Nita Kurmins Gilson
Co-Executive Director (Programs & Outreach), Co-founder
In 2009, Nita launched a grassroots program called “CropSwap” with the support of friends and volunteers (many of whom are still with ProduceGood today). In the beginning, they picked excess citrus from neighborhood trees for provision to the North County Food Bank. Through Nita’s determination, the distribution model was later expanded through a partnership with Feeding San Diego.
After five years leading CropSwap while still working as a graphic artist, Nita took the idea to the next level. In 2014, she teamed up with Jeri and Alex, and the three San Diego women crafted a shared vision for the future as partners and founded ProduceGood to continue with CropSwap activities while expanding new produce recovery programs to reduce waste and hunger.
Today, Nita drives ProduceGood Programs & Outreach as Co-director of the organization in partnership with Alex. She now works full-time as an agent of change in San Diego County, lending her experience to collaboration as part of the food sustainability movement and representing ProduceGood’s mission with partner organizations and other local, national, and international groups.
Nita has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington.
Co-Executive Director (Strategy & Development), Co-founder
Alex brings critical skills to ProduceGood based on nine years developing global training programs for technology companies, four years living in West Africa (as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Program Manager for a multi-national USAID project) and four years as a secondary educator. Her work managing restaurants and a local community food cooperative drive her interest in limiting food waste and ensuring equitable access to whole food for all.
In 2014, Alex incubated the ProduceGood concept and worked with Nita and Jeri to incorporate and establish the organization as a 501(c)(3) in 2015. Her unique experiences and bent toward problem-solving help her address the challenges of capacity in her efforts to grow and lead ProduceGood’s organizational development, sustainability, and governance.
Responsibly farmed and harvested foods are a priority for Alex, influencing her consumer choices and personal interests. Today, Alex drives Strategy & Finance as Co-director of the organization in partnership with Nita. She is focused on growing opportunities to upcycle surplus produce through prosperous strategic partnerships that sustain a strong infrastructure for produce rescue, transport, and provision.
Alex has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Colorado.
Upcycler Program Lead
Born and raised in Encinitas, Dominique graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Environmental Management and Protection. Prior to ProduceGood, she served two years as a CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow at the City of Encinitas, where she supported the City’s climate action and zero waste programs.
Dominique brings her passion for waste diversion and environmental conservation to ProduceGood. As the Upcycler Program Lead, she supports PG’s contracted and specially funded produce recovery, tracking and reporting metrics on these activities.
Community Orchard Program Lead
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Mackenzie graduated from Oregon State University receiving a Bachelor’s in Social Science with a focus on community development. After volunteering locally and abroad on sustainable development projects she decided to bring her passion for social change to AmeriCorps. She served two years with the San Diego Youth Services Volunteer Engagement department supporting volunteer recruitment and capacity building.
Joining the ProduceGood team, Mackenzie brings a passion for environmental justice, equity and empowerment. She is excited to work alongside volunteers and community partners to ensure vulnerable folks in San Diego have access to nutritious foods.
Community Orchard Program Lead
Shannon was born and raised in San Diego, and also spent several childhood years residing in Japan. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Before beginning her time at ProduceGood, Shannon has previously worked as an administrator for a Poway area Head Start program, where she assisted in outreach and compliance for a federally funded early education program for local low-income families.
Shannon brings her dedication to the San Diego community and her passion for sustainable solutions to ProduceGood as the Community Orchard Program Lead. Shannon focuses on building and maintaining relationships with volunteers, growers and recovery agencies, while also supporting the organization in data maintenance and tracking.
Steve believes that the key to reducing food insecurity and waste lies in being more efficient in redistributing surpluses within our community. Sharing Produce Good’s vision and passion for building a sustainable upcycling process led him to become a volunteer in 2018. Throughout his career as a financial services executive, Steve primarily developed and managed sponsor relationships.
Claire geeks out a little over data and statistics but with two underlying drivers: maximizing resources and really understanding root causes to find long-term solutions to problems. She has spent the majority of her career in the receivables industry and is passionate about community, volunteering, and the outdoors. Most of her days are spent cavorting with her amazing husband Michael and her 2 untiring, high-spirited children, Carter and Adeline. Claire joined the ProduceGood’s Board of Directors in 2020.
Angela and her family have been volunteering with ProduceGood since they moved to San Diego in 2017. Angela is passionate about engaging with the local community and the environment, which she does through ProduceGood, organizing local shore dives, and beach clean-ups. She is currently leading strategy, business development, and the private label business for Integra LifeSciences, and is a local angel investor with Tech Coast Angels.
Navjyot (Navi) S. Parmar
Navi is a Deloitte Advisory Manager in Deloitte Touche, LLP out of the San Diego Office. He earned his B.A. in Religion with a minor in Political Science from Syracuse University and MPH in Health Management and Policy from Drexel University. He brings a background in healthcare management and policy with an interdisciplinary approach to advisory consulting. He has experience in the areas of Health Care policy, Health Insurance regulations, Medicaid state programs, Medicaid state financial services, Health Care payment processes, Health Care compliance, and risk analysis as they relate to Health Care insurers. His passions are supporting first generation communities through education, access to healthcare, and combating food insecurity.
Caitlin Holleran has had a passion for helping the food-insecure since her first glean in 2011. She currently works as a healthcare consultant. Caitlin has been volunteering with ProduceGood since 2015 and has been serving on ProduceGood’s Board of Directors since 2017.
Director, ProduceGood Co-Founder
In 2014, Jeri’s interest in building a multigenerational volunteer community grew from a lifelong devotion to service and the need to maximize retirement. After many years of cooking for and feeding homeless individuals and working as Executive Director for an organization serving homeless youth, Jeri felt strongly that a like-minded volunteer community would be the key to reducing hunger and waste through produce recovery. In this spirit, Jeri made the decision to join daughter Alex and friend Nita to establish ProduceGood.
A former secondary educator, college instructor, and thirty-year marketer who founded and directed an advertising agency and worked in many industries, Jeri brings invaluable experience and a huge heart to her role as a full-time Organizational Volunteer, overseeing much of ProduceGood’s administration.
As Community Director, Jeri develops and maintains relationships with additional time spent writing grants, supporting program development, developing marketing tools, acting as “Chief” editor and serving as PG’s AP/Payroll/Insurance Specialist. Through work and volunteer service Jeri has collaborated with government agencies and private and public companies, making her ideal for her role as Board President where she puts her perspective to task each week.
Jeri has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Redlands.
Morgan is a Community Relations Manager at San Diego Gas & Electric. In her role, she supports roughly 100 environmental nonprofit partners, connects employees with opportunities to give back through volunteerism and supports the company’s many sustainability initiatives. She is a San Diego native and a life-long environmental enthusiast. She received degrees in Environmental Studies and Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Morgan has an environmental nonprofit background, having spent a decade working for I Love A Clean San Diego in various fundraising, marketing, and volunteer management roles. Morgan is excited about the opportunity to get more involved with ProduceGood. She and her husband live in Clairemont and spend their free time exploring the outdoors.
Derrick Robinson (Ph.D)
Dr. Derrick Robinson recently joined the board at Produce Good. He has a lifelong passion and connection to food. Specifically, he’s interested in addressing issues around food prices and affordability and how these integrate with economic efficiencies in local food systems. He has previously worked as a research economist and professor for the University of San Diego; University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources; University of North Florida; Tuskegee University; Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium; and Auburn University. In his current position, he does research related to workers’ rights, wages, and employment valuation, contextualized around increasing community economic welfare.
Makana (he/him/his) is currently the Director of Policy and the LGBTQ+ Liaison for San Diego Council President Jennifer Campbell.
Makana’s passion is building community. Prior to his current role, he was Director of Community Engagement for another elected official and before that, he ran a non-profit co-working and event space where his focus was creating programs and events to facilitate collaboration and resource sharing between organizations. He has worked with hundreds of local, national and international non-profits.
Makana has completed a Schusterman Foundation fellowship for Community Builders in Israel and graduated from the Young Professionals Council Academy at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.
Yanira Alonso serves as the Food and Nutrition Program Manager at Community Resource Center, a non-profit organization located in Encinitas focused on creating paths to healthy food, stable homes and safe relationships.
An alumna of the University of California, San Diego, Yanira earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Global Health and later became a certified Holistic Nutritionist. Yanira began her career in food policy and social justice and discovered an interest in food insecurity, particularly in at-risk populations.
Yanira’s current commitments focus on continually creating programs that bridge the gap between food waste diversion and increased recovery to feed food-insecure families and individuals in San Diego County. She is passionate about environmentalism and growing food for nourishment and whenever possible aims to educate on the importance of healthy and nutritious food for overall well-being.
Advisor and Grower Ambassador
Young at heart and now a “retired” publisher, Maxine is a docent at S.D.Botanic Gardens-Encinitas, and under the auspices of the S.D. County Library System, tutors English individually to foreign residents. She is curious, adventurous and a good listener with lots of energy. Being a “people person,” she looks forward to a “fruitful” experience as a grower ambassador for ProduceGood.
Nita Kurmins Gilson
PG Board Liaison for Programs & Outreach
PG Board Liaison for Strategy & Finance
Advisory and Support
Nathan Wauthier Accounting, Inc
Nathan is an accounting professional who works with non-profit organizations that focus on solving food insecurity. He believes that everyone should have equal access to healthy, local fruits and vegetables and that it should not be an unaffordable luxury like it is for so many families.
Photographer & Web Master