes as leaders and inspiration in the community. I am excited about the opportunity to not only contribute to the strength of the Collective Roots organization, but to also be educated and make positive changes in the food choices for my family.
Samo Devenica – Treasurer
Samo is a Stanford graduate who has confidence in the power of education, sustainability and communities. He believes that a small group of passionate people can bring about great change. He is a technology investment banker by night.
I am honored and excited to be a member of the board of Collective Roots. I previously worked as the Garden and Nutrition Education Coordinator at Collective Roots in 2009 but left to have my first baby, and I am very happy to be a part of the Collective Roots community again. I have an M.S in Nutrition and Public Health from Teachers College, Columbia University, am a registered dietitian and also completed the culinary training program from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. It is obvious that I love food and nutrition and through my education I have become a strong advocate for relocalizing our current food system and creating access to healthy, nutritious food for all communities. My graduate program also had a strong focus on community nutrition