AshEL “Seasunz” Eldridge- Creative Strategist
MA. Transpersonal Psychology, originally from Chicago, now resides in Berkeley, Ca.
He is the founder of Earth Amplified, a multimedia arts collective and spiritual activist movement dedicated to restoring the balance within the people and with the planet through spiritual liberation. AshEL was a Northern California Education and Media Manager with the Alliance for Climate Education and a Green For All Fellow. He is a co-founder of United Roots – Oakland’s Green Youth Arts and Media Center and the founder of SOS Juice. S.O.S (System out of our System) Juice, a a nonprofit/for profit promoting health equity, social entrepreneurship, and spiritual liberation. He also co-leads Urban Farmacy, focusing on vertical urban farms, mindfulness, and entrepreneurship. Currently, he consults and coaches millennial men and women on unblocking their creativity, unleashing their voice, and leading trans formative organizations.
Gail McGuire- National Director
Gail McGuire graduated from Dartmouth College and University of Wisconsin Madison MBA program. While attending both schools she was extensively involved with student programming and community events including organizing concerts, speaker series, entrepreneur dinners, networking events, workshops and annual fundraising galas. Gail is a skilled professional with over 10 years of business experience including 7 years of practical experience as Project Manager for nonprofit Real Estate Development organizations in California and Hawaii. She has worked closely with a variety of clients and consultants on building multi-family and single family housing as well as organizing community events and grand opening celebrations.
As a Project Manager she had to “quarterback” projects which included preparing financial projections, writing grants, negotiating contracts, hiring consultants, managing vendor payments and government compliance reporting. As a producer of Health & Wellness events, Gail uses her years of business and planning experience to ensure that events run smoothly from start to finish. Gail manages all aspects of events including site selection, contract negotiation, budget management, creative aspects, registration/ticket sales, marketing, entertainment bookings, vendor arrangements and volunteer coordination. Gail finds great joy in starting with an idea and turning it into an exceptional event.
Ariel Bangs-National Culinary Strategist
Ariel Bangs, innovative whole foods chef, writer, fooducator and the proprietor of Healthy Creations, a high end private chef company designed to inspire wholistic living, offering healthy meals and baked goods to clientele with food sensitivities and interested in healthier eating. Ariel has surprised many with her approach to clean eating, creating flavorful vegan and gluten-free meals, so much so that many have developed a new vision of what vegan and gluten-free should taste like, it should make your taste buds dance! She is of the culinary philosophy that maintains that food should heal, inspire, excite and nourish our beings, using the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients that are grown sustainably, locally and without chemicals.
She is a passionate culinary anthropologist advocating food transformations through decolonizing food, growing edible gardens, creating healthy plant based culinary experiences. She believes that food can motivate our self psychology as we fully understand how the roles that flavors plays in our daily lives, inspiring self love and favorite memories of love . Ariel graduated from The Art Institute of Seattle in 2007; however, cooking has been a mainstay in Ariel’s life since she was young. Ariel recalls the smells and aroma’s tickling her nose when her mother was in the kitchen preparing family recipes of healthy Italian soul food. Through planting seeds, harvesting vegetables and educating clients about health and nutrition.
Lauren Ornelas- Strategic Alliance Strategist
Lauren Ornelas is the founder/director of Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.), a vegan food justice nonprofit seeking to create a more just world by helping consumers recognize the power of their food choices. F.E.P. works in solidarity with farm workers, advocates for chocolate not sourced from the worst forms of child labor, and focuses on access to healthy foods in communities of color and low-income communities.
While Lauren was the director of Viva! USA, she investigated factory farms and ran consumer campaigns. In cooperation with activists across the country, she persuaded Trader Joe’s to stop selling all duck meat and was the spark that got the founder of Whole Foods Market to become a vegan. She also helped halt the construction of an industrial dairy operation in California. She served as campaign director with the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition for six years. Watch her TEDx talk on The Power of Our Food Choices.
David Lee- Business Strategist - Consultant
David Lee is the co-founder and president of the Field Roast Grain Meat Company. In the late 1980’s, Chef David Lee decided it was time to change his path and do some- thing good for people. He left the fine dining restaurant circuit to establish Seattle-based FareStart (originally named Common Meals), a culinary job training program with the mission of serving and supporting the city’s homeless and disadvantaged populations. His innovative approach involved cooking nutritious, culturally authentic and familiar foods for those in need. While he grew FareStart into a highly successful nonprofit, David launched FoodCircle, which was the first and longest running online community of professional chefs and cooks from around the world.
His interest soon turned to creating vegetarian meats — specifically, how Buddhist monks developed Mien Ching, or “Buddha’s Food,” which perfectly aligned with their values of kindness to all beings. David began experimenting with Mien Ching ingredients. His European culinary background and love of strong, bold flavors helped inspire the creation of Field Roast, a charcuterie-style vegetarian grain meat. In 1997, he established Seattle-based Field Roast Grain Meat Company with brother Richard Lee. Field Roast vegetarian meats quickly gained national attention, and David has become recognized as a leader in the fast-growing segment of vegetarian food products. Field Roast products are now sold in grocery stores nationwide, and are widely available at restaurants, universities and stadiums. David is a long-time supporter of animal rights causes and organizations working to end farm animal suffering. In 2011, his work culminated in two humanitarian awards: Farm Sanctuary’s Corporate Leader in Compassion Award and the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, given to FareStart and accepted by David on behalf of the organization.
Claudia Calleros- aka DJ Soyo Hip Hop Cultural Specialist
Claudia Calleros aka DJ SoYo is an artist/activist who blends turntable wizardry with community organizing and youth outreach. Her main focus is on motivational speaking, Deejing and instilling self-awareness in the misguided and solidarity with the righteous. She embraces Hip Hop culture through her love of community service and Deejing. She has served the community by speaking or Deejing at events where she has worked side by side with icons such as KRS-ONE, Wise Intelligent (of Poor Righteous Teachers), Immortal Technique, Professor Griff (of Public Enemy) and Dead Prez, to name a few. Utilizing her alliances with cultural figures of this caliber, DJ SoYo has helped to promote and raise money for humanitarian causes such as aid for Katrina survivors (alongside HipHop Caucus) and ending torture internationally (alongside Amnesty International)