Board & Staff

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Miki’ala Souza / Board Member

Drawn to the Food Web via the River People Farmers Market, Miki’ala Souza joined the board in Spring 2013. “I loved and respected the market because of the all the fresh, local food and because the Food Web always looked like they were having a good time doing their work,” said Miki. Now, Miki’s favorite Food Web activity is Food Day Week, which she has helped develop over the years to reach thousands of students, teachers and staff on the North Coast. Education is an important part of Miki’s life as she’s also a Clatsop Community College Printmaking Instructor, coordinator for the Astoria Visual Arts High School Arts Program and OSU Extension Nutrition Educator in Clatsop County since 2012. She herself is an artist and founding member of the North Coast Printmakers Collective. Miki has a Bachelor of Fine Art from University of Oregon (2004) and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Western Oregon University (2015). In her free time, Miki likes to work in her garden, be at the beach, be with friends and family and travel home to Hawaii when she can.

Favorite Food: Fresh fish and rice, blueberries, dark chocolate

Joyce Senior / Board Member

As a recent transplant to the Northwest, Joyce Senior started working at Clatsop County’s Oregon State University Extension office in March 2016 and was invited to check out the North Coast Food Web by her co-worker Miki’ala Souza. Her role, SNAP-Ed Coordinator (Supplemental Nutrition Access Program Education) works to provide resources and skills to low income populations so they can make healthier food and fitness food choices and stretch their food dollars. “It fits wonderfully with the mission of the NCFW,” said Joyce, “ it was like love at first sight!” Three months later she became part of the board. Joyce grew up in Costa Rica and as an international graduate student at Clemson University, she was Society for the Advancement of Chicanos, Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Board President which taught her important leadership skills like of teamwork and resilience. She also accredits SACNAS with cultivating her love of service to her community and her dedication to encouraging younger generations to dream big and pursue higher education. Joyce has a PhD in Food Technology from Clemson University (2015) and Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Costa Rica (2009). She’s also a proud licensed Zumba instructor! She says she enjoys getting a chance to do everything at the Food Web, but in particular she’s appreciates meeting the local farmers and community members at River People Market. Oh and dancing during the market pie walks, of course!

Favorite Food: I’m definitely a foodie and I have a big list of foods that I enjoy, but if I have to choose I would say my mom and aunt’s amazing paella and their Caribbean rice and beans with chicken. Nothing compares to food that tastes like home.

 

Norma I. Hernandez / Board Member

Norma Hernandez can attribute her attraction to the North Coast Food Web to her open mindedness to possibility – that and her love of good food!! Look around Astoria and it won’t take long to find an organization in which Norma plays a part. She’s President of Astoria Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Vice President of Astoria Co-op Members, and board member of the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association. She’s also served on the Clatsop United Way Board, Astoria Warrenton Chamber of Commerce Board, Columbia Memorial Hospital Foundation Community Development Committee, and as the Executive Director of the Lower Columbia Hispanic Council. Norma attended college at Colegio La Providencia in Puerto Rico and Herbert Lehman College in NYC. She became a certified Diversity, Emotional Intelligence and Employee Engagement trainer (2011). Currently, Norma is Clatsop County’s WIC Coordinator, Spanish interpreter  for Clatsop County Public Health, and Home Visitor for Healthy Families of Clatsop County.She loves to dance, eat, travel and get together with friends over a cocktail to resolve world troubles. She also must go see and listen to the ocean at least once a week. If you come to a North Coast Food Web cooking class, you might find yourself measuring out ingredients next to Norma. “This group of people inspires me,” she said, “It is an honor to be a part of it.”

Favorite Food: Lately, mushroom lasagna but my ultra favorite is from back home in Puerto Rico: white rice with pork fat, pink beans with pumpkin/squash in it and chicken cracklings (cut up chicken and then fried) tomatoes and avocados. Ok, I am hungry now!

Rod Nichols / Board Member

Rod Nichols has been a part of the North Coast Food Web board since 2011. He’s acted as Board President, Interim Executive Director and now, Treasurer. Though an Illinois native, Rod has ventured around the U.S. and world to study and work. After a stint at Southern Illinois University as an Arts major, he naturally, landed a career in food service. Rod has operated and owned restaurants (including Vista Sea Café in Seaside) though more recently, you’ll find him volunteering for local organizations like Columbia Senior Diners, Meals on Wheels (Astoria 2012-17), Clatsop Community Action Food Bank (2012-14), Clatsop Community Gardens (2014), White Water Institute (2011-2017) and of course, North Coast Food Web where he’s one of our fabulous Cooking Class Instructors. “I’m interested in observing people’s relationship with food and cooking,” said Rod. In his free time, you’ll find him oil painting or walking the beach with his dog Spudnick.

Favorite Food: The next meal or homemade Rhubarb Bread Pudding

Mary Blake / Board President

Mary Blake says she joined the North Coast Food Web team because she fell in love with the people: “I knew each board member individually and was wildly impressed with the collection of knowledge, talent, enthusiasm and community commitment they all had for their mission.” A community activist with a servant’s heart, Mary dedicated 28 years of love and hard work to the North Coast community as the General Manager of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District (1984-2012). During that time, Mary was also an active volunteer with American Red Cross, Special Districts Association of Oregon, Seaside Food Bank, and Seaside Rotary as one of the first women Rotarians! Mary received her Bachelor of Science in Leisure Studies and Psychology from University of Northern Colorado (1973) and Masters of Leisure Services from University of Oregon (1980). Currently, she serves on the Oregon Community Foundation Leadership Counsel, Friends of Clatsop County Community Gardens board and White Water Institute. Mary was drawn to the North Coast because of the water and that’s the likely place to find her! She loves swimming in open water (preferably with dolphins and whales!), walking with her ‘good dog’, gardening or adventuring. Her favorite part of the food web is the cooking classes. Mary, who didn’t grow up cooking says, “cooking at the Food Web has been transformational for me and has lead me to the best health I’ve been in.” Mary encourages all to “Live, Love, Laugh, Always, Smiles!”

Favorite Food: Angel Food Cake

Merianne Myers / Board Member

Merianne has been a full time North Coast Food Web board member, prep cook, grant writer, teacher and tent schleper since 2010. She says saying ‘yes’ to the Food Web fit perfectly with her love of food and requirements for volunteerism. She can be found doing everything from cooking batches of soups for Astoria Warming Center to deep cleaning the kitchen after a week of Kid’s Cooking Camp. Most all Food Web activities have seen success in part due to Merianne’s unwillingness to just go to Spain already! In addition to her dedication to NCFW, Merianne’s been an on-air volunteer with Food Talk and other programs at Coast Community Radio since 1993, served on the Astoria Co-op Board of Directors for six years (three years as Board Chair), and is an Artwalk Committee member of Astoria Downtown Historic District Association. Her and her husband Tom also garden four Co-op sponsored plots in the Hammond Community Garden to produce fresh produce for the Food Bank system. Merianne’s been a small business owner in a variety of enterprises including street performer, author, manufacturer, mail order business owner, food service professional and restaurateur, with short stints as a gardener and clerical worker. When asked what her favorite part of the Food Web is she says, “Cooking classes – they encompass every facet of our mission from supporting local food producers to eating healthy to building community. And then we eat!”

Favorite Food: That’s a moving target. I’m an omnivore.

 

Anne Teaford-Cantor / Board Member

The Food Web and Anne were destined to find each other.  From a lineage of farmers, producers, and foodies, Anne has a deep passion not only for cooking, entertaining and travel, but also for community service, especially where food is involved. Anne has been volunteering for North Coast Food Web since 2012 and joined the board in 2017. She is also volunteers with Astoria’s historic Liberty Theater, advocates for the Lower Columbia Q Center, and serves on the Board of Directors of both Clatsop Community College and the Oregon Community College Association. Since 1973, she has continuously served Alpha Chi Omega, a National Panhellenic Conference sorority, at the local, regional, and national levels. Anne worked in a variety of sectors including banking, retail management, information systems consulting, vehicle manufacturing, and law. She earned a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies (1976) and a Masters of Business Administration (1987) from UCLA. In her free time, Anne and her husband, Shel Cantor, restored the entire interior of their 1906 historic Wicks house — doing most of the work themselves. Anne also enjoys cooking, exercise, creative projects, and food movies. Aside from serving on the board, Anne loves doing North Coast Food Web cooking demonstrations and discussing food with farmers market customers and vendors.

Favorite Food: Anything vegetarian or dairy-based and some seafood, especially global spicy cuisine (e.g., Indian, Mexican, Italian, Ethiopian, Greek, Caribbean, Thai, Himalayan, Lebanese, etc.).

STAFF

Jessika Tantisook / Executive Director

Jessika Tantisook first participated in North Coast Food Web as a farmer at the River People Farmers Market. Her and her partner started, Starvation Alley Farms, Washington’s first certified organic cranberry operation in 2010. When the Food Web announced it was expanding its team in early 2017, Jessika jumped at the opportunity to throw her hat in the ring for the part time role and was elated to be offered the job! Jessika’s favorite Food Web activities are Farmer-Chef Connection and Meet Your Farmer because she understands how meaningful it is for local producers to connect to their customers.  Jessika’s other experience includes receiving her Master’s in Business Administration from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, aiding in sustainable food and agriculture curriculum design and working as an urban community garden coordinator in Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, you’ll find Jessika thinking about new ways to improve her small town of Ilwaco, playing outside with her two dogs or traveling to warm places to eat tasty food and see good friends.

Favorite Food: Poke and mochi, plus pretty much all Southern fare.

Wendy Jo D’Agostino / Kitchen Coordinator

Wendy D’Agostino has a passion for cooking and has spent much of her professional and personal time soaking up food knowledge from butchery to cheese making. She’s attended Quillisascut Farmstead School of the Domestic Arts (2013) and La Boucherie at Sea Breeze Farm (2012). She also has a background in healthcare as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Prior to moving to Long Beach, Washington in 2015, Wendy taught at Sizzleworks Cooking School in Bellevue, WA. There she met her mentor Carol Dearth whom she credits with teaching her thoughtful, organized and encouraging presence in the kitchen. At the Food Web, she manages the Teaching Kitchen including class curriculum planning, leading classes and organizing our CSA pick ups and Egg Day each week. Wendy spends much of her free time volunteering and has worked with several great food non-profits including Community Kitchens Northwest, Seattle Tilt, Fare Start, F.O.R.K.s (formerly Seattle Chef’s Collaborative) and Farms for Life, to name a few. Cooking classes are, not surprisingly, one of Wendy’s favorite parts about the Food Web “ I simply love sharing in the kitchen,” said Wendy, “ it’s rewarding to see participants having fun in the kitchen while learning tips to take to their home to try.”

Favorite Food: Green!