Abound Food Care Advisory Board

Abound Food Care is fortunate to have an Advisory Board comprised of respected, accomplished, and committed professionals from a variety of public, private, and nonprofit organizations.  
Our Advisory Board works to strategically plan and guide the vision for Abound, steering our communities to achieve our collective mission: To create regional solutions to a national problem, thereby strengthening our communities. More specifically, the Advisory Board is responsible for:

  • Developing the strategic plan and growth strategy – scaling Abound’s model of food care to communities around the world.
  • Advising on new program development, including understanding gaps in our food supply chain and designing creative solutions to fill these gaps.
  • Lending their unique talents, experience, and expertise to cultivate the relationships needed to create solutions that lead to positive and impactful change in our communities.

Dr. Ata (Al) Baroudi, Vice President, Food Safety & QA, The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

Dr. Ata (Al) Baroudi joined The Cheesecake Factory in 2008 with broad experience in the food industry as a quality assurance executive. He is an agricultural engineer with an MS degree in Food Science and Technology / Microbiology from the University of California at Davis, CA. He received his Ph.D. in Food Processing and Technology / Regulatory Affairs from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. Dr. Baroudi served as the head of QA and Food Safety (Snacks and Dairy) for Borden Foods Company in Columbus, OH, before moving to the west coast as Vice President, Corporate QA/Food Safety and Regulatory/Environmental Affairs for the Vons/Safeway Supermarkets in Arcadia, CA. Dr. Baroudi then served as Vice President of QA and Technical Services, Harry & David Corporation, Medford, OR., before becoming the Chief Scientific, Health, and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Yum! Brands in Louisville, KY. He later founded and served as President of the Food Safety Institute, International (FSI). Dr. Baroudi has lectured around the globe in conferences as a keynote speaker, conducted workshops on Food Safety, introduced HACCP program to developing countries on behalf of the U.S. government, published White Papers on HACCP, and authored many food safety articles in food magazines.

Brett Berglund, President, Sysco Los Angeles

Brett Berglund’s positive spirit and drive set in motion a 30-year career founded in the customer-facing world of hospitality, sales, distribution, and marketing. His leadership has roots beginning as a young culinarian prior to embarking on his extensive career with Sysco Corporation. His diverse, multi-channel wholesale, contract, retail, and food service backgrounds have helped him lead several Sysco companies through business transformations, acquisitions, and expansions. As President of Sysco Los Angeles, Brett oversees over a billion dollars of top line sales and has achieved double-digit sales growth during his tenure. Brett lives in Brea, California, with his wife Meaghan and has twin daughters attending college in Northern California. He currently serves on the boards and advisory committees of California Restaurant Association Foundation and the CSU Hospitality and Tourism Alliance.

Reverend James Anthony Boger

Since becoming a minister in 1981, Rev. Boger has served numerous churches throughout Southern California, and presently serves as the Senior Pastor of the Surf City United Methodist Church in Huntington Beach, California. He is a strong social activist and community organizer who is active as an Executive Board Member of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, the 100 Black Men of Orange County, and the Building & Locations Committee for the United Methodist Church. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Introduction to Christian Ethics, World Religions, and Survey to Christianity and Philosophy. Rev. Boger is a strong advocate for the homeless and at-risk families who are affected by addiction and mental illness.

Joe Bonafede, Principal, Fieldsource

Joe has spent his entire career in the food service and hospitality industry. He started JoJo’s Pizza Kitchen in 1989 at age 23 and grew the concept to locations in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. In 2011, he assisted his wife in launching Fieldsource Food Systems, Inc., which operates a USDA facility as a food service distribution and processing company focusing on proteins. Joe is active in his church – Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach – currently serving as Chairman of the Finance Council. He was also the former President of the Parish Pastoral Council.

Dr. Jason Cord, M.D., Chief of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Orange County Regional Chair for Breast Imaging

SCPMG Government Relations Leadership Team, Orange County Board of Directors & President-elect, Orange County Medical Association

Dr. Jason Cord is a radiologist with a practice emphasis on breast imaging at the Kaiser Permanente Anaheim and Irvine Medical Centers in Orange County. He began his imaging career as the Chief of the Department of Radiology at Naval Hospital Lemoore. His career advanced with his appointment by the U.S. Navy Surgeon General’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery to chair Naval Medicine’s imaging segment of the Breast Health Care Initiative, where he oversaw the activities of 35 worldwide multidisciplinary breast imaging centers. Dr. Cord currently serves as the regional physician lead for breast imaging and Chief of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology for KP Orange County. He is also on the board of directors for the Orange County Medical Association, where he co-chairs the physicians of excellence program, and is the president-elect.

Manuel Gonzalez, Director of Business Development, Gonzalez’ Northgate Markets

Manuel is the Director of Business Development for Gonzalez’ Northgate Markets. The Gonzalez family is recognized throughout Southern California as an example of the American dream, having built a dynamic and highly successful supermarket chain from their humble beginnings that started in a single location in Anaheim. Over the years, Northgate Markets has become synonymous with quality, value, and community support. Manuel is an MBA graduate of the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University. In his current role, he has developed a prepared foods program that is considered an industry standard.

Eric G. Handler, M.D., M.P.H., Abound Food Care Co-Founder

Dr. Handler became a Health Officer for the County of Orange in August 2006. Previously, he served as the Deputy Secretary for Children’s Medical Services in the Florida Department of Health (1996-2000), and Chief Medical Officer for the Florida Department of Children and Families (2000-2003). He was also the Chief Medical Officer for the Boston Regional Office for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2004-2006. During his career, Dr. Handler has held several academic appointments, including as an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Handler received his Medical Degree from Chicago Medical School and completed his Pediatrics training at L.A. County-U.S.C Hospital, with a Masters in Public Health from UCLA. He also completed a pediatric rehabilitation fellowship at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital.

Frank Hathaway, Abound Food Care Board Chair

Frank is a supply chain management executive with over 30 years of accomplishments, focusing on consumer products and biotech. Key competencies include: strategic planning, service orientation, cost/productivity focus, global operations, world-class orientation, team building, and change management. He served as the Vice President Supply Chain/ Logistics for major divisions of several Fortune 50 companies, including Nestle, Unilever, Avery Dennison, and ConAgra. During those 15 years, Frank developed and implemented the supply chain strategies and budgets, including acquisition integration, ERP (enterprise resource planning), and other technology implementation. His peers honored him with the distinction of the Presidency of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (the preeminent global supply chain professional association).

Scott Kleckner, Retail and Restaurant Director, BELCAMPO

Throughout his career, Scott Kleckner has mastered the art of feeding people, whether it’s 150,000 fans at the Kentucky Derby or a board of directors at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Through his work with industry giants like Patina Group, Aramark, Levy Restaurants, Intercontinental Hotels, and now the Disruptive Restaurant Group, Scott has built an impressive reputation as the epitome of excellence and innovation in food service. Scott has brought that same passion and precision to Food Waste Reduction as a means of ending hunger.  

Dennis Kuhl, Chairman, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Dennis Kuhl will enter his 18th season with the Angels in 2021 after joining the club on November 10, 2003. He was initially appointed as the Angels’ seventh President before a promotion to Chairman on November 14, 2009. He also oversees the Angels’ flagship radio station KLAA AM830.

Dennis is actively involved in several Southern California charities. He serves as president of the “Light the Night” event which supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and is a founding board member of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation/Lott Trophy. He also works with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, serving as one of the “Pink Tie Guys,” a select group of advocates speaking out to find a cure for breast cancer. In addition to his advisory board work with Abound Food Care, Dennis serves on the advisory boards of South County Outreach, Anaheim YMCA, Rivals For The Cure, Irvine Public School Foundation, and the Angels Baseball Foundation Board of Directors.

Mike Learakos, Executive Director

Mike is a food service professional with over 30 years of industry experience. In addition to his role as the President & co-founder of TJM, Inc. — a broad-spectrum food service company formed in 1993 which operates Katella Grill & Catering in Orange, CA — Mike has a long history as a sales and marketing manager representing food service manufacturers, processors, facility designers, and distributors. 

In 2014, Mike volunteered to head the Abound Pilot Program, and became the full-time Executive Director of Abound in September of 2016. In this role, Mike directs this public/private effort to end hunger and reduce food waste by working with healthcare providers, the food service industry, municipalities, and waste haulers. Together, they identify and assist people suffering from food insecurity, and recover excess edible food destined for landfills and direct it to area food pantries serving those in need.

Mark Lowry, Director, OC Food Bank

A Co-Founder of Abound Food Care, Mark is director of the OC Food Bank. During his tenure, the quantity of food distributed by the Food Bank has grown from two million pounds per year to over 21 million pounds annually. Over 150,000 vulnerable people now receive food from the OC Food Bank each month. As an advocate, Mark works closely with elected officials on the local, state, and federal levels on issues related to social and economic justice. He works specifically on agriculture and tax policy and improving access to federal nutrition programs.

Mark has served on the Board of Directors and as an officer of several local, state wide and national groups, including having served as President of the California Association of Food Banks. Under his leadership, the Food Bank has twice received the annual Hunger Fighter Award from the California Hunger Action Coalition. In 2015, Mark was named by the Orange County Register as one of Orange County’s 100 Most Influential People. In 2016, he was honored by CLUE with the Architects of Justice, Building a Just and Sacred Society Award, and received the Sister Regina Fox Quiet Achiever Award from the Orange County Funders Roundtable.

Tania Ragland, Recycling Representative, Republic Services

Tania Ragland is a Recycling Representative at Republic Services, specializing in developing organic waste diversion programs and food recovery partnerships in Los Angeles County. Her work with partner food recovery agencies has resulted in over 1 million pounds of food being redistributed to local families in need rather than going to landfills. Tania received national recognition as an up-and-coming innovative leader by Waste 360’s 40 Under 40 2019 Awards. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, Business and Sustainability from ASU, and a certificate of Recycling and Resource Management from Santa Monica College. She speaks fluent Spanish and has been with Republic Services for 5 years.

Larry A. Sallinger

Larry is a retiree at California United Bank. In addition to founding and serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Community BanCorp, Larry has served as an Executive Vice President of Grandpoint Bank and Senior Vice President of Orange National Bank, in a banking career that spanned over 50 years. He has been actively involved in a number of professional, civic, and nonprofit organizations, including the City of Orange Investment Advisory Board, City of Orange Public Library Foundation, Orange Senior Center, Orange Chamber of Commerce Accreditation Committee, Orange Housing Development Corporation, Orange Rotary Club, and California Independent Bankers.

Jeff Snow, West Coast Sales Manager, Rehrig Pacific Company

Previously to his role at Rehrig Pacific Company, Jeff was the President of Rainbow Environmental Services; the Municipal Services Director for Republic Services; and Vice President of CR&R Environmental Services. He is a recognized environmental thought leader and is noted for his leadership in corporate social responsibility. His recent honors include Huntington Beach Businessperson of the Year 2015/2016 and the coveted Peacemaker Award from Interfaith Council. Jeff also became a Guinness World Record holder in 2015.

Jeff is passionate about his company’s pursuit of the triple bottom line – embracing People, Planet and Performance equally – resulting in a better world for all stakeholders. Jeff also enjoys helping to shape the ethics and values of future leaders as an Adjunct Professor in the Business Administration Leadership School of Concordia University and at Santa Monica College.

Alexandra Yates, Program Coordinator, Orange Coast College Foodservice Management Program

For over 15 years, Alexandra has traveled many paths in the industry that have always led her back to her community. She has opened and operated several award-winning Orange County restaurants, and currently is the Program Coordinator and full-time Food Service Management faculty member at Orange Coast College. She owns a sustainable foods catering company as well. Alexandra has a degree from The Culinary Institute of America, and a BS and MS in Hospitality Management. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Hospitality Management with an emphasis in sustainability from Iowa State University.