Joyce Senior was born and raised in Costa Rica. She received her undergrad degree in Human Nutrition in 2010 and moved to the United States in 2011 to attend Clemson University in South Carolina. While working towards her graduate degree in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences she also became a licensed Zumba instructor and taught at local gyms for two years, which gave her an outlet to share her joyful personality and passion for dancing with others. She graduated in December 2015 with a PhD in Food Technology and was hired by Oregon State University in March 2016 as the SNAP-Ed/FCH Program Coordinator for Clatsop County. This position focuses on evidence-based interventions that promote healthy communities, families, and individuals, as well as community-based work related to policy, systems, and environmental change. Joyce is a very proud Afro-Latina who loves to incorporate her Afro-Caribbean flavor into everything she does. Her role as an Extension Faculty for OSU has allowed her to merge her love for Nutrition Education, food, Zumba and community service; and she hopes to help improve the quality of life of the people of Clatsop County.
Mary Blake believes that we all have a divine purpose and the sooner we understand and follow that purpose out lives will be extra ordinary, smiles! Her purpose was simply to laugh and play. And laugh and play she has. Born in Greeley Colorado and raised in Phoenix, she was a fearless and adventurous tomboy and a very good swimmer. The swimming was her pathway to her success. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in Park and Recreation Services. She got her first assignment as an overpaid lifeguard in 1974 with the Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation. Within a couple of years she moved to the Aquatic Directors position. She was drawn to the north coast because of the water…she accepted the General Managers position for the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District in 1984 and served until her retirement in 2012. She is a community activist with a servants heart. She currently serves on the South County Food Pantry board, Clatsop Community Gardens board, OCF Leadership Community board, is an OSU Master Gardener and yes, swims and walks with her dog daily. Mary loves what she does and does what she loves. Mary encourages all to Live, Love, Laugh, always, smiles!
Norma Hernandez was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Prior to moving to Astoria in 2003, Norma lived in the northeast for 20 years, both in New York and Boston. She moved to Astoria to work as Office & Human Resource Manager for an oyster company in Bay Center, WA., where she became aware of the needs and challenges of the Latino community of the region. Her passion for social justice kept increasing after volunteering for the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council and then working for the Clatsop County Public Health for several years. In the fall of 2008 she became the Executive Director of the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council until 2012.
Responding to a need in the North Coast, Ms. Hernandez became a certified trainer on Diversity at Work, Employee Engagement and Emotional Intelligence. Currently Norma works for Clatsop County’s Public Health department as a WIC Coordinator, Interpreter and bilingual administrator, and as a Family Support Home Visitor for the program Healthy Families. In addition to the NCFW Board, Norma serves on the boards of Astoria Parks and the Astoria Co-op. Do not be surprised if you also find her serving you beer or wine on Friday’s at the Columbian Theater or threatening you to listen to Sonidos Latinos on KMUN 91.9 FM, a popular Latin music radio show which she hosts once a month.
I’m an Oregon native who returned to the Coast several years ago after decades of travel and business around the country. Prior to coming home, I co-owned a series of businesses in Hawaii and Texas with my husband Tom. We have produced handmade leather goods which we sold on the street near Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco and later at a shop in Waikiki during more than a decade of living and working on the North Shore of Oahu. We followed that with 11 years of street performance doing magic and balloons which resulted in Tom’s invention of a balloon pump that spawned a manufacturing/mail order business. After many years of touring the country for most of the year to present seminars on ballooning and magic to other variety arts entertainers, I returned to Clatsop County to settle down. Since then, I have worked primarily in the restaurant industry, waiting tables, tending bar, managing and owning fine establishments on both sides of the big river. Along the way there were 4 years as Development Director for what was then KMUN and is now Coast Community Radio, many years of food columns for both the Seaside Signal and Hipfish, as well as freelance writing projects for a number of publications. I’ve been an on-air volunteer at Coast Community Radio since 1993 and served on the Board of Directors for the Astoria Co-op for six years, the last three as Board Chair. I serve as the joint representative for the Co-op and Coast Community Radio to the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association and am on the Artwalk Committee for that group. Tom and I garden four Co-op sponsored plots in the Hammond Community Garden to produce fresh produce for the Food Bank system. A lifelong love of gardening, cooking, writing and commitment to community volunteerism make North Coast Food Web a perfect fit for me.
Rod Nichols has been an Oregon resident for 35 years. He is an Illinois native who studied art in college and, naturally, started a career in food service. Nichols has operated and owned restaurants (including Vista Sea Café in Seaside), a catering company and, for a diversion, an antique store in Prescott, AZ. Lately he has been preparing meals for the Astoria Senior Meals Program and volunteering as a cooking instructor for 4-H and Oregon Food Bank programs. Nichols served on the NCFW Board prior to becoming IED. He currently lives in Warrenton with his two dogs, Sheldon and Spudnick.
Miki’ala Souza was born and raised in Hawai’i on the island of O’ahu where she found that the healthiest and most delicious foods come from the fruit trees in the backyard, or fresh from the ocean. She grew up volunteering in local taro fields and fishponds, understanding that we have a responsibility to take care of our crops, and in return, they will take care of us. In 2005, she began several years of work with Ho’opuka Learning Center, a rural Hawaiian non-profit whose mission is to teach students about local resources such as native plants and food crops, and how to grow, harvest, and sustain them. She continued to explore food practices around the world by volunteering in rice paddies in Nepal, spending summers in a fishing village in the Solomon Islands, and attending an indigenous food and arts gathering in New Zealand. She received a BA from the University of Oregon in 2009, and moved to Astoria in 2010 to pursue her artistic career as a painter, printmaker and illustrator. Miki also brings her creative vision and passion for local food education to her work as the Garden and Nutrition Educator at Clatsop County OSU Extension Services.