Second Harvest Board
On mission in our community
Board of Trustees
Michele Bassi, Board Chair
1st Capital Bank
Michele Bassi has been in the banking industry for almost 30 years. Previously with Wells Fargo Bank and then Lighthouse Bank, Michele recently made the move to 1st Capital Bank as their Senior Vice President/Managing Director of the Santa Cruz Market.
In addition to her work with Second Harvests, she is also the incoming Board Chair of Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Foundation, Board Member of Cabrillo College Foundation, Past President and Board Member of Capitola Aptos Rotary, Founding Friend of Meals on Wheels, and Founding Friend of Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center. These, and many other volunteer activities, earned Michele the Woman of the Year award for the Aptos Chamber of Commerce in 2018 and the Be The Difference Award from the Volunteer Center in 2019.
Andrea Carlos Willy, Vice Chair
Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Andrea Carlos Willy’s personal and professional life has been dedicated to facilitating positive changes in health and education domains that support fragile populations and future generations. Her largely non-profit work experience has spanned the fields of human rights, bioethics, education and healthcare. Andrea is currently the District Grant Writer for Pajaro Valley Unified School District. As an active community volunteer she serves on the boards of both the MAIA Foundation and CASA of Santa Cruz County. Over the past two years she has been a member of Second Harvest’s Pajaro Valley Engagement Committee. Andrea looks forward to sharing her professional skills and passion for equity to further the important work of Second Harvest. Her family roots in Watsonville date back to the mid 1800s.
Matt Huffaker, City Manager
City of Santa Cruz
Matt Huffaker currently serves as the City Manager for the City of Santa Cruz. Previously he joined the City of Watsonville in 2016 and became the City Manager in 2018. Prior to Watsonville, Matt served the City of Walnut Creek for 10 years in a variety of roles, including Deputy City Manager. Matt brings over 15 years of public administration experience to his work at Second Harvest, and has a passion for public service and building healthy communities.
Bob Norton, Past Board Chair
Bob Norton served on the Aptos Chamber Board for ten years and Above the Line for eight years. He has extensive management and organizational experience in nearly every aspect of the grocery industry and a strong desire to give back to the community. Bob is a part of the fabric of the food bank.
David is a PhD candidate in the Politics Department at UC Santa Cruz, where he teaches courses on American politics and public policy and researches issues related to local politics, urban neighborhoods, poverty, inequality, and political participation. He first collaborated with Second Harvest in 2019 as a researcher for the Blum Center and part of the team that created the Food Insecurity Index for Santa Cruz County. Prior to graduate school, David worked in theater and arts education in Chicago.
Paul A. Carlson
Paul joined Poly (previously named Plantronics) in Santa Cruz in October 2016 as Associate General Counsel and is responsible for a variety of legal areas and strategic initiatives. Before joining Poly, he was Deputy General Counsel at Seagate Technology where he led a team of lawyers and legal staff for Seagate’s cloud systems group. As a resident of Aptos and Santa Cruz County for the past 12 years, Paul is active in local organizations, including Second Harvest, where he is a member of the Finance Committee. Paul enjoys training for and participating in triathlons as a member of the Santa Cruz Triathlon Association in his free time.
City of Watsonville
Silvia has over 22 years of experience working for non-profits. Throughout her career, Silvia has worked in agencies that work to improve the quality of life of the residents in her community. She was the Finance Manager for the Legal Aid Society and the CFO for Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance and currently works as a Senior Financial Analyst with the City of Watsonville.
Silvia has served in many local organizations, including the Women’s Crisis Support, the Measure L Bond Oversight Committee, and the City of Watsonville Personnel Commission. She is honored to serve on the Board of Trustees of an organization that brings essential services to the community.
Kristin Fabos is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Cabrillo College, where she has led the marketing, communications, public relations, community relations, and government relations activities of the college since 2010. She has 25 years of management and marketing experience spanning both corporate and nonprofit sectors. Prior to Cabrillo, she was the Executive Director of SeniorNet, a national nonprofit technology educator of older adults. Locally, she is an active community volunteer who serves on the Boards of the Santa Cruz County Business Council and Leadership Santa Cruz County.
Joy has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 10 years, a native of the Monterey Bay Area, she is strong advocate for local non-profits, and loves working in a field that provides opportunities to give back to the community. Joy has served as Home & School Club President at Bradley School and has been a member of the Parent Advisory Board at Dominican Hospital. Joy found a passion for fundraising and helping her community so she is honored to serve on the Second Harvest Board of Trustees.
S. Martinelli & Company
Lyza Gianelli is the Company Store Manager at S. Martinelli & Company where she manages the Company Store & Tasting Room, community relations and charitable giving. She brings over 15 years of management experience and a passion to serve the local community. She has been a member of the Pajaro Valley Engagement Committee since its inception and has coordinated the Holiday Food and Fund Drive for Martinelli’s since 2015.
Bay Federal Credit Union
Cameron Haste is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of Bay Federal Credit Union, the largest locally owned financial institution in Santa Cruz County. Cameron supports a number of causes important to him, focusing on youth engagement, education, social services, and diversity and inclusion. He is an active member of the San Lorenzo Valley Rotary Club and has held many positions with non-profits throughout the region. Cameron is a board member of Hope Services and the Measure S Bond Oversight Committee. He has chosen to volunteer his time with Second Harvest to help alleviate food insecurity and hunger in our community. Cameron is honored to serve on the Board of Trustees of an organization that makes such a positive difference in Santa Cruz County.
When not at work or volunteering for the community, Cameron enjoys adventure travel and spending time with his husband and their two children.
Tracy MacKenna (Wood)
Tracy’s community and professional work is committed to new ideas that will broaden awareness and assist organizations through current and future development phases. She currently serves as Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors for Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center. She previously served as Chair of the Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women in Santa Cruz in addition to twenty years of community stewardship and Board leadership for local and regional nonprofit and advocacy organizations.
A local entrepreneur with a background in mergers and acquisitions, Laurie Negro is the founder and owner of several businesses, including Betty Burger and Gemma Shoes. Her involvement in the community includes serving as a youth mentor, supporting the development and expansion of local businesses, and volunteering with Second Harvest. Laurie is a native of Santa Cruz, where her family’s roots go back more than 100 years.
Cabrillo College/Pedersen Home Enhancement
As of 2019 Alexander Pedersen is a mechanical engineering student at cabrillo college who holds multiple roles on campus including, officer positions with cabrillo clubs, activities coordinator for the inter-clubs council and acting secretary for the student senate. Prior to this Alexander lived in Davis California where he founded Pedersen Home Enhancement handyman services, was a member on the board of directors for a local non-profit and attended Sacramento City College where he founded the institutions first robotics club. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Alexander plans to pursue his passion for public service by the utilization of engineering and technology to promote wellness and alleviate the burdens of disadvantaged communities.
Sun Valley Berries
Throughout her career, June Ponce has developed strong relationships with local businesses and non-profits. June leverages her vast experience and dedication to the Pajaro Valley to lead Second Harvest’s South County Engagement task force, and also serves on the Fund Development Committee. June is also on the boards of El Pajaro Community Development Corporation, United Business Agriculture and the Cabrillo College Foundation. June chairs the Pajaro Valley Engagement Committee.
My Mom’s Mole
Cesario Ruiz created My Mom’s Mole in 2013 as a retail product in specialty markets, the brand has since grown rapidly to incorporate catering, events, foodservice, and education into its business model.
Cesario currently manages a non-profit organization based in Watsonville, that offers no-cost technical assistance to local entrepreneurs developing their own food products and brands. He believes fundamentally that the best way to create stronger connections between people is to share anything you excel at- pay it forward.
- Bruce McPherson, Chair
- Jeremy Lezin, Vice Chair
- Jess Brown
- Rebecca Garcia
- Ken Kannappan
- Edward J. Kelly III
- John Laird
- Marq Lipton
- Gayle Ortiz
- William Ow
- Miles Reiter
- Manny Solano
- Mary Solari
- Steve Spragens