Board of Directors and Board of Advisors

Nicole Alexander

 

Nicole Alexander, M.D.

Board Member

Nicole Alexander, M.D., M.A., is board certified in Family Medicine and practices at Torrance Memorial. Dr. Alexander completed her undergraduate training at UCLA, then went on to complete her medical degree at Howard University, College of Medicine. After completing her residency in Family Medicine at UCLA, she completed a Master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. In addition, Dr. Alexander completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona under Dr. Andrew Weil. Dr. Alexander has additional training in urgent care medicine, adolescent health, women’s health and weight loss medicine. She has 2 daughters who attend school in Manhattan Beach and is a GrowingGreat nutrition docent at Meadows elementary.

 

Austin Gout

 

Austin Gout

Board Member

Having grown up in Southern California, Austin stayed close to home while attending UCLA and now resides in Santa Monica. Austin currently works in entertainment as a part of the Content Strategy & Analysis team at Netflix, which is responsible for the valuation and analytical strategy behind content buying and original content decisions. He started his career in management consulting at Deloitte where he worked across many different types of projects ranging from sustainable produce supply chains to medical device manufacturing.

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Austin co-founded the GrowingGreat junior board in 2018 in order to help provide strategic advisory as well as tactical, hands-on support for the organization. He served as the Chair of the Business Sustainability Committee advising on education partnerships, fundraising techniques, and social media strategy. In his spare time he enjoys running, beach volleyball, snowboarding, and bingeing all of the latest TV series.

 

Britt Joyce

 

Britt Joyce

Treasurer

Britt Joyce is the Co-Chief Investment Officer and Director of Endowments & Foundations at Regatta Capital Group. He spent the first decade of his career analyzing investments for multi-billion dollar institutional clients. He distilled best practices from this experience and now enjoys offering them individuals, families and nonprofits, primarily around the South Bay. He manages investment portfolios for the clients he serves and guides them through major financial decisions and planning considerations.

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Britt’s analytical contribution to our organization and to his clients is enhanced by what he learned in Columbia Business School’s MBA program, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) program, and in college at UC San Diego.

Britt’s roots run deep in the South Bay having grown up in Manhattan Beach. He now loves living in Hermosa Beach with his wonderful wife and two daughters. He supports and volunteers with several local organizations including the P.S. I Love You Foundation and the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation. When he isn’t working or enjoying the South Bay lifestyle with his family, you can find him surfing in Manhattan Beach or running (albeit slowly) with friends.

 

Shelly Malone

 

Shelly Malone, RND, MPH

Board Member

Shelly has spent her entire career in health and wellness. She is passionate about inspiring people to take control of their health and is fascinated by discovering what drives them to do so. She is the author of the book, INFLAMED, focused on preventing and managing chronic illness with diet and lifestyle and is currently the Head of Marketing for Crossover Health, on a mission to create healthcare as it should be. A registered dietitian, she leveraged her clinical skills early in her career into roles in clinical research, product management, marketing, and sales in the medical device and healthcare technology industries.

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Shelly has managed product portfolios ranging from integrated operating room suites to internal feeding devices for the NICU, specializing in go-to-market strategies for disruptive technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nutritional science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in public health (MPH) from UCLA. She is a board-certified, registered dietitian nutritionist (RD/RDN) and a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine.

She lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband and two beautiful children.

 

Maria Marill

 

Maria Marill

Secretary

A native Angelino, and graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Maria spends her days as Senior Vice President, Studio Operations at Sony Pictures Entertainment where she books soundstages, negotiates deals, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the more than 350,000 square feet of stages and 250,000 square feet of production offices.

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Maria comes by her passion for helping children naturally, as a child and teen she and her mother often volunteered for local organizations helping disadvantaged children.

At university, she studied early childhood development and later earned a Montessori credential, which she used to teach pre-school, and kindergarten. Her positive energy and influence is evidenced more than 25 years later by the fact that she is still in touch with several of her pre-school students. Maria’s involvement with non profits began several years ago fundraising for Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles. Maria was asked to join the Board in 2012 and appointed Program Chair in January 2013. Maria’s passion for healthy eating was inspired by her father who took up organic gardening upon his retirement in 1980.

 

Corina McGovern

 

Corina McGovern

Board Member

Corina McGovern is a research psychologist by training. Since having children, she has been actively involved in their education and in the greater South Bay community. All of her and her husband David’s three children attended Sand Tots Preschool. During their time at Sand Tots, Corina served on the board, advising, shaping and developing school policy and practice. All three children also attended Robinson Elementary School in Manhattan Beach. During their time at Robinson, Corina served a variety of roles including: weekly classroom volunteer, room parent, co-chairing yearbook, hosting a Soles4Souls shoe drive for the past six years, producing the 5th grade slideshow video, and coordinating and hosting a variety of student and parent social, charitable and fundraising events.

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She has been a GrowingGreat docent since 2013. For the last two years, she has been co-chairing the GrowingGreat program at Robinson elementary. As a GrowingGreat docent she was responsible for learning the GrowingGreat curriculum and teaching it to 3rd-5th grade students. Asa chairperson she has been involved in a more expansive way including participating in the inauguration of the GrowingGreat Jr. Chefs program which is now in its second year. Corina’s son, Dylan, was able to participate last year as one of the first classes of GrowingGreat Jr. Chefs. This year, she was able to help develop and coordinate the first GrowingGreat art contest held at our five local Manhattan Beach elementary schools.

 

Tim Nuss

 

Tim Nuss

Vice Chair

Tim Nuss was born and raised in Northern California and represents the 5th generation of farming family. He currently works in Business Development for an agricultural technology company, HarvestPort, working with growers to reduce costs, increase profits, and preserve the value of their land. Prior to this he worked in the fresh produce industry for nearly a decade primarily focused on international trade. Tim is actively involved in the produce industry through various trade organizations and is committed to sustainability in agriculture. He is actively involved with the family farming business in Lodi, CA which grows around 1,000 acres of a wide range of crops, including garlic, tomatoes, sunflowers, and wheat, among others. In his spare time he enjoys getting outdoors, skiing in the winter, and co-hosting The Modern Acre podcast with his brother which is focused on innovation in agriculture businesses.

 

Steve Raymond

 

Steve Raymond

Board Chair

Steve Raymond co-founded Big Frame in 2011 to help the biggest YouTube creators grow their presences online, both with their audiences and the many brands with whom they work. Big Frame grew to become the leading talent-management company and Multi-Channel Network (MCN) for premium online video creators; as well as a pioneer in using YouTube native content to launch new media businesses and create branded content for advertisers.

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The company was acquired by AwesomenessTV, a subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation, in 2014.

Prior to starting Big Frame, Steve was Vice President of Product and Strategy for Comcast Digital Entertainment, where he established and ran their entertainment based vertical ad network with annual sales over $50 million. Steve has been a leader at four successful digital media startups over the past decade: Relegence, a pioneer in real-time content syndication (sold to AOL); Musicmatch, an early leader in digital music software and services (sold to Yahoo!); and Flux, a social media platform for entertainment-focused brands (sold to MTV Networks). He has also led the business development teams at Yahoo! Music and Yahoo! Entertainment.

Steve has an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He is also is a founding partner of Los Angeles Social Venture Partners. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife Jennifer and twin sons Alec and JJ.

 

Advisory Board

Marika Bergsund

Marika Bergsund

Advisory Board Member and Co-Founder

Marika Bergsund is the original founder of GrowingGreat, starting its first elementary school garden in 1999. She served as Executive Director through 2006, and now she serves as the Immediate Past Board Chair. Bergsund is currently Director of GrowingGreat Marin City, a garden, nutrition education, food access and community building program that began in summer 2009 as a partnership between the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Milagro Foundation, GrowingGreat and the Sausalito Marin City School District. Bergsund is the former Executive Director for Slide Ranch, a learning farm that aims to build the eco-literacy of children and youth through hands-on education in environmental science and sustainable agriculture.

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As an expert and early pioneer in school garden programs, Bergsund is regularly sought out for school garden and nutrition education seminars and workshops via the California Department of Education (CDE), California Science Teachers’ Association, Master Gardeners and others. She was a contributor to CDE’s book, A Child’s Garden of Standards: Linking School Gardens to California Educational Standards. Bergsund earned a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. Bergsund was a partner in Dwyer and Bergsund Environmental Law Consulting where she practiced environmental, real estate and finance law. While no longer engaged in active law practice, she continues to publish reference books for lawyers on federal and California environmental law.

 

Peggy Rosenbloom Curry

 

Peggy Rosenbloom Curry

Advisory Board Member and Co-Founder

Curry is co-founder of GrowingGreat, spearheading the development of the Classroom Nutrition and farm-to-school program. She co-authored the interactive Classroom Nutrition Lesson curriculum and designed and still leads some of the volunteer trainings, parent education workshops and community events.

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Curry began her career as a Special Education teacher in grades six through nine and worked as special education special projects administrator for nine years. Following her mother’s death of breast cancer, Curry founded Evy’s Garden, a company which successfully sold organic marinara sauce nationwide, with profits donated to breast cancer research and patient support. Curry subsequently founded Kitchen Blessings (now called Curry Girls Kitchen), which offers nutrition-based cooking classes, seminars, and private services, such as meal and menu planning and guided shopping trips, relating to healthy eating. Curry’s expertise in nutrition has led many physicians to refer private clients to her, and she regularly offers group cooking classes and seminars designed for individuals with specific health issues such as celiac and autism. Curry and her charitable and business efforts have been featured in numerous local and national publications, including the Los Angeles Times and Bon Appetit. Curry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University Northridge and teacher credentials in both Special and General Education.

 

Dr. Jennifer Janofsky Ralls

 

Dr. Jennifer Janofsky Ralls

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Jennifer Janofsky Ralls has 20 years of experiencing working with issues of civil rights, social justice, equity, education and systems change. She is committed to optimizing resources and building individual and systems capacities in order address disparities in access to resources and opportunities. Her specializations include goal development, strategic planning, impact evaluation and communication of program vision and mission.

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Dr. Ralls’ experiences range from front line work in the classroom and in the community, to legislative and policy development as well as program implementation and fund development. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at UCLA, earning both a Masters and Doctorate degree in Education with a specialization in social justice and urban education reform.

In 2007, Jennifer began her work at Para Los Niños, a non-profit community based agency located in Downtown Los Angeles. As the Director of Outcomes and Community Impact, Dr. Ralls leads execution of the agency’s impact evaluation efforts, ensuring quality programming, and translating research and evaluation into strategic program planning decisions that meet the needs of children, families and urban communities.

 

Pamela Salzman

Pamela Salzman

Advisory Board Member

Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health counselor, shares her approach to nutrition through her natural foods cooking classes and website, www.pamelasalzman.com, a resource for her healthful, family-friendly recipes and nutrition tips. Pamela has taught nutrition and garden education on behalf of GrowingGreat since 2006.

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After receiving a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, Salzman began her career in public relations at the Los Angeles firm of Rogers & Cowan, and then subsequently went in-house at Sebastian International, a beauty products manufacturer in Woodland Hills, CA. She went on to earn an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. Salzman received her Certification in Nutritional Medicine at the American University of Complementary Medicine in Beverly Hills, CA.

 

Lori Sherman

Lori Sherman

Advisory Board Member and Co-Founder

Lori Sherman is a co-founder of GrowingGreat. She co-authored the Classroom Nutrition program curriculum and training modules. She served as Program Manager for the Classroom Nutrition Program for five years. Sherman continues to contribute lessons and supporting materials to GrowingGreat.

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Prior to co-founding GrowingGreat, Sherman worked in the computer industry, creating and managing sales organizations for two start-up companies, ultimately becoming a Senior Manager of corporate accounts for Ingram Micro, the largest wholesale distributor in the world. Sherman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Arts and Sciences from the University of Southern California. She has studied nutrition independently for several years under Linda Prout, M.S. (Nutritionist and author of Living in the Balance) and others, and is currently enrolled at Clayton College of Natural Health, where she is working towards a doctorate in nutrition.