The Team

Board of Directors

The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) is a registered, tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, governed by a dedicated Board of Directors who share our mission. Our diverse board supports the growth of our foundation by offering guidance in key areas. Click on each name below to read more about these accomplished individuals.

  • Ann Cooper, President & Founder

    Visit the Chef Ann page to learn about her career, books, consulting work, and upcoming speaking engagements.

  • Alan Greene, MD

    Dr. Greene is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, the Founding President and Co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine, and he is on the board of directors for Healthy Child Healthy World and the Organic Center. He is the author of many popular health and parenting books including Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green

    Dr. Greene has been featured in The New York Times and has appeared on CNN, The TODAY Show, Good Morning America - Health, and NBC, ABC, and CBS Evening News.  Dr. Greene was honored as one of "the 100 most creative and influential innovators working in health care today" and was named the “Children's Health Hero of the Internet” by Intel. He is the founder of the pioneering consumer health website DrGreene.com that has touched millions of lives since its inception in 1995.

  • Bonnie Moore

    Chef Bonnie Moore has over 25 years of experience as a culinary visionary, industry strategist, chef, and educator. As Founder and President of Moore Impact, she works with hospitality leaders to deliver clear strategies, creative solutions, and pathways for growth. Formerly the executive sous chef at the renowned Inn at Little Washington, she continues to consult with the Inn on special projects and business development. As Executive Chef of Global Food & Nutrition, she developed sustainable strategies for integrating U.S. commodities into the diets of developing countries and traveled internationally to conduct food demonstration classes and cooking workshops as part of food aid programs. Bonnie has brought her passion for food, agriculture, and wellness to live audiences around the United States through her classes at Blackberry Farm, L’Academie de Cuisine, Sur la Table, and various speaking engagements at national conferences.

    Bonnie earned degrees in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University and in pastry arts from L’Academie de Cuisine. As Past President of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, she is a mentor to women in the restaurant industry and continues to promote women as role models to inspire future generations of culinarians.

  • Roberta Nieslanik

    Roberta "Bert" Nieslanik currently works for the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel. She spent eleven years at the Colorado Public Defender's Office and three years in private practice in Grand Junction, Colorado. She teaches at the National Criminal Defense College, Western Trial Advocacy Institute, New York Defenders Institute, Indiana Public Defenders Council's Trial Advocacy Program, and the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. Bert has participated in programs and workshops around the United States on various topics in Criminal Defense practice. She was the 1993 recipient of the Jonathan Olam Award, given to the top defense lawyer in the state of Colorado. Currently, her favorite pastimes are volunteering at a local alternative high school as a mock trial coach. Her passion is trying to inspire each of us to be a little bit better than we are today.

  • Patrick O’Kelly, Treasurer

    Since 1981, Pat has been Certified Public Accountant and Principal of Cahill O'Kelly and Associates in Boulder, CO. Pat is one of the owners and participants of the world class Colorado music festival in Telluride, Planet Bluegrass.

  • Rodney K. Taylor

    Rodney K. Taylor is Director of Nutrition Services for the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD), in Riverside, California. A noted pioneer and expert in farm-to-school salad bars, he is particularly known for establishing the Farmers’ Market Salad Bar program in 1997 as Director of Food and Nutrition Services in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD). As a result of this and other programs in SMMUSD and RUSD, Rodney is frequently invited to speak at workshops, participate in panels, conduct trainings, and speak directly to governing agencies and officials.

    Rodney was appointed by the governor to serve on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. He has also served on the UC President’s Advisory Commission for Agriculture and Natural Resources since 2005, and serves as Ambassador for the California Healthy Kids Resource Center.

  • Karen Trilevsky

    Karen Trilevsky has promoted social responsibility, sustainability, positive impact, and entrepreneurship for more than 20 years. She created FullBloom Baking Company, a fast-growing company with more 250 employees, based on the belief that a business can lead the way to: better communities, harmony with the environment, and a better life for workers. Her delicious, naturally made products and celebrated 95,000 square foot Platinum LEED-certified baking facility helped her partner with well-respected companies including Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods.  

    In 2012, Karen was recognized as a Champion of Change by President Barack Obama for her work demonstrating that corporate environmental leadership makes sense, both for business and for American communities.

    People Magazine named Karen a “Hero Among Us” for her decade-long innovative Smart Cookie Scholarship program, which prepares first generation Latina and Latino immigrants for educational success by providing scholarships to help students complete Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degrees. The program also provides mentors, advising, personal development and enrichment activities, networking opportunities, and other scholarship events to ensure students succeed at the university level and beyond. To date, almost 100 students have earned their degrees through this vertically integrated program.  

    In 2012 Karen sold her award-winning company to Swiss food conglomerate Aryzta AG.  

    In addition to CAF, Karen currently sits on the boards of the Smart Cookie Scholarship Fund and GoVoluntr a social network that connects volunteers, nonprofits, and businesses together. A TEDx speaker, she graduated from UCLA's Entrepreneurship Program. 

  • Carina Wong

    Carina Wong is a member of the College Ready Leadership Team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has worked in education policy at the national, state, and local levels for over 15 years. She has worked on standards, assessment, and curriculum reforms in several districts, including in Philadelphia as part of a $150 million Annenberg Challenge Grant. Previously, she served as Director of Youth Policy and Education at the Washington DC-based National Center on Education and the Economy. She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and holds a master's degree in education policy from Stanford University and a master's in teaching from George Washington University. Carina was also Executive Director of the Chez Panisse Foundation from November 2005 until 2008.

Staff

Our dedicated staff is integral to running the day-to-day operations of CAF and delivering our mission by continuously growing our reach, capabilities, and available resources.

  • Mara Fleishman, Executive Director

    After becoming involved in school food as a concerned parent, Mara Fleishman served on the CAF board of directors from the very beginning, then transitioned to Executive Director in March of 2013. In this role, Mara supervises all CAF staff and is responsible for program development and oversight, national partnerships, strategic planning, and organizational growth. Mara has nearly 20 years of experience working in natural products including 12 years with Whole Foods Market where she served most recently as National Director of Partnerships. She is dedicated to educating people regarding the benefits of healthy food, and has spoken about sustainable business practices on panels at Yale University and at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business where she was a guest lecturer. In addition to CAF, she has held board seats at The Growe Foundation, the Kitchen Community, and Naturally Boulder. Mara’s background in marketing and partnerships, combined with her expertise in natural and organic food and her advocacy efforts to improve school food, uniquely position her to lead CAF through its growth and expansion in the coming years.

    mara@chefannfoundation.org

    Favorite school lunch: Sweet & Sour Chicken

    Favorite way to keep healthy: Mostly eat plant-based foods, lots of rest, regular exercise and lots of laughing.

  • Beth Collins, Director of Operations

    Chef Beth Collins is a principal and partner with Chef Ann Cooper at Lunch Lessons, LLC, a consulting firm that provides assessments, workshops, trainings, technical assistance and speaking programs to communities seeking to shift their school meal programs to “real” scratch-cooked food. Since 2006, Beth has performed school food assessments and provided technical assistance to school districts in California, Colorado, Mississippi, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and, most recently, for Baltimore City Public Schools. Beth also consults for Live Well Colorado, conducting school meal assessments and food service director workshops as part of the LiveWell@School program.

    Beth, along with Chef Ann, is the lead developer of The Lunch Box. She served as F3’s executive director from 2010 to 2013. Beth is a trained chef with over 18 years in the industry.  She started her culinary career in New York City in 1995, learning her craft from chefs Lidia Bastianich and Michel Nishan before heading to East Hampton, NY in 2000 to feed students fresh locally grown food at the Ross School with Chef Ann Cooper.  Beth and Ann have been working together ever since, and together they are dedicated to the mission of bringing fresh, real food to all kids in schools.

    Favorite school lunch: A salad bar meal

    Favorite way to keep healthy: Mountain bike racing

  • Michele Battiste, Director of Development

    Michele Battiste joined the CAF team in March 2012. She is responsible for foundation, corporate, and donor relations. Michele manages grants, sponsorships, cause-marketing efforts, annual giving, and grassroots fundraising campaigns. She also writes and edits much of CAF’s communication and outreach materials. Michele has over 14 years of experience in nonprofit development and communications. She came to CAF from Helen Keller International where she served as Assistant Director of Development and Major Gifts Manager, raising money for international health programs and vision care for vulnerable children in U.S. schools. Michele has focused her career on creating sustainable support for growing programs that enhance children’s health, education, and futures. As a mom, her work for better school food isn’t just a job, it’s personal.

    michele@chefannfoundation.org

    Favorite school lunch: Greek Pizza

    Favorite way to keep healthy: It’s a tie between mountain hikes and boogie boarding.

  • Lindsey Vaughan, Program Adminstrator

    Lindsey Vaughan joined the CAF team in July 2012 after working with Chef Ann as an intern on the Boulder Valley School District’s School Food Project. Lindsey is now the grant administrator for both Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and Healthy Breakfast for Kids. As administrator, she manages Foundant (CAF’s granting software), markets our grants to school districts, supports districts in the application process, manages vendor relationships, solicits and collects district feedback, and analyzes data. She particularly enjoys receiving photos from schools that have benefitted from our grants. Lindsey also serves as a project manager on Chef Ann’s Lunch Box. Lindsey earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    lindsey@chefannfoundation.org

    Favorite school lunch: Veggie Burger

    Favorite way to keep healthy: I love swimming, hiking, and enjoying Colorado's sunshine. I also spend a lot of time in my kitchen trying new healthy recipes.

  • Erica Younkin, Content Manager

    Erica Younkin joined CAF in October 2013 to help oversee online content and communications for CAF and its related programs. Prior to her position with CAF, Erica managed marketing and communications for LÄRABAR and Small Planet Foods, University of Colorado at Boulder, Outside Magazine, and Nickelodeon. Erica holds a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of Colorado with an emphasis in copywriting and graphic design. In addition to her professional career, Erica is dedicated to volunteering with organizations that improve the lives of children, including Paul Newman’s Serious Fun camps, Move Kids Initiative, Give Kids the World, and Denver Urban Gardens.

    erica@chefannfoundation.org

    Favorite school lunch: Turkey Rueben

    Favorite way to keep healthy: Swimming clears my mind and makes me feel healthy and strong.

  • Leigh Kroeker, Marketing Associate

    Leigh Kroeker joined the CAF team in June of 2014 to focus on marketing and administrative support. Her responsibilities include blog writing, marketing analytics, and social media, while assisting in public relations, development, and outreach.  Leigh’s background in marketing, research, and food systems primed her to be CAF’s Marketing Associate. Leigh earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, and she is passionate about food justice and community food security. She believes school food reform is imperative for the health and education of the generations to come. Leigh loves hearing from food service directors who revamped their district’s school lunch program to include fresh, scratch-cooked meals, especially when there is a high percentage of low-income families in the district. Outside of work, Leigh thrives on creating community around food and cooking.

    leigh@chefannfoundation.org

    Favorite school lunch: Asian Noodles

    Favorite way to stay healthy: Eating seasonally grown, locally produced, plant-based foods. 

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Here is a little more info on Chef Ann Cooper