Board of Directors
Crista Gibbons, President
Crista is a committed non-profit marketing professional, Columbia Heights resident, and mother of two. She has been a board member since July 2011, and has served as President since January 2012. She adopted Washington as her home after college, and she and her husband have lived in Columbia Heights since 2006. She is an undergraduate alumnus of Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in Business and Economics. In 2004 she earned her MBA from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is passionate about utilizing her non-profit marketing experience and business acumen to expand the market’s role as an economic equalizer when it comes to accessing fresh, healthy, and flavorful food.
Luis Padilla, Vice President
Luis is a local family physician and the senior health policy advisor for Unity Health Care, Inc., a DC based federally qualified health center network. He has lived in Columbia Heights since 2004 where he and his wife are raising their two young children. A committed advocate for the underserved he is passionate about addressing the health needs of the community and its social determinants, including access to quality food, that impact our community’s well-being. He received his B.A. in philosophy and B.S. in biology from the University of California at Irvine in 1994. He earned his medical degree from Wake Forest School of Medicine in 2001 and completed his family medicine residency at Brown University in 2004.
Marc Nielsen, Secretary
Marc Nielsen started out as an early morning volunteer at the Marketplace and a garden educator with CHCM’s Youth Gardening Program. He is a certified Master Gardener and enjoys digging, planting, and weeding in many gardens around Columbia Heights. A baker by hobby, he believes fresh ingredients from the Marketplace make the best baked goods. He has a B.A. from Brigham Young University and a J.D. from the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law.
Wayne Lin, Treasurer
Wayne Lin moved to Columbia Heights in 2010. He enjoys the diversity of farmers markets and community gardens in the neighborhood and is interested in bringing sustainably grown food to more people. Wayne is a Product Management Director at Opower, a clean technology firm that helps people reduce their energy use. He formerly worked at Google in product management and product marketing and started his career in management consulting. Wayne also founded ecoLightbulbs, which sold 14,000 CFLs that removed 8MM lbs. of CO2 from the atmosphere. He received his MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania and his BA in economics and applied mathematics from Northwestern University.
Kelly Chavez, Board Member
Kelly’s involvement with the Marketplace stemmed from her love of food and the power it has to unite people of diverse cultures. She started as a volunteer at the market and has joined the board to get more involved with the local community and bringing healthy food to the city residents. In 2004, Kelly moved to Washington, DC from Texas and has resided in the Columbia Heights area for the last 3 years. She is currently a Manager of Financial Planning at Amideast, an international non-profit engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. Kelly has a B.B.A in Finance from the University of Texas Austin and an MBA from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. She loves all types of food, particularly the cuisine of Mexico.
Tom Lalley, Board Member
Born and raised in DC, Tom has been a Columbia Heights resident since 2001. His interest in local food stems from more than 20 years of work on environmental issues, first as a reporter and then with environmenal nonprofits. He now works on tobacco-control issues but remains committed to supporting local farmers and his community.
Jessica Luna, Board Member
Jessica’s passion is increasing access and affordability for good food to everyone, and she is thrilled to be a part of CHCM’s effort to make this a reality in the community. She is currently a Program Associate at D.C. Hunger Solutions, where she works on SNAP/food stamp policy and outreach in D.C. Her previous work with SNAP includes outreach for the Asheville City Market in her hometown of Asheville, NC, and expanding SNAP outreach capacity at the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose, CA. In the sustainable agriculture realm, Jessica has worked for both the National Family Farm Coalition and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. She loves all manner of fruits and vegetables, especially greens.
Cameron McGuire, Board Member
Cameron relocated from Indiana to Washington in 2011 to join the staff at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian where he directs the fundraising, membership and communications programs. The Marketplace was a key driver for his choosing to live in Columbia Heights because of its locally sourced foods (provided by amazing vendors), the participation of the local businesses community and the Festibucks program which all combine to create a gathering place where residents become neighbors. He is particularly interested in helping ensure the financial sustainability of this community asset–ask him what you can do to help. When not working, Cameron spends time visiting his two adult daughters and cheering on his alma mater’s basketball team. Go Butler University Bulldogs!
Katie Parrish, Board Member
Katie is originally from Florida’s southern Gulf Coast and a new resident of Columbia Heights. She graduated from University of Central Florida with a degree in political science. Katie works as a campaign organizer for an international ocean conservation group based in Washington DC. Her interest in local food comes from her work on environmental issues affecting Florida’s Everglades including climate change, energy, and water pollution. In her spare time, Katie enjoys bicycling, reading, cooking and planning outdoor adventures.
Jeffrey Stottlemyer, Board Member
Jeff started volunteering with the market soon after moving to Columbia Heights in 2012 and believes that one of the best ways to build community is by integrating sustainable agriculture with the local economy. With a background in environmental consulting and green business, he also spent a season living and working on a production organic farm in Marin County, California. He loves plants, trees, being outside, baking bread, and reading books. A DC native, Jeff is a graduate of James Madison University and the London School of Economics.
When Pickett isn’t growing tomatoes, peas and cucumbers in his garden he’s busy planting seeds that grow community. Pickett has worked with several community based not-for-profit organizations to grow new businesses, innovative programs, active citizens, and social investment. The fruits of his labor include the creation of a cooperatively owned coffee shop, transformation of a vacant storefront into a thriving community art studio, creation of a neighborhood operated employment resource center and development of a stronger network of community gardens. Pickett and his family are recent transplants to the Washington, DC area from Cincinnati, OH. He is excited to be a part of the leadership team for the Columbia Heights Community Marketplace and looks forward to growing our social impact.
Josh Levine, Market Manager
Josh moved to DC from Tallahassee, Florida in 2008 and has lived in Columbia Heights since 2010. His passion for local food, belief in the importance of sustainable and regional food economies, and interest in becoming directly involved with the health and vibrancy of his neighborhood and its residents led him to join the Community Marketplace in 2011 first as volunteer manager. In May 2012, he joined the staff as Market Manager.
Prior to joining the market, he worked in education and community health as an HIV educator and ran a literacy intervention program at a local charter elementary school. An ardent traveler, Josh has made his way through Europe three times and recently returned from a four-month trip through South America, where he learned rock climbing, sampled many wines, and developed a strong fear of bedbugs.
Josh holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Florida State University. He’s a huge Seminole fan, loves peaches, arugula, and collards, and loves hiking in the mountains, playing soccer and golf, and cooking.