LEADERSHIP

Martin Bourque
Executive Director

Since 2000, Martin has led the Ecology Center, a community-based organization incorporated on Earth Day in 1970. Under Martin's leadership, the Ecology Center is leveraging local direct community service programs to have state and national impact. Martin has spearheaded innovative efforts such as creating a farmers' market industry group, pioneering electronic food stamp access and incentives at farmers' markets, and passing the nation's first Soda Tax. By linking local grassroots grit with highly competent program implementation, and increasingly effective policy advocacy, Martin has led the Ecology Center to become a high impact engine for change.

Martin's previous experience includes working as the Sustainable Agriculture Program Director for Food First, The Institute for Food and Development Policy where he helped build the international organic farming movement throughout the US, Caribbean, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Martin also edited Sustainable Agriculture and Resistance: Transforming Food Production in Cuba, a compilation of Cuban authors on organic farming, and co-founded Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) to reduce the worst pesticides in California through public education and regulatory reform.

Martin served as the National Director of Training for ALTERTEC Guatemala where he helped develop a Guatemalan non-profit from a small organization into a leading Central American force promoting farmer-led sustainable agriculture. Martin led Freirian-based curricula development, trained trainers, and organized Meso-American Campesino Congresses on Organic Farming, Permaculture, and Alternative Technologies. Additionally, Martin facilitated the development of a national Guatemalan organic certification program, MayaCert.

Martin has served on the Community Food and Justice Coalition Advisory Committee, The Grassroots Recycling Network Board and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board (StopWaste). Martin earned a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies and Environmental Policy from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior from UC San Diego.

Twitter: @MartinRBourque
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/martinbourque

OPERATIONS AND ADMINISTRATION

Daniel Vasquez
Interim Deputy Director
Daniel Vasquez
Interim Deputy Director
Daniel (he/him) joined the Ecology Center as Interim Deputy Director in May 2024. He brings to his role 16 years in nonprofit leadership and prior to that 11 years in the banking industry, with a focus on human resources, finance, and operations management throughout. A Bay Area native, he has served in nonprofit leadership roles including as the Executive Director of an Oakland-based youth development organization. We welcome his expertise and deep commitment to working for the betterment of our community and the ecosystems we rely on.
Jackie Yep
Administrative Services Manager
Jackie Yep
Administrative Services Manager
Jackie joined the Ecology Center in 2003 as a Financial Assistant and has steadily assumed increased responsibilities each year. Jackie manages payroll and benefits, and provides HR support to the Deputy Director and the Recycling Director, and all program staff. Previously, she worked in retail sales and management in settings ranging from small boutique shops to large department stores. Additionally, she is a very involved "scout mom" and school volunteer. Jackie attended City College of San Francisco.
Greg Morgan
Senior Accountant
Greg Morgan
Senior Accountant
Greg joined the Ecology Center in 2015 to help lead the accounting and finance programs. He earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from Chico State University and previously spent 4 years as a staff accountant at a milkshake company called f'real foods. Greg loves working for a team that is about sustaining a great environment which he loves to enjoy. In his free time he enjoys getting outside into nature, whether it's backpacking, snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, fishing or gardening.
Maia Sawi
Accounting Coordinator
Maia Sawi
Accounting Coordinator
Maia (she/her) joined the Ecology Center in 2023 as the Accounting Coordinator. As a lifelong Berkeley resident, she is happy to put her years of experience in non-profit finance to use for her community. When not working, she enjoys cooking, watching horror movies, and spending time with her cats.  

FOOD AND FARMING

Minni Forman
Food and Farming Program Director
Minni Forman
Food and Farming Program Director
Born a subsistence farmer in Belize, Central America, Minni Forman (she/her) has dedicated her career to the development and growth of resilient and equitable food systems. From co-founding an urban farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in Detroit, to implementing a trade model that directly connects smallholder indigenous cacao farmers in Belize to fine chocolate markets across the globe, her journey to affect food systems change continues at the Ecology Center. Minni has a master's degree in business administration (MBA) and considers herself a lifelong learner.
Rosio Almaguer Andrade
Food & Farming Program Manager
Rosio Almaguer Andrade
Food & Farming Program Manager
Rosio joined the Ecology Center in 2021. As the Food and Farming Program Manager, she supports and promotes the work of the California Alliance of Farmers Markets, as well as the Ecology Center's national work on nutrition incentive programs. Rosio comes to the Ecology Center after a decade of managing and developing youth and family support programs in the Bay Area and Central Coast. Rosio's values of social justice, community, healing, and growth are centered in her work. She looks forward to centering the stories and amplifying the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and people of color in our continued work to inspire and build a sustainable, healthy, and just future for the East Bay and beyond. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Barbara, where she studied Chicanx Studies and Education. She will receive her Permaculture Design Certificate Spring 2021.
Putri Kusdarman
Food and Farming Program Coordinator
Putri Kusdarman
Food and Farming Program Coordinator
Putri Kusdarman (she/her) is a Food and Farming Program Coordinator at the Ecology Center. In her role, she is inspired to work towards food justice and to create equitable access to healthy and delicious food for families across California. Putri holds a BIS in Elementary Education from Virginia Commonwealth University, with past experience teaching in Title I schools and working as the farm manager of a permaculture food forest on the North Shore of O’ahu, Hawai’i. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia before moving to the United States in late elementary school, she believes strongly in the importance of food culture to one’s sense of identity and rootedness, For Putri, "food is not only nourishment but a tether to our community and to the living planet beneath our feet."
Marikit Mayeno
Food and Farming Program Coordinator
Marikit Mayeno
Food and Farming Program Coordinator
Marikit (she/her) joined the Ecology Center in December 2023 as the Food and Farming Program Coordinator for the California Alliance of Farmers' Markets. She deeply values supporting small farms and regenerative agriculture, which fuels her passion for contributing to just food systems. Marikit holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Eugene Lang, The New School. Beyond her academic accomplishments at the New School, she created the Climate Justice Club and completed projects about decolonial, feminist, and Indigenous pathways to combat the climate crisis. Marikit returns to the Ecology Center after interning here in 2017, when she especially enjoyed educating the community about the health benefits of consuming water over sugary beverages at the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets.
Heidi Kleiner
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Manager
Heidi Kleiner
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Manager
Heidi joined the Ecology Center in 2019. She first worked in food access as an AmeriCorps VISTA in southwest Virginia before moving to California to serve two more AmeriCorps terms with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, after which she was hired on as CalFresh Outreach Coordinator and later as Agency Relations Coordinator. She has volunteered with the Edible Schoolyard and Food First and is excited to continue her food systems work as part of the Ecology Center's Farmers' Market Access and Equity team. She has a certificate in Nonprofit Management from CSU East Bay and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco. She has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia Tech and will complete a Masters in Public Health from San Francisco State in May 2020 where her research focuses on topics related to food justice and food sovereignty. In her free time, Heidi enjoys hiking, camping, and experimenting in the kitchen.
Frankie Wong
Farmers Market Access & Equity Program Coordinator
Frankie Wong
Farmers Market Access & Equity Program Coordinator
“Frankie” Felicia Wong joined the Ecology Center in 2022, continuing over a decade of work with nonprofits such as the Museum of Modern Art, The International Congress of Youth Voices, and the National Parks Service. Frankie is a San Francisco native and earned a BFA in photography from Parson’s School of Design and a BA in Psychology from Eugene Lang College. She remains dedicated to several mutual-aid projects that follow alternative living models rooted in food justice, ecological stewardship and #Landback. Frankie can be found rock climbing, petting a stranger’s dog, and working on her cabin and desert garden in the Eastern Sierra.
Lucy Asako Boltz
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Coordinator
Lucy Asako Boltz
Farmers' Market Access & Equity Program Coordinator
Lucy Asako Boltz joins the Ecology Center as a Farmers' Market Access and Equity Program Coordinator. She has experience in public humanities programming, grantmaking, farming, and community organizing for immigrant rights. She coordinates the Market Match program and works with the rest of the Farmers' Market Access and Equity team to make healthy food more accessible to low income communities across California and to build a stronger localized food system by connecting consumers to small and mid-sized farms. Lucy received a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz in fall of 2019. Previously she worked with California Humanities as a program staff member supporting state-wide grantmaking, public programming and evaluation. She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from Brown University and is interested in small-scale organic farming, food and seed sovereignty and all history talks at the Oakland Public Library/Oakland History Room.
Daniel McChesney-Young
Farmers' Market Program Manager
Daniel McChesney-Young
Farmers' Market Program Manager
Daniel joined the Ecology Center in 2021. As Farmers’ Market Program Manager, he supports the farmers’ market staff and vendors and serves as a liaison between the program and multiple governmental and non-governmental agencies. Born and raised in Berkeley he holds a BA in Geography from UC Berkeley. A veteran of the foodservice industry and pizza olympian Daniel has a deep passion for food, farming, and seeing people eat well. He volunteers with Slow Food East Bay and currently serves as their treasurer. Outside of his love of all things food-related he enjoys sewing, blacksmithing, and winemaking.
Loren Norman
Farmers' Market Manager
Loren Norman
Farmers' Market Manager
Loren joined the Ecology Center as a market manager in 2022 after several years of working for various farms as a marketeer and field worker. Hailing from rural Plumas County, Loren learned to appreciate community care as a necessary component of personal and public life. During the height of the pandemic, Loren helped their fellow farm workers to navigate workplace safety and access resources not provided to them by their employers, and worked with mutual aid groups to distribute donated produce to underserved Bay Area communities. Having had their hand in every stage of the farm to table movement – from field, to market, to table – Loren is committed to strengthening the diverse and complex networks of connection that sustain the people who constitute our local food systems. They have a BA in Philosophy from Mills College, and outside of work, they enjoy cats and doing odd jobs at their friends’ organic plant nursery.
Maximilio Cutler
Farmers' Market Manager
Maximilio Cutler
Farmers' Market Manager
Max joined the Ecology Center in March of 2021 as a Farmers' Market Program Associate. He is San Francisco born and Berkeley raised, he attended Berkeley High School, and graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in geography. He also works at the bilingual daycare/preschool BAHIA, located in Berkeley, as their grocery shopper and substitute cook. Dog dad, and cat dad, he enjoys spending time with his puppy somewhere green, at a lake/river/beach preferably.
Dayana Rivas
On-Call Farmers' Market Associate
Dayana Rivas
On-Call Farmers' Market Associate
Dayana began her journey at Ecology Center in 2020 as a Berkeley High School student. She has since graduated from Berkeley High as well as the Ecology Center's Youth Environmental Academy and currently attends Cal State East Bay studying Speech Language Pathology and Audiology as well as minoring in Human Development. During her time at Ecology Center she has sourced produce from BFM vendors to help run a weekly curbside CSA during the pandemic, worked as a Youth Program Assistant and is now a on-call Farmers Market Program Associate. Outside of the Farmers’ Market she runs her own small business with vegan, cruelty free cosmetics and body care as well as handmade apparel and custom drinkaware items.
Sam Long
Farmers' Market Coordinator
Sam Long
Farmers' Market Coordinator
Samy started at the Ecology Center as a Farmer's Market Associate in March 2022 after graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in Society and Environment, concentrating in sustainable agriculture. When not at the market, they enjoy listening to music, reading, rock climbing, and going to shows with friends.
Viviana Padilla
Farmers' Market Operations Manager
Viviana Padilla
Farmers' Market Operations Manager
Viviana began at the Ecology Center at the end of 2020 as an On-Call Program Associate before becoming a temporary Market Manager in March 2021. The descendant of Bracero Program farmworkers, and having worked on small farms both locally and abroad herself, she is deeply passionate about creating local food systems that are more compassionate, equitable, and inclusive. She is also an avid soil builder, and while pursuing her B.A. in Environmental Studies at Seattle University helped operate a commercial compost facility and further local community garden and permaculture projects. Outside the Ecology Center, you will probably find her working her way through Merritt College's Urban Agroecology Program, running, or rolling around in her garden's dirt.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Alex Roth-Dunn
Youth Development Program Manager
Alex Roth-Dunn
Youth Development Program Manager
Alex (He/Him) hails from Louisville, Kentucky and brings 6+ years of experience working with BIPOC and marginalized youth. As the Youth Development Program Manager, he primarily supports the youth programs through mentorship, professional development, and community building. From his time working at Vida Verde Nature Education and the Center for Agroecology at UC Santa Cruz, Alex has gained valuable skills not only to empower and educate youth but also to foster spaces of healing and emotional safety. Being a descendant of enslaved Black people from the South, he feels a strong and profound connection toward the land and Earth. Alex holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Juvenile Justice and feels deeply devoted to uplifting and guiding the next generation of changemakers. In his free time, you'll find Alex lifting weights, going on walks with his partner, eating gluten-free treats and identifying native Californian flora and fauna. #BlackLivesMatter #LandBack #TransLivesMatter

ZERO WASTE AND RECYCLING

Daniel Maher
Recycling Program Manager
Daniel Maher
Recycling Program Manager
On staff since 2005, Daniel leads the Ecology Center's Zero Waste and Recycling programs. Daniel oversees the Curbside Recycling Program that collects recycling from over 30,000 residences throughout Berkeley each week! Additionally, Daniel oversees customer service and manages general operations for the recycling program. Daniel works with Education and Engagement program to deliver high quality information to the public, and leads our efforts on Zero Waste legislative advocacy. Daniel brings over 15 years of experience in the resource recovery field. Daniel comes to the Ecology Center from Tri-CED, another recycling non-profit, where he worked as a sorter, driver, manager and broker. He is an expert in all aspects of the recycling process, ranging from customer education, waste reduction, collection, recovery, processing, and market development. Daniel also provides tours to engage both youth and the general public interested in learning about the benefits of source reduction and recycling.
Salvador Avalos
Curbside Recycling Driver
Salvador Avalos
Curbside Recycling Driver
Salvador has more than twenty years of experience working in the resource and recycling field. He came to the Ecology Center in 2005 after working for the Community Conservation Center for 14 years. Salvador enjoys going out five days a week to keep the recycling exchange moving and to serve the greater community.
Hahns Cook
Curbside Recycling Driver
Hahns Cook
Curbside Recycling Driver
Staff since 2007, Hahns came to the Ecology Center after working as a delivery driver for a meat distribution company. Hahns joined the Ecology Center for better pay and hours, but stayed for the camaraderie.
Ben Mah
Curbside Recycling Driver
Ben Mah
Curbside Recycling Driver
Ben joined the Ecology Center in 2001 after working as an airport transportation driver. Ben is committed to serving the residents of Berkeley and is grateful that his job has provided the financial means to send his children to college.
Miguel Navarro
Curbside Recycling Driver
Miguel Navarro
Curbside Recycling Driver
Miguel began working for the Ecology Center in 2007. He began his career in recycling after his work within the demolition industry ended due to economic decline. Miguel appreciates the stability that the Ecology Center provides.
Encarnacion Rivera
Curbside Recycling Driver
Encarnacion Rivera
Curbside Recycling Driver
Since 2007, Encarnacion has been a dedicated member of the recycling team. Five days a week he looks forward to reducing the amount of waste in Berkeley.
Reyes Sandoval
Curbside Recycling Driver
Reyes Sandoval
Curbside Recycling Driver
Reyes joined the Ecology Center in 2001 after working for Tomra Pacific. Reyes takes pride in contributing to preservation of the environment by moving Berkeley closer to Zero Waste.
Marco Silva
Curbside Recycling Driver
Marco Silva
Curbside Recycling Driver
Marco has worked in the Berkeley recycling community for the past 11 years. First at Berkeley Recycling Center and currently at the Ecology Center. When he's not working, he loves spending time with his family.
Ignacio Zulueta
Customer Service Representative
Ignacio Zulueta
Customer Service Representative
Staff since 2015, Ignacio supports the Ecology Center's Recycling Center help desk. Ignacio is passionate about sparking community dialogue and cultural interconnection. He brings several years of experience in education and environmental and personal resiliency within the nonprofit arena. In addition to his work with the Ecology Center, Ignacio works with the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland and serves as a teen playwriting teacher at the Eugene O'Neill Foundation, a resident playwright at PlayGroundSF, and an associate artist at AlterTheater.

EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT

Pilar Zuniga
Community Engagement Program Director
Pilar Zuniga
Community Engagement Program Director
A California native with an amalgamation of Indigenous bloodlines through the Western United States and Mexico, Pilar Zuniga (she/her/they/them) is a self-proclaimed problem solver with an ever-expanding tool chest. Her wealth of experience includes public health roots in Contra Costa County, a good amount of education and reproductive justice work at Planned Parenthood, community organizing, youth development, and a proprietorship of sustainable and eco-friendly boutiques in Berkeley. Pilar is delighted to bring her experience and leadership to the Ecology Center, where she will put to good use her entire working tool chest.
Jessica Mitchell
Education & Engagement Program Manager
Jessica Mitchell
Education & Engagement Program Manager
Jessica joined the Ecology Center in 2021. As Education and Engagement Program Coordinator, she supports with our Help Desk, BASIL seed library, and other educational programming. Prior to coming to the Ecology Center, Jessica spent time working with non-profits in fields ranging from renewable energy and workforce development to legal aid. She holds a bachelor's degree in urban and environmental policy from Occidental College. Outside of work, she likes growing veggies and making textile arts.   
McNeilly Fieweger
Education & Engagement Program Coordinator
McNeilly Fieweger
Education & Engagement Program Coordinator
McNeilly is the Education and Engagement Program Coordinator at the Ecology Center. McNeilly joined the Ecology Center team in 2022 where they support the Helpdesk, BASIL Seed library, EcoCenter’s Blog, and Ecology Center events. McNeilly aspires to help others cultivate relationships between themselves, their environment and their community. Prior to working at the Ecology Center, McNeilly worked in zero waste facilitation through event greening, waste auditing, and waste characterization studies, while achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from Willamette University. In her free time, McNeilly loves riding around all the many bike trails in the East Bay, and cooking for friends and neighbors.
Claudia Morales-Barrera
EcoStore Program Associate
Claudia Morales-Barrera
EcoStore Program Associate
Claudia (they/them) joined the Ecology Center in June 2023. Claudia grew up working in California's agricultural fields. Their experiences in industrial agriculture deeply informed their desire to foster food and land sovereignty as a way to heal from exploitative food systems. Prior to working at the Ecology Center, Claudia worked as a Lead Herbalist and managed the production/retail logistics for a local apothecary. Claudia has extensive experience leading food education programs, including stewarding an urban gardening space for UC Berkeley’s Multicultural Community Center. Claudia holds degrees in Geography and Society & Environment from UC Berkeley. In their free time, they enjoy crafting herbal medicine, gardening, and hosting dinner parties.

DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Cynthia Murdough
Events Program Coordinator
Cynthia Murdough
Events Program Coordinator
Cynthia has over 25 years of experience in mission focused non-profit environments. Her career began as the owner of one of the first independent coffee houses in Contra Costa County in 1980. During that time, she partnered with a local non-profit to hire people with severe intellectual disabilities and continued to become a strong advocate for this population. She was the founder of a performing non-profit dance company comprised of both intellectually and physically challenged and professional dancers. She has worked in non-profit development and event planning for Special Olympics and Diablo Light Opera Company. More recently, she was the CEO of the Martinez Chamber of Commerce, which is where she has lived for over 40 year. Working as the Events Coordinator for the Ecology Center has brought to her a great passion and respect for the environment and our planet. In her spare time she writes, backpacks, bikes and takes voice lessons.
Sachiko Omo Hanks
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Sachiko Omo Hanks
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Sachiko Omo Hanks (she/her) joined the Ecology Center in 2019 as the marketing and communications coordinator.