Paul Dahm, Brainfood's executive director, has more than ten years of nonprofit fund-raising and management experience. Prior to joining Brainfood in 2003, Dahm spent two years as a director at Orr Associates, a consulting firm serving the nonprofit community, where he advised a range of organizations such as The National Mentoring Partnership, Gallaudet University, The U.S. Navy Memorial, Youth I.N.C. and the American Bar Association. Previous to Orr Associates, Dahm worked for the Make-A-Wish Foundation as the Community Relations Director for the Washington Metro Area and the Associate Director with overall responsibility for fundraising, community relations, and program services in the Baltimore Metro Area.
Luisa graduated from Clark University with a Bachelors in Race and Ethnic Studies. Before beginning college, she spent a year living, exploring, and working in Israel, teaching English at a local elementary school. Luisa has more than 4 years of experience working creatively with youth, including working at a fiber arts school, a summer camp, and creating and running photography workshops for children in Argentina.
Originally from Philadelphia, she recently moved to D.C. as an AVODAH Fellow and is thrilled to incorporate her passions for cooking, eating, photography and crafting into her work at Brainfood
Carina Gervacio, Program Director, graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Comparative Literature and Environmental Thought and Practice. Prior to joining Brainfood in 2005, Carina worked with several environmental non-profit organizations, including the Southern Environmental Law Center and, most recently, the League of Conservation Voters. Carina first gained experience with youth development as a volunteer for Migrant Aid, an English tutoring program for migrant youth and adults in central Virginia. Brainfood brings together two of her favorite things: food and working with high school youth.
Kate holds a degree in Horticulture from the University of Georgia and has 4 years experience in urban farming. She has worked at Smithsonian Greenhouses, the Washington Youth Garden, as Farm Manager at Common Good City Farm and currently owns and operates Capital City Farm Co., an urban micro farming business. As the Garden Manager at Brainfood, Kate develops the planting schedule, oversees planting and harvesting of crops, and manages soil fertility and pest management. Kate works with schools, residents and other organizations around our region developing garden programs, growing vegetables and educating future gardeners. Her skills also include drip irrigation installation, compost management, beekeeping and preserving harvests. She gets lots of pleasure out of sharing her plant knowledge and sharing the garden's harvest.
Carolyn Panzarella, Program Associate, graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Human Development. After graduation Carolyn spent much of her time living and working in Costa Rica at a sustainable living and education center, Rancho Mastatal. In Costa Rica she studied the principles of Permaculture, taught English in the local elementary school and learned about the local cuisine. She grew up just south of Syracuse, NY where she spent her time gardening, cooking, working in a restaurant and volunteering with a local group, Syracuse Grows, to build gardens for Syracuse city schools. She is excited to have found an organization that pairs her love of food and cooking with working with youth in an educational setting.
Maeve is thrilled to join the Brainfood team as the Community MVPs Program Coordinator. After graduating from James Madison University, she moved to New Haven, Connecticut to serve as the AmeriCorps VISTA for CitySeed. Her energy was spent managing volunteers, creating new programs and supporting those already in place to increase the community’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It was there that her love and appreciation for farmers’ market developed and a desire to experience farming firsthand. After CitySeed, Maeve travelled to Nicaragua to learn about sustainable agriculture methods in a developing country and complete a Permaculture Design Course. Maeve is so thankful that these opportunities led her here, closer to home, and with an organization that empowers youth to recognize their incredible potential. She loves spending time outdoors, thinks coffee tastes best over conversation, and believes something powerful happens when we grow, prepare, and enjoy food together.
Ibti Vincent studied English Literature and Secondary Education in graduate school, but after teaching for a few years in the public schools in New York City and Washington, DC and seeing the effects of poor diets on her students, she became convinced that her true calling was teaching about food. In the spring of 2009, she set out on her bicycle to learn more about how food is grown and what different programs around the country were doing to teach people about growing, eating, preserving, and sharing food. After 14 ½ months on the road, Ibti returned to her hometown of Washington, DC and began teaching groups of students ranging from elementary schoolers to senior citizens. (Her favorites have always been high school students, though.) Following 2 years as an enthusiastic Brainfood weekly kitchen volunteer, Ibti was elated to join the Brainfood team as a kitchen instructor.