Community Forum on Healthy Food Access - November 16, 2015

Speaker Biographies

John Bare is vice president of programs at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation in Atlanta. He is also an author and an executive-in-residence at Georgia Tech's Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Bare contributes op-eds on philanthropic innovation to CNN.com, Food Tank, the Hechinger Report, and other outlets. He is a former journalist and media consultant who holds a doctorate in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina.

Sara Berney is the first full-time executive director of Wholesome Wave Georgia. She is passionate about increasing access to and affordability of nutritious foods and building and strengthening local food communities. Prior to joining Wholesome Wave Georgia, Berney worked as a public health consultant for Deloitte Consulting LLP, supporting clients at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health nonprofits such as the Flour Fortification initiative. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru where she trained community health promoters and youth health educators in nutrition education and implemented school garden programs in five primary schools. Berney graduated from Emory University magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in African studies and sociology. While at Emory, she was awarded multiple grants to work as a health educator and conduct public health research in Uganda. Berney has been a regular volunteer in the Atlanta food community since moving to Atlanta in 2006 and currently sits on the board of directors for the Georgia Farmers Market Association.

Karen Curry Davis is the primary consultant to Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Inc. Davis has more than 13 years of program management and community development experience and has made strides in her efforts to assist families with moving toward economic self-sufficiency, health, and wellness. She served as the healthy food finance director with Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs for two years, as part of its Healthy Food Finance initiative work in northwest Atlanta. As a consultant, Davis has worked with major foundations and nonprofits such as Annie E. Casey, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Morehouse Shiver Grant Institute, and Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation. She received a master's in public administration and a bachelor degree in political science from Valdosta State University.

Karen Leone de Nie is an assistant vice president in the community and economic development group at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She is responsible for building partnerships and leading research efforts related to community and economic development issues with the objective of improving the policy environment and facilitating sustainable community development practices. She works with colleagues in the Sixth District (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee) and throughout the Fed system to study a variety of community and economic development issues, including foreclosure, small business development, and unemployment. Prior to joining the Atlanta Fed, she was a researcher at Georgia Tech's Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, which does applied research to help communities achieve sound and equitable development through planning and policy. Leone de Nie also worked for the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan planning organization, focusing on real estate development and environmental resource management. She earned a bachelor degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a master's in city and regional planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and son.

Bobbi de Winter is the executive director of Food Well Alliance, established in partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank. She serves to strengthen Atlanta's local food system by fostering greater collaboration and promoting collective action. She works closely with community organizers, educators, and local food entrepreneurs to build consensus and identify strategic opportunities to invest capital to grow a resilient local food movement. Previously, de Winter led Fortune 500 telecommunication companies' sales and marketing initiatives in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. She earned her master's in international management from Thunderbird School of International Management and holds a bachelor of arts in economics from Georgia State University. She lives in in-town Atlanta with her husband, Andre, and two dogs. In her free time she enjoys riding her bike visiting local farmers markets.

Cheryl Lomax is a senior vice president at Bank of America. Lomax is charged with helping to drive Bank of America's corporate social responsibility strategy and delivering the full capabilities of Bank of America to individuals, companies, and institutional investors in Georgia. Previously, Lomax, a certified public accountant, gained the majority of her professional experience at the Coca-Cola Company, serving in various leadership positions in the areas of finance and national sales and marketing. Lomax has been recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of Atlanta's Top 100 Who's Who in banking and finance, by the Atlanta Business League as one of Atlanta's Top 100 Black Women of Influence, honored with the Bridge Builder Award from Atlanta Technical College, and by the YWCA through induction into its Academy of Women of Achievers. Lomax, a graduate of Leadership Atlanta, currently serves on the board of directors of the East Lake Foundation, True Colors Theatre, and Warrick Dunn Charities, and also serves on the advisory board of the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro.

Rohit Malhotra is the founder and executive director of the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta, his hometown. His background is in social entrepreneurship, digital communications, open data, and community organizing. He worked in leadership positions at Malaria No More, Bono's ONE campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the World Cup's 1GOAL Education for All campaign. Most recently, he served as an Ash Innovation Fellow in the White House Office of Management and Budget, focused on the administration's efforts around social impact bonds and pay for performance. In 2015, he was appointed to the board of directors of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, where he is the youngest serving member in recent history. Malhotra earned his bachelor of arts from Emory University and master's in public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was elected student body president and was a teaching assistant in social entrepreneurship and American politics. He is a self-appointed expert on pizza and hip-hop.

Susan Pavlin is the director of The Common Market Georgia where she has built the foundation for a strong local hub while serving as a leading local food advocate and as the founder and director of Global Growers Network. This local nonprofit focuses on local, fresh food access by creating agricultural spaces, farmer training, and market opportunities in metro Atlanta for hundreds of families. In her role, Pavlin manages the food hub's development, implementation, and daily operations. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois College of Law.

Alicia Philipp is president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, one of the largest and fastest-growing philanthropic service organizations in the country. With more than $930 million in assets, the Community Foundation strengthens the 23-county Atlanta region by providing quality services to donors and innovative leadership on community issues. In 2014, the Community Foundation distributed $107 million in grants to nonprofits locally, nationally, and abroad. Philipp's local, regional, and national leadership responsibilities include previous service as a board member of the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, Independent Sector, and the National Center on Family Philanthropy. Philipp has challenged the foundation to think differently about the best ways to serve the larger community with a strategic focus on donor engagement as well as strengthening nonprofits in the region. As a catalyst for positive change, the Community Foundation is credited with starting successful initiatives such as the Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, Leadership Atlanta, the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, the Neighborhood Fund, and the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative. Philipp holds a bachelor degree from Emory University and a master's in business administration from Georgia State University.

Ana Ramos is the New Jersey food access manager of the Food Trust. She joined the Food Trust in 2012 as a team member of the Philadelphia Healthy Corner Store Initiative. In 2014, she was offered the opportunity to work with partner organizations in New Jersey to create a statewide New Jersey Healthy Corner Store initiative and to manage a network of 43 healthy corner stores in Camden. Ramos coordinated the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store task force and coauthored the report Supporting Healthy Corner Store Development in New Jersey. She holds a bachelor degree in business administration from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. Ramos worked in her father's corner store as a teenager and is excited to use her experience with the corner store environment to bring healthier options to communities in need.

Patricia L. Smith is senior policy advisor for the Reinvestment Fund, a national leader in rebuilding America's distressed towns and cities through the innovative use of capital, data, and information. The Reinvestment Fund manages over $841 million in capital and has invested over $1.5 billion in some 3,000 community investments since 1985. Smith is responsible for directing policy efforts to improve access to healthier foods in underserved urban and rural communities. She works with a range of partners and is a well-regarded resource to the public and philanthropic sectors on healthy food access initiatives across the country. In 2009, she helped launch the national Healthy Food Financing initiative, which has yielded over $168 million in federal investments to improve access, expand the supply, and increase the demand for fresh and healthy foods. During her career, Smith has held leadership positions in the foundation, government, and nonprofit sectors. Her work has been featured in the PBS documentary Edens Lost and Found: How Ordinary Citizens Are Restoring Our Great American Cities. Smith is vice chair of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, a membership organization dedicated to creating beautiful, healthy, and sustainable communities. She holds a bachelor of arts from Mount Holyoke College and a law degree from George Washington University Law Center.

Nancy Wagner-Hislip is the Reinvestment Fund's chief investment officer. She is responsible for overseeing its lending and investment activities, including business development, loan origination, New Markets Tax Credit investment, risk management, and capitalization. With assets under management of approximately $840 million and new originations in excess of $120 million annually, Wagner-Hislip leads a team that possesses deep knowledge of charter school, housing, food access, energy efficiency, and health care finance. Wagner-Hislip joined the Reinvestment Fund in 1998 and has played many roles during her tenure, most recently serving as executive vice president of capitalization and lending operations. She brings more than 20 years of community development experience to the organization and is a recognized expert in real estate finance and tax credit finance. Previously, Wagner-Hislip served as community development lender at CoreStates Bank, where she managed the bank's low-income housing tax credit program. She holds a bachelor degree in public policy and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.