The Chef Ann Foundation has created an Advisory Board to enhance the diversity of support that we can provide schools, districts, and food service teams across our country. Our advisors are solving unique problems related to school food reform in diverse communities and school districts throughout the United States. Our advisors will help guide the organization's programming and platforms based on their experience and knowledge. We are fortunate to have such a passionate and talented group of advisors that are willing to share their work and help create solutions for schools nationwide.
Betty T. Izumi
Betty Izumi is a registered dietitian and assistant professor in the School of Community Health at Portland State University where her research and teaching focus on issues at the intersection of child nutrition, sustainability, and health equity. She is project director of Harvest for Healthy Kids, a nutrition program developed in partnership with Mt. Hood Community College Head Start and Early Head Start to connect children in early care and education setting with local agriculture through their meals and classroom experiences. In addition to her work with Harvest for Healthy Kids, Betty works with colleagues at University of Alaska Fairbanks Center for Alaska Native Health Research to connect schools with independent and Native-owned fish businesses to improve diet quality among Native youth and to strengthen regional markets for sustainably harvested salmon.
Jenny Montague, MS RD, is currently working as a Nutritionist for the USDA in Child Nutrition Programs. She brings her fresh perspective from the field to her new position in an ever evolving agency which supports the hard work of more than 100,000 schools around the country in feeding students healthy meals. Previously, Jenny worked as a Food Service Director in her hometown of Kalispell, Montana, where she strived to base her menus on scratch recipes using Montana's main agricultural products, chiefly whole grains, lentils, locally sourced beef, and hearty produce including famous Flathead Lake apples and cherries. Working closely with FoodCorps service members and cooperative producers they created a financially viable local procurement program, which redirected over $200,000 annually toward Montana produced food (30% of their budget). Collaboration with community partners such as the Center for Restorative Youth Justice, who maintains the six school gardens within the district, helped create a robust Farm to School program that Jenny believes will blossom even after she is gone. Jenny spoke at the 2014 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference on the subjects of incorporating local protein in school meals, and Emerging Leaders, where she shared how her education in Nutrition and Sustainable Food Systems led her to a career in school food.
Miguel Villarreal’s experience spans more than 30 years in public schools. He served as food service director in both Texas and California, and has developed and implemented innovative strategies for improving children’s health and created total school nutrition and wellness environments. He joined the Novato Unified School District in 2002 where he modified school menus to offer nutritious “real” food and phased out highly processed food. He also serves as the District Wellness Coordinator and collaborates with numerous groups consisting of students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and local/regional health allied organizations. In addition, Miguel also works with Marin Organic to promote Farm-to-School programs, as well as to introduce families to gleaning. Villarreal holds a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition from the University of North Texas and Masters in Business Administration from East Texas State University. Miguel is an active member of several national, state, and local organizations focused on educating and improving student’s health and well being.
Swiss-born Bertrand Weber's career spans over than 35 years of combined management experience in the hospitality industry and school food service. His compassion for the well-being and future of our children and our environment, along with his passion for educating children about nutrition, food, and, ultimately, making healthy choices led Weber to Minnesota's Hopkins School District in 2003 where he challenged the food service department to elevate nutrition in the school lunch program. Weber‘s progressive thinking and bottom-line results at Hopkins received national recognition. His efforts were the focus of several University of Minnesota research papers, including Analyzing Health Innovations in a School Lunch Program, The Power of Three: A Whole Grain Intervention and Organic Composting in a School District. In 2004 he initiated one of Minnesota first Farm to School Program which led to another research paper in 2005 conducted by JoAnne Berkenkamp for the University of Minnesota, the “Making the Farm to School Connection.”
From 2006 until December 2011, Weber worked for Taher, Inc. as Director of Wellness, Nutrition and Culinary Standards and was responsible for the implementation of the Food for Life initiative, which encompassed farm to school initiatives, menu standards, recipe development, nutritional guidelines, product research and standards, nutrition education, and wellness communication. Now, as Director for Minneapolis public School Culinary and Nutrition Services, Weber has wasted no time rethinking MPS School Lunch. In addition to implementing market cart salad bars and a return to scratch cooking, Weber's other initiatives include: a food truck, an urban garden, zero waste facilities, and an ambitious five-year plan to convert the current food packaging facility into a commercial kitchen.
Sunny Young Baker
Sunny Young is the director of Edufood Consulting LLC, a school food reform consulting firm, and program director of Good Food for Oxford Schools in Oxford, MS, an initiative that combines farm to school practices, school gardens, and nutrition education. Young has worked on school food reform since 2009, when she began apprenticing under Chef Ann Cooper. Young coordinated Cooper’s Food Family Farming Foundation, and managed The Lunch Box website, the Healthy Breakfast 4 Kids grant, and Lets Move Salad Bars to Schools. In 2012, Young moved to Mississippi to lead the Oxford School District in starting the first school food reform of its kind in Mississippi. In 2014 the program was awarded the TedXManhattan challenge and Sunny took to the TED stage to present “’Good Food’ Can Change Everything”. Building on successes in Oxford, Young was named state liaison to the National Farm to School Network and is now working on creating widespread change throughout Mississippi.
Spencer Taylor has served as the Nutrition Services Executive Director for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) since October 2012. At MNPS , Taylor oversees the operations of 138 production sites that serve approximately 12 million meals annually. Prior to working at MNPS, he spent 13 years with Birmingham City Schools in Alabama as the Child Nutrition Operations Coordinator for two years and another 11 years as the Child Nutrition Director. Other previous work includes time spent as a clinical registered dietitian (in hemodialysis), restaurant manager, and college foodservice manager (his foodservice management experience spans over 23 years). Taylor is currently a commissioned officer of the US Army Reserve (Major). His education includes a B.S. in Home Economics from Berea College (1990) and a M.S. in Community Nutrition from Eastern Kentucky University (1998). Additionally, Taylor has been a registered dietitian since 1998 and belongs to the following professional organizations: School Nutrition Association, School Food FOCUS, Academy of American Dietetics, American Public Health Association, and American Society for Nutrition.
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