Director, Catalyst Kitchens
“There is nothing more inspiring than helping communities all over the country (and beyond) galvanize around food as a catalyst for change using our proven model to help individuals escape the cycle of poverty.”
Content and Resource Developer
As the former owner and operator of Eva Restaurant, James brings a wealth of experience as a business manager and culinary professional. He's spent time teaching job readiness and financial literacy classes to newly arrived refugees through the International Rescue Committee and is interested in learning more about workforce development through social enterprise. In his role as a AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, James will help to develop CK membership content and resources.
Member Engagement Coordinator
Amir brings direct experience launching his own social enterprise- an online coffee delivery service that supports orphanages in Indonesia- and is passionate about creating a positive impact through collaboration. In his recent role as Building & Community Lead at the Impact Hub, he helped manage a membership of over 700 members and helped foster a learning environment through community events. Amir will be coordinating peer to peer learning, membership renewals, communications, and creating membership engagement tools.
"It is inspiring to see a network of innovative non-profits sharing and creating best practices to uplift the lives of others – not by giving a hand out but a hand up."
The Catalyst Kitchens Advisory Council includes Model Member and FareStart board representation and acts as a subcommittee under the governance of the FareStart board.
Program Development Manager
"I've seen the benefits of food service offering a second chance at life. To be able to share this knowledge with other likeminded organizations makes me optimistic about the future of our country."
Member Engagement Manager
Emily is interested in challenging traditional community development norms to solve complex social issues at scale. She's worked at the grassroots level as a community extension agent in Peace Corps Cameroon and managed cross-sector initiatives while working at a boutique consulting firm based in Washington, DC. Emily's experience creating compelling communications tools, including an award winning documentary film, help her to support and enhance the inspiring work of Catalyst Kitchens members around the country.
"It’s incredible to see so many diverse organizations joining together in this network to innovate, launch, and build capacity in their own communities. More than a network, Catalyst Kitchens is truly a movement."
David has a long history of incubating and launching food-service-based social enterprises including his founding of what would become Catalyst Kitchens in 2006. His work in the field has been so impactful that he was the recipient of a Social Enterprise Alliance Leadership Award in 2009. While David is no longer part of the day-to-day operations, he will remain involved with Catalyst Kitchens.
“The Catalyst Kitchens alliance members are some of the best social enterprises in the field, but, together, we are so much more. We are leading a social movement that is creating real solutions to joblessness, poverty and hunger in our communities.”
Program Development Manager
Justin has worked for years merging food, gardening, and the culinary arts with services for vulnerable populations in both Chicago and Seattle. In his role as Program Development Manager, Justin draws on a wide range of experience with instruction, curriculum writing, program expansion, youth education, and over a decade of work in restaurants and hospitality.
“I believe in the transformational power of food to create and strengthen communities. Catalyst Kitchens members provide pathways to a noble career, and empower people to know and choose happiness in their lives every day.”