Portrait 2014 lower res, by THEO JEMISONFrances Anderton

Frances Anderton is the Executive Producer and Host of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture, a radio show and blog exploring what matters in our designed world. She is also a curator and design writer.

She co-produces DIEM, an annual design conference produced by the West Hollywood Design District. She curated Sink Or Swim: Designing For a Sea Change, an exhibition of photographs of resilient architecture, on show Dec 2014-May 2015 at the Annenberg Photography Space.

She writes for many publications and has served as LA correspondent for Dwell and the New York Times. Her most recent book is Grand Illusion, based on a studio she co-taught with Frank Gehry and partners at USC School of Architecture.

Leigh_Christy_ColorLeigh Christy

Leigh Christy, AIA, LEED AP is an Associate Principal, architect and urban designer at Perkins+Will as well as an adjunct professor at Woodbury University. Leigh is a member of the Perkins+Will Resiliency Task Force, the head of the firm’s Innovation Incubator microgrant program, and the leader of the Los Angeles Office Social Responsibility Committee.


Twitter: @leighschristy

_RCN9402-cropRick Nahmias

Before founding Food Forward in 2009, Rick was an award-winning professional photographer and writer whose work focused on the faces and stories of marginalized communities. His formal training as a cook, along with his exploration of California’s agricultural workforce in his body of work entitled “The Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers,” gave him a deep appreciation of and involvement in both the gourmet cooking and the food justice worlds. These varied interests, along with his conviction that access to healthy fresh nutritious food is a human right, culminated in him growing Food Forward and coming aboard as full-time Executive Director in 2011. He’s spoken on food justice issues internationally, and his work has been profiled in publications such at The Guardian, Sunset Magazine and The Los Angeles Times.

Food Forward Website

rudy profile shotRudy Espinoza

Rudy is the Executive Director of Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN). There, Rudy oversees its advocacy and economic development initiatives.



DSCN2590Andy Fisher

Andy Fisher co-founded and directed the Community Food Security Coalition for 17 years. He is currently working on a book that puts forth a new vision for the anti-hunger sector. He has taught food system classes at multiple Oregon universities.




Clare Fox
Clare is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), a collective impact non-profit working to make Southern California a Good Food region for everyone—where food is healthy, affordable, fair and sustainable.


ngatto mini 7-2011

Nicole M. Gatto

Dr. Nicole Gatto is currently an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University. She has earned her Master’s in Public Health from the Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA and her PhD in Epidemiology from the Department of Preventive Medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. She subsequently completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at UCLA in environmental neuroepidemiology as well as a one-year internship in communicable disease control and prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Dr. Gatto also holds certifications in Public Health (CPH), SAS and Geographical Information Science (GIS).


Yvette Lopez-LedesmaClean Up and Staff Photos 086

Yvette has worked in the non-profit industry for over 10 years. She most recently planned and executed Mercado Pacoima, a program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. Mercado Pacoima aims to create access to locally homegrown grown produce in the community of Pacoima to residents and businesses.

Chef Rossi_120503-039Mauro Daniel Rossi MA

Chef Rossi was born in Milan, Italy. After dabbling with summer jobs in resorts pizzerias he left Italy in Winter 1984, traveled briefly through South East Asia and moved on to Sydney, Australia where he worked  in a small Italian restaurant. After a few months, he moved on to Auckland, New Zealand by way of New Caledonia. During his 9 years residence, he owned 2 successful and critically acclaimed restaurants. In the early ‘90s moved to Sweden to join his sweetheart, worked in Sweden for 2 years, still following the same sweetheart moved to NYC and worked there for a year finally moving to LA in 1995 to work for Michel Richard at Citrus. While at Citrus, he was asked to open the Japanese branch of the restaurant in Tokyo. After a year in Tokyo he returned to LA and took charge of Citrus, in 2000 went on to work for the Patina Group as exec for Café Pinot and Pinot Hollywood.

In 2002 he started his career as an educator at Le Cordon Bleu; he became the Department Chair of Purchasing managing a $2.5 million food budget for the rapidly growing Pasadena campus. He left Le Cordon Bleu to join The Art Institute of California – Hollywood in 2010 where he is the current Academic Director. He obtained an MA in Anthropology, his thesis was titled: The taming of taste – The commoditization of authenticity and the rhetoric of tradition in urban restaurants.

Chef Rossi is an ACF Certified Executive Chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef, Certified Culinary Educator, Certified Culinary Administrator and  a lead Approved Certification Evaluator.

IMG_0693Elizabeth Timme

Elizabeth Timme is co-founder and co-executive director of LA-Más, a non-profit design firm that seeks to establish the potential for design-based outcomes in Los Angeles.

mark picMark Vallianatos

Mark Vallianatos works and teaches at Occidental College. His interests & advocacy includes zoning & planning, housing, sidewalk vending & food trucks, climate adaptation & transportation.


vanessa_zajfen_8661Vanessa Zajfen

Most recently Vanessa Zajfen worked as a USDA Farm to School Regional Lead for the Midwest. Prior to this position Ms. Zajfen worked at San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) Food Services Department where she was the Farm to School Specialist, sourcing and serving over 1 million pounds of local and organic foods to SDUSD students. BA from UC Santa Cruz and MS in Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University.



A One Day Conference about Food, Health, and Social Justice in Urban Planning