Board of Directors | Civil Eats

Board of Directors

Civil Eats’ board of directors is made up of highly regarded individuals focused strategically on media, philanthropy, investment, and food issues.

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz

Emilio Garcia-Ruiz is the editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle. Until recently, he was the managing editor of the Washington Post, where he oversaw the newsroom’s development, implementation, and execution of digital strategy. He previously served as the editor for strategic projects, local editor, and sports editor of the Washington Post.

He was the sports editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he directed the newspaper’s Pulitzer prize-winning investigative pieces uncovering academic fraud in the University of Minnesota men’s basketball program. The series of stories won reporter George Dohrmann the 2000 Pulitzer for beat reporting.

Garcia-Ruiz has also been an assistant sports editor and copy editor at the Los Angeles Times, an assistant sports editor at the Orange County Register, an assignment editor and copy editor at The Post and a sports editor/reporter at the Prince George’s Journal in Lanham, Md. His career began at the University of Maryland’s Diamondback, where he worked from 1982-84, starting out by covering intramural fraternity football games.

Sam Mogannam

Sam Mogannam is the second-generation owner of the Bi-Rite Family of
Businesses
, a values-driven B Corporation, whose mission is Creating
Community through Food. Under his direction, Bi-Rite has grown to
include two neighborhood markets (with a 3 rd slated to open Summer of
2024), a creamery, a catering division and 18 Reasons, a nonprofit
cooking school dedicated to empowering the community with the knowledge
and creativity they need to buy, cook and eat good food every day. He’s
also the co-author of Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping,
Cooking and Creating Community Through Food
, part cookbook and part
instruction manual, to inspire a broader audience about the value of
creating community and eating Good Food. In addition to being inducted
into the Specialty Food Association’s Hall of Fame, Sam was named one of
Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and selected to be on
Forbes list of Small Giants.

Esther Park

Esther Park is the CEO of Cienega Capital, a regenerative investment firm utilizing an integrated capital approach to systemic change in the areas of soil health, regenerative agriculture, and local food systems. She has 20 years of experience in mission-based financial services ranging from microfinance to risk capital investments, in partnership with financial institutions, family offices, foundations, and investment advisors.

She served as the Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at RSF Social Finance, and oversaw all lending activity from 2007-2011, which resulted in a tripling of the loan portfolio, and the development of a mezzanine debt fund. Prior to joining RSF, Esther was a senior consultant for ShoreBank Advisory Services, where she provided strategic and capital planning advice for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), particularly small business and affordable-housing loan funds.

Tracie Powell

Tracie Powell is a leader in philanthropic efforts to increase racial equity and diversity in news media. She is the founder of The Pivot Fund, which seeks to support independent BIPOC community news.

Powell was a Fall 2021 Shorenstein Center Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, where she researched mechanisms for funding and capacity building for media outlets run by and for BIPOCTM (Black, Indigenous, other people of color, and traditionally marginalized) communities. Powell is the immediate past board chair of LION Publishers, a professional journalism association for independent news publishers where she had served on the board since 2017.

Prior to her work with The Pivot Fund and Harvard, Powell was founding fund manager of the Racial Equity in Journalism (REJ) Fund at Borealis Philanthropy. Powell is also the founder of AllDigitocracy.org, which focuses on the media and its impact on diverse communities. She was a senior fellow with the Democracy Fund, where she worked on the Public Square Initiative that seeks to support informed dialogue through nonprofit journalism investments. Powell was a 2016 JSK (Knight) Fellow at Stanford University and has written regularly for the Columbia Journalism Review and Poynter Online.

Will Rosenzweig

Will Rosenzweig is faculty director of the Sustainable Food Initiative at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and leads the school’s Edible Education 101 and Food Innovation Studio courses. He recently retired as managing partner of Physic Ventures, the first venture capital firm dedicated to investing in health, well-being and sustainable living.

Over the past 30 years, he has been involved in leading and growing more than 30 entrepreneurial ventures. 2020 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Republic of Tea, where Will was founding CEO and Minister of Progress. Will has served on the faculty at the Haas School at UC Berkeley for 20 years and was the founding dean of the Food Business School at the Culinary Institute of America.

In 2010, Will was honored with the Oslo Business for Peace Award, “the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding accomplishments in the area of ethical business.” Will also serves on the boards of Enso Village, The Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, and Wholesome Crave.

Christine Schantz

Christine Schantz is a consultant, advisor, and philanthropist. She is an executive producer of Sanjay Rawal’s 2020 documentary Gather, celebrating the Indigenous food sovereignty movement; an executive advisor to Mind the Gap, the California Film Institute’s gender equity initiative; an investor in several women-owned food businesses; and an honorary host of the Athena Film Festival.

She was the managing director of the San Francisco-based Good Food Awards, acted as the Northern California regional governor for Slow Food USA, and is the daughter of an apple farmer in eastern Pennsylvania.

Naomi Starkman

Naomi Starkman is the founder and the editor-in-chief of Civil Eats. She was a 2016 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Naomi co-founded the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) and has worked as a media consultant to Consumer Reports, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, and WIRED magazines. After graduating from law school, she served as the deputy executive director of the City of San Francisco’s Ethics Commission. Naomi is an avid organic gardener, having worked on several farms.