FOOD FUNDED

Marivel Mendoza is a proud first-generation Mexicana born and raised in Oakland, CA. As the daughter of parents who immigrated from Michoacan, Mexico and began their journey in the US working in the fields of the Central Valley, Marivel seeks to honor her roots and lend support to others making the sacrifices needed for a better life.

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Farmer Al & Becky Courchesne

Owners

Frog Hollow Farm

Elizabeth Whitlow serves as the Executive Director of the Regenerative Organic Alliance, leading a transformative movement to drive long necessary changes to our agricultural system through the Regenerative Organic Certified® standard: an innovative benchmark for food, fiber, and wellness ingredients grounded in the pillars of soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. With a master's degree in environmental studies focused in agroecology, Elizabeth began her career as an advocate for shade-grown, fair-trade and organic coffee growers in Central America. This work sparked a twenty+ year journey examining systemic agricultural policies and championing programs that reward holistic farmers.

Executive Director

I created AVIVO to delight consumers with delicious, healthy, affordable wine — and to address climate change with farming practices that actively sequester carbon. We will amplify our impact by demonstrating that this approach makes money for our investors, and by openly sharing our financial results.

Everything we do derives from this goal: what we grow, how we farm, how we make our wine, how it is packaged and priced.

Founder & CEO

Azizam Wines – founded in 2022 by Maryam Hariri, climate-change policymaker turned climate-adaptive winemaker – is a project of the soul. After 4 years of honing in on her craft at the premier natural winery in Mexico, Maryam launched her own label to focus on climate-adaptive grapes and uniquely Mexican varietals, such as Mission, Rosa Del Peru and Palomino, sourced from old vines, lost ranches and small-scale, sustainable farms.

Azizam’s energy stems from its authenticity, in vision and practice. Maryam brings together her ancient Persian heritage of winemaking with ancient production methods: hand destemming and fermentation in concrete tinajas and lagars, with only wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation.

Founder

After previously working in international development and at the United Nations, Ani's health journey inspired her study Holistic and Ayurvedic Nutrition. She eventually combined her passion for health & wellness and sustainability by creating Chai Five Organics. Chai Five is the first 100% single origin, heirloom chai created to energize, and heal stress damage. Ani brought together her  ancestral and scientific knowledge to create her chai blends while remaining committed to supporting sustainability, farmer equity, and community empowerment. Chai Five is rooted in ancient Ayurveda, and is perfect for those seeking a coffee alternative or anyone seeking a delicious daily ritual to heal stress and nourish the body and mind naturally.

Ani Joshi

She/Her
Founder/CEO

AshEL Eldridge & Xochitl Moreno

Co-Founders

Dawnelise has spent 20 year in the farm to table restaurant and social equity non-profit spaces. She is co-founder of Corazon Healdsburg and owner/operator of Scopa and Campo Fina restaurants.  Dawnelise is dedicated to co-creating equitable and and sustainable balanced community.

Executive Director FARMpreneur Program

Reyna own and operates Yagi Sisters Farm, a small-scale vegetable and herb farm with specialties in Asian varieties. Hailing from the Bay Area with a background in environmental science and policy, Reyna chose to live through example starting her own operation. Besides selling to local restaurants, she ensures the farm also welcomes experimentation, education, and training opportunities.

Reyna Yagi

she/her
Founder/Owner

Stephanie Louie is the Founder and Chief Strategist for One10 North, a branding and marketing agency based in San Francisco.

With 20+ years of experience in brand and marketing strategy, consumer research and innovation, Stephanie founded One10 North to ensure that every brand has the chance to succeed. Stephanie is a firm believer in developing strategies that are based on key consumer insights and leverages them to build businesses, brands and products that meet the needs of today’s consumer.

Founder & Chief Strategist

. YOU? .

Attendee

Julie Menter is focused on mobilizing capital toward alternative ownership enterprises through investor education, community building, partnerships, and more. Previously, she worked at New Media Ventures, Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, and the Boston Consulting Group.

Program Director, Transformative Financing Structures

Organic farming in the San Joaquin Valley since 2012.

Javier Cruz Martinez

He/Him
Owner

Cruz Martinez Farm

Raphaelle is an entrepreneur and designer.

She spent most of her career developing digital tools to shift health behaviors.

Now focused on the interaction of food and climate and the role of individuals in our collective shift, Raphaelle leads a team of chefs, strategists, and researchers dedicated to a more just, resilient, and net-positive future of food.

Our work is to identify, create, validate, and operationalize new businesses that can have impact at scale in shifting supply chains and eating habits.

founder

Kyle is the CEO and co-founder of Wildway. Wildway is on a mission to build a food system that goes beyond sustainable, connecting climate health to human health through resilient, equitable, and regenerative business.

Co-Founder
Investment and Program Manager

David Mancera is a Monterey County native and deeply connected with the agriculture sector, rooted in his early experiences as a child laborer in the fields. His foundational years in agriculture propelled him to earn a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, fostering a career that began in sales and marketing and evolved across various facets of the industry. David's trajectory in produce sales at FoodSource Inc. not only broadened his professional network but laid the groundwork for advanced studies, culminating in a Masters in Agriculture and Resource Economics from UC Davis. He currently serves as a Director of Kitchen Table Advisors, where he uses his extensive knowledge and passion to empower small farmers. David also dedicates his time to educating future generations in sustainable agriculture practices.

Director

Olton Rensch is a successful entrepreneur and founder of Tallio's Coffee, a renowned coffee business known for its exceptional quality and customer service. With a strong passion for creating unique and memorable coffee, tea, and Ginger Brew experiences, Olton has built a reputation for delivering excellence in the industry. His commitment to quality and his drive for innovation continue to propel Tallio's Coffee to new heights.

Founder

The Cookie Dip Company provides premium accessories for your cookies (aka, dip for your cookies). With a variety of tantalizing flavors, you'll never eat cookies the same again. It's the snack you never knew you needed. Instead of chips and dip, try Cookies & Dip... The sweet alternative.

Owner/CEO

As the Founder and Nutritionist driving our brand, My dedication to creating convenient and nutritious plant-based, gluten-free meals stems from my extensive experience as a clinical and school dietitian spanning over a decade.

I firmly believe that one's diet profoundly influences one’s mental and physical well-being, and I channel both my passion and expertise into creating these healthy meal options for people with busy lifestyles and or dietary restrictions.

Founder / CEO

Ron Silberstein co-founded Admiral Maltings in June 2017. Admiral Maltings produces freshly kilned malt using traditional floor-malting methods and sustainably grown (organic or no-till), California sourced grain.

Prior to Admiral Maltings, Ron opened ThirstyBear Organic Brewery In 1996 as its founding brew-master. During his almost three-decade stint operating ThirstyBear, Ron co-created the San Francisco Brewers Guild and sat on its board of directors for many years.

Before his career in brewing and malting, Ron was a practicing immigration attorney in San Francisco.

Co-Founder

Sadie Scheffer is an artist, an MIT drop out, and an accidental baker who learned the art of gluten-free baking to impress her college crush. Today she is the CEO of Bread SRSLY, makers of certified gluten-free sourdough bread in Oakland, CA.

CEO + Founder

Lil Bucks is America’s Buckwheat Brand, making crunchy super-seed toppers and Clusterbucks granola bites from sprouted buckwheat sourced from American regenerative organic farms. The brand’s mission is to make America fall in love with buckwheat, a gluten free and grain free nutritional powerhouse, to give American farmers a profitable opportunity to grow this sustainable cover crop.

Founder & CEO

Shibani Baluja is the founder of lil’gourmets, a fresh, veggie-rich, globally-inspired baby food company. Shibani spent 11 years at Kraft Foods, most recently as a Director on their Mergers & Acquisitions team with key accomplishments of co-leading the PMO for the Kraft-Heinz merger, helping structure the split of Kraft and Mondelez, and executing an innovative JV between Kraft and a PE firm. She holds her BA in Economics and MBA in Finance & Strategy from the University of Michigan.

Founder & CEO

I'm Margarita Womack, founder/CEO of MasPanadas. As a Colombian immigrant and mother of three, I wanted to create a company that offered delicious and healthy international food options for busy working mothers like myself. Through MasPanadas, I'm building a legacy of dedication, resilience, and community empowerment by not only providing great food but also creating job opportunities, resources and education for minority women.

Founder/CEO

Mayo Ryan, co-founder of The Sitos Group, has extensive leadership experience in agribusiness, specializing in pistachio, wine grape, and cotton farming. With a background that includes management roles at North State Hulling Cooperative and California Olive Ranch, Mayo is dedicated to regenerative agriculture. He holds a BS in Political Science, an MBA in Agribusiness, and is a California Ag Leadership graduate. His expertise in biochar and carbon removal contributes significantly to The Sitos Group's focus on CDR, biochar application, and regeneration.

Co-founder & CEO

Jovani Prince is a self-taught baker and entrepreneur with a deep passion for healthy food alternatives and believes that food can be both good for you & delicious at the same time!

Founder

Pauline Ang, former Creative Director for top food & beverage companies, boasts 15+ years in branding and design. Inspired by the milk tea her mom use to make during her childhood and striving for authenticity + sustainability, she founded Twrl Milk Tea, the first canned cafe style plant-based milk tea and boba toppings.

A UC Berkeley alum and an MFA in fine arts, her Hawaiian roots and travels fuel Twrl's innovative flavors.

Founder & CEO

Christina Dorr Drake is a co-founder and the CEO of Willa's, which is on a mission to create a plant-based milk that tastes as good as it is for people and the planet. She launched Willa’s in 2021 with her sister, Elena Dorr Zienda, and husband, Rusty Drake. Previously, Christina spent over twenty years working in innovation, brand and marketing strategy leading brands including Panera, Coca-Cola, Target and American Express. She frequently speaks at events, including SXSW on the critical topics of climate change and building mission-driven businesses.

CEO, Co-Founder

An ecological problem solver fermenting solutions for human and planetary health.

Cofounder & CEO

Trish Thomas is an accomplished serial entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and Chief Eating Officer of Whole & Free Foods. She has a track record of founding and selling companies early in her career and has consulted for prominent companies like IBM, Dreamworks, Hasbro, Redbox, and Nissan. Trish is also an educator, teaching her entrepreneurship model at Northwestern University and previously serving as the Director of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Lake Forest College.

 

 

Co-FOunder & CEO

G's was sprouted from a love for farming, foraging and fermenting.

G'Day my name is Donna, an Australian native who moved to Napa Valley in 2013 to live on the land and immerse myself in farming and winemaking. Farming opened my eyes to what it means to care for the land and winemaking piqued my interest into the nutritious aspects of fermentation.

I began fermenting ginger for my own gut health, combining foraged and seasonal ingredients. Blown away by the enlivening aromatics and flavors, I realized I was crafting something I couldn't buy, tasty and clean beverages fermented with real ingredients and no added sugar or sweeteners. Having found a solution to overly sweet ginger-based beverages I swiftly rolled up my sleeves!

Founder, Brewer & CEO
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Marivel Mendoza

Marivel Mendoza is a proud first-generation Mexicana born and raised in Oakland, CA. As the daughter of parents who immigrated from Michoacan, Mexico and began their journey in the US working in the fields of the Central Valley, Marivel seeks to honor her roots and lend support to others making the sacrifices needed for a better life.