Bea Cardenas Duncan, Acting Co-Chair, served as Co-Chair of the Coalition from 2012-2015. Bea immigrated to the US at the age of fifteen where she has worked with community organizations, nonprofits, and local and state governments for over 30 years. An active retiree, she serves as a Legislative Ambassador for the American Cancer Society. Bea leads the Equity Action Team (EAT).
Shelley Dyer joined the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation in 2017 as the Program Supervisor of the Healthy Corner Store Coalition. She is responsible for utilizing community input to increase access to healthy food, the process of converting corner stores to healthy food retailers, and managing relationships with the many community partners that support the Coalition. This program exists in the Tenderloin, Bayview Hunters Point, and Oceanview communities. Shelley is also a home cook and yoga instructor. She graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology, and received an M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University. She studied yoga at Yogendra Ecoashram in Cali, Colombia. Shelley serves on the Sugary Drinks Distributor Tax Advisory Committee in the Food Security Seat.
Saeeda Hafiz, Co-chair, is the Wellness Policy Project Manager at the San Francisco Unified School District. For the past 14 years, she has been facilitating and teaching basic holistic wellness classes to staff, teachers and kids. Since 1990, Saeeda has been experiencing the power of her yoga practice and the benefits of eating a whole food diet. Saeeda is the author of an award-winning book, The Healing: One Woman’s Journey from Poverty to Inner Riches. Saeeda graduated from Temple University with a degree in Business and Management Information Systems. She studied at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers and Ashrams, and Natural Gourmet in NYC.
Jim Illig is the Bay Area Community Benefit Manager for Kaiser Permanente, responsible for investments to improve community health, including programs and services that promote healthy eating and active living (HEAL). Jim is former President of the SF Health Commission, Board Chair of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Government Relations Director for Project Open Hand, and Executive Director of Baker Places then Continuum HIV Day Services.
Ave Lambert is the Director of Education at the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). Ave drives the educational strategy of CUESA connecting the growing, cooking, and eating of food, and the implications for social justice and sustainability therein. Ave believes food can change the world. A member of the SF Food Security Task Force making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and Mayor to end hunger in SF, they champion food justice. Formerly at Farming Hope, Ave worked with folks experiencing homelessness and/or incarceration through a food systems curriculum to get jobs and economic sovereignty. They are a chef and a farmer, and their folks make olive oil in the Capay Valley. Their favorite edible plants are kohlrabi, turmeric, and avocados.
Jennifer Navarro-Marroquin is a Co-founder of Community Well, established in 2015. Community Well is a Holistic Wellness Center located in the heart of the Excelsior District of San Francisco. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience as a business owner and is an advocate for business ownership. She currently has a Prosperity Coaching business and Financial Services business and also proudly sits on the board of Entrepinays, which uplifts FilAm Women Business Owners, and on the Loan Committee for NorCAL FDC, which focuses on assisting business with financing in underserved communities.
Sarah Nelson is the Executive Director of 18 Reasons and has worked on food-related projects in the Bay Area since 2008. She launched the Bay Area’s first Market Match, which gives farmers’ market customers who use food stamps extra funds to spend at the market, and a Veggie Rx program that helped diabetes patients increase their produce consumption while measuring positive health outcomes. In 2011, she founded the nonprofit Three Squares, which merged with 18 Reasons in 2013. Sarah co-leads the Capacity Building Action Team (CBAT).
Rita Nguyen, MD is an Assistant Health Officer for the San Francisco Department of Public Health Population Health Division and serves as the Chronic Disease Physician Specialist. In this role, she supports and provides thought leadership to chronic disease prevention efforts for the City and County of San Francisco. This includes supporting community-based initiatives, working collaboratively with health systems to advance population health, and informing efforts that promote policy, systems, and environmental changes that support health. She is a practicing hospitalist at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital and an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF.
Tom Radulovich joined Transportation for a Livable City as executive director in June 2004. He played an important role in voter initiatives to create the Octavia Boulevard and to create a “Grand Central Station” at San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal that connects regional and intercity rail and bus lines. Tom has served as an elected director of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District since 1996, where he has advocated for reinvestment and renovation of the BART system, and improving BART practices in the areas of sustainability, accessibility, customer service, architecture and urban design, and the creation of transit villages at BART stations. Tom co-leads the Policy, Systems and Environments Action Team (PSEAT).
Emily Turpin is the Director of Health Initiatives for the YMCA of San Francisco. With an undergraduate degree in Exercise Physiology, Emily holds a particular interest in obesity prevention and intervention and manages the Y’s evidence-based health interventions, including the Diabetes Prevention Program. She works with community and health care partners to ensure SF residents receive a continuum of care between the doctor’s office and where they live, work and play. In 2019, she received Master’s in Organization Development and in her free time likes to camp, hike and kayak.
Roberto Vargas, MPH, is Associate Director for the Community Engagement and Health Policy Program of the Clinical Translational Science Institute at UCSF, working to leverage UCSF’s research resources toward health equity, primarily by building multi-sector partnerships between UCSF and local public and community-based health systems and organizations.
Shane Valentine is the Corporate & Community Impact Director for the American Heart Association. Shane works with school districts across the Bay Area, including SFUSD, to address the social determinants of health to improve health outcomes for youth, especially those in underrepresented communities. Shane has created programs like the Youth Health Equity Council and Women’s Health Tech Forum which are designed to engage youth in issues of inequity, health disparities and give them the training to move towards PSE changes. Shane also is the author of the Baby Cuisine Cookbook. Shane co-leads the Capacity Building Action Team (CBAT).
Lizzie Velten, MPH, is the Senior Director Community Impact, Policy, for the American Heart Association, Greater Bay Area division. She has a BA from Pomona College and a Master of Public Health from U.C. Berkeley with a specialty in Nutrition. In her public health policy career, she has expertise in coalition building, media advocacy, lobbying and strategic research. Lizzie has advocated for state-level soda taxes, healthy vending standards, sugar-sweetened beverage warning labels, and funding for prediabetes interventions. On the local policy front, she has worked on soda tax implementation, healthy default drinks in kids’ meals, and tobacco control. Lizzie co-leads the Policy, Systems and Environments Action Team (PSEAT).
DPH Subject Matter Experts
Patricia Erwin, MPH is Deputy Director for the Community Health Equity & Promotion Brach of the San Francisco Department of Public Health where she leads a team of professional public health staff who plan, implement and evaluate various community-based health education programs, and provides technical expertise on health education and prevention to colleagues and community-based agency partners. Patricia has an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in International Studies from The School for International Training.
Ana Validzic, MPH has worked for the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 2002. She currently works for the Tobacco Free Project (TFP), managing TFP’s logistics, evaluations, assessments, and financial reporting. In the past, she has also managed several active transportation and traffic safety programs. She received her Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Julie Wong, MPH, MSW is a San Francisco native and works for the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). She oversees program evaluation for Safe Routes to School and coordinates various educational and encouragement activities focused on safe, sustainable and active transportation. Julie also participates on the Vision Zero Task Force with other City agencies and community based organizations. Prior to joining SFDPH, she worked on developing wellness programs with a focus on healthy eating and active living. Julie received her Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.