Executive Director: Ave Lambert (ze/zir/they/them)
As FEAST's Executive Director, Ave drives FEAST’s mission and vision forward by grounding the organization in community.
Ave is a food systems changemaker with a culinary and farming background. As a seventh generation Californian, Ave has dedicated themselves to local food justice, serving as an elected member of the San Francisco Food Security task force, on several boards including the Hawai’i Food Policy Council and Slow Food San Francisco, advisory councils and committees including ShapeUp San Francisco’s Steering Committee & Equity Action Team, and organizing for grassroots campaigns like labeling GMOs, the Women’s March and the San Francisco Dyke March. In their previous roles at organizations including Farming Hope and Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), Ave incorporated food as medicine and sovereignty into curriculum and developed programming and funding models for eliminating food insecurity that dismantled systems of oppression like institutionalized racism, poverty, disease and mental illness.
Ave has an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Business from the University of Washington and a Master’s in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development from Hawaii Pacific University. Their Master’s thesis featured MA’O organic farm as an innovative solution to removing barriers to access in the food apartheid area of Wai’anae, Oahu. Supportive practices for Ave include breathwork, healing and grief ceremony in community with other teachers, as well as facilitation and storytelling with groups like Real Food Real Stories, for radical self-acceptance, interconnectedness, care and real change.
Director of Operations: Whitney Su (she/her)
As Director of Operations, Whitney oversees FEAST’s organizational operating systems implementation and management. She uses what she has learned from her roles in higher education administration and the nonprofit sector to help the team at FEAST achieve their mission.
Whitney is an advocate of information and health equity, and cares about issues concerning access and sustainability. She is extremely proud to be a part of a charitable group offering holistic programming that values wholeness. Whitney was first introduced to serving Los Angeles communities during her master’s program in Information Studies. And after previously living in both LA and NYC, she has finally chosen to settle in the remarkable city that is Los Angeles. Whitney studied English and Sociology as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, and earned a Master of Library and Information Science from UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. In her down time, she enjoys books, yoga, and practicing classical piano.
Managing Director: Lauren Rejvani (she/her)
As Managing Director, Lauren ensures effective operations and the financial health of FEAST> She helps the team work collaboratively to achieve our mission.
Lauren is a Colorado native with a MA in International Development from the University of Denver and a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is an experienced communications campaign manager who has worked on dozens of projects for nonprofit, environmental and progressive organizations with Portland, Oregon based communications firm, Winning Mark. While completing her Master’s, Lauren worked for Namlo, an international nonprofit organization serving rural populations in Nepal and Nicaragua. While with Namlo, Lauren focused on fundraising and donor outreach as well as developing the digital infrastructure of the organization and tracking various health and development projects in Nepal and Nicaragua. In her free time, Lauren enjoys hiking in Griffith Park, doing yoga, and cooking Persian food at home.
Director of Programs: Amy Vu (she/her)
As Director of Programs, Amy leads the Programs team and is responsible for improving health outcomes through the implementation of FEAST’s Wellness, Family Feeding, and Food Access programs.
Amy is a registered dietitian with a Master's in Public Health from the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy. Growing up as a first-generation Chinese American, she learned at a very young age about how the role food plays in connecting health, identity, and community. While pursuing her masters degree in New York City, she worked as a Nutritionist at Harlem Children's Zone, leading family-based obesity prevention programs through the Healthy Harlem initiative. After obtaining her degree, she was accepted into the NYC Small Business Services Neighborhood 360 Fellowship program where she led the community engagement strategy to develop nutrition programs in the new Essex Street Market's demonstration kitchen. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and rock climbing.
Communications and Development Manager: Shannon McDermott (she/her)
As Communications and Development Manager, Shannon is responsible for spreading awareness about FEAST and helping the organization grow through fundraising initiatives.
Shannon is passionate about using her background in the private sector to create a positive impact in the world. While pursuing an MBA and MA in International Development from the University of Denver, she served as a marketing and business development consultant for various non-profits including Population Services International and The Zorig Foundation. After earning her degrees, Shannon spent three years at the consumer packaged goods company, Henkel where she introduced design thinking and led an innovation program that both solved business problems and created a culture of collaboration. In her free time, Shannon volunteers for The Good Listening Project. She loves travel, art, hiking, horseback riding, and yoga.
Family and Alumni Engagement Manager: Ana Guzman (she/her)
As Family and Alumni Engagement Manager, Ana leads our food access initiatives and connects community members with FEAST’s programs and services.
Ana brings years of community leadership experience to FEAST’s organizational team. Her leadership roles have included chairperson for the English Learners Advisory Committee, and chairperson for the School Site Council. Additionally, she has served as a translator, LAUSD district meetings representative, and parent board member for the Alliance Board of Directors. A graduate of the second FEAST group, Ana immediately established new partnerships with local schools and community centers, helping to spread FEAST’s programs to additional neighborhoods in South LA. She has served as a FEAST group leader, organizer and recruiter, assisted with translating FEAST's program into Spanish, and now focuses on broadening our programing and deepening relationships with current Group members and alumni.
Project Coordinator: Liency Barboza (she/her)
As Project Coordinator, Liency supports the long term growth and impact of FEAST programming by ensuring projects are organized and in alignment with organizational goals.
Liency is a born and raised Los Angeles native and is dedicated to connecting marginalized communities with the necessary resources, tools, and information to thrive. She received a Masters in Public Administration from CSU Los Angeles and a Bachelors of Arts in English from Mount St. Mary's University. During her time in college, Liency found her bigger purpose: uplift, honor, and care for children by actively participating and engaging in the better world that they deserve. She has served in supportive roles at various non profits through Los Angeles including Human IT and the Alliance for Children's Rights. In her free time, Liency enjoys reading, road trips, and spoiling her first dog, Bubba.
Program Associate: Marlene Vega (they/them/she/her)
As FEAST’s Program Associate, Marlene builds and supports relationships between FEAST and neighborhood organizations.
Marlene was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Inspired by their experiences growing up as a first generation Mexican-American, Marlene earned their B.S. in Community and Regional Development from the University of California, Davis and certificate in Sustainability from the UCLA Extension. Marlene is an experienced community educator, mental health advocate, and community engagement coordinator who's been involved with a diverse range of organizations such as the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, Shift Our Ways Collective, the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, and MySafe:LA.
Marlene is a passionate land steward working towards an equitable and inclusive future for resilient and thriving communities through food justice, youth empowerment, and sustainable practices. In their free time, Marlene enjoys hiking with their two dogs, ceramics, reading and gardening.
Gilda Sion, Health Educator
Gilda is a graduate of Esperanza's Community Health Promotores Training program and a FEAST Group Leader since 2015. In addition to FEAST, Gilda provides workshop to the community on topics such as Mental Health (DMH). She is also a Community Health Worker with the National Health Foundation helping to enroll individuals into Cal/Fresh and EBT.
Maria Thalia Carmona, Community Health Promoter - Esperanza Community Housing