Sara brings 25 years’ experience as an organizational leader in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining Sound Food Uprising, Sara was President and CEO of the Alliance for Education from 2010 to 2016. In this role, she reported to a 30-member Board of Directors and managed a 15-member staff and $5 million annual budget. Bringing together the charitable resources of Seattle’s business and philanthropic community to support more than 53,000 students in Seattle’s public schools, Sara stewarded the organization as an independent voice and external catalyst for change in urban public education.
Sara began her career as a communications aide in the White House during the Clinton Administration and subsequently held leadership positions in the public and private sectors, including Group Marketing Manager at Amazon.com; Director of Marketing at OVP Venture Partners; Executive Director of TechNet Northwest; and Executive Staff Director to the Superintendent’s Committee for Excellence at Seattle Public Schools.
Director of Operations and Programming
As the Director of Operations and Programming, Lauren manages both the Pure Food Kids Workshop and the Sound Food Uprising Workshop. From curriculum development to program management, Lauren draws her energy from providing programming that is effective, approachable, equitable and fun.
Lauren brings far-ranging experience teaching English to adults in San Francisco, leading kids cooking classes, living on a farm as a cheesemaker and managing farmers markets. She has energetic enthusiasm for empowering consumers to make great choices for themselves.
When not crafting program evaluations or teaching in 4th grade classrooms Lauren spends her time playing in the mountains and experimenting in the kitchen with her cat and ever appreciative husband.
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
As Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Sara develops external communications strategies, cultivates stakeholder partnerships, and oversees community-based advocacy and impact.
She joined Pure Food Kids in 2015 as Special Projects Manager, overseeing food advocacy projects focusing on school lunch reform, food labeling transparency, and ending the marketing of processed foods to kids. She is working to continue local and national conversations surrounding food policy and social justice issues impacting nutrition at Sound Food Uprising.
Bringing experience in food journalism to her role, Sara previously served as editor for Eater Seattle and has written about food coffee for various publications. She completed graduate studies in Nonprofit Leadership at Seattle University in the Spring of 2016 and lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.
Curriculum and Product Development Specialist
Kelly has ten years of experience empowering kids, families, and adults with the tools they need to make healthier food choices and to fight the injustices in our current food system. In 2007 she co-founded Take Back the Kitchen, a program that celebrates cultures through cooking in order to counter gang violence among at-risk youth and their families in Boston. She has also designed curriculum on farms and in classrooms throughout New England.
She earned her MBA in 2013 and has began teaching Pure Food Kids workshops in 2014. Kelly is excited to be joining Sound Food Uprising in this new role and being part of a team that is working together to change the way America eats.
In her free time, Kelly loves to experiment in the kitchen. When crunched for time, she enjoys making crock pot soups, her all time favorite being Thai Chicken Soup.
NYC Youth Operations Director
A Puget Sound native, Jonathan grew up in Columbia City, went to high school in Renton, and studied Music Education at Arizona State University. Growing up in a Filipino household that put food and community together hand in hand, he was born with a passion for music and education. Jonathan dove into his roles as a Cheesemonger for Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Culinary Tour Guide with Savor Seattle, and Staff Coordinator for the Seattle School's All-City Marching Band. In 2012, Jonathan became a Pure Food Kids workshop instructor and quickly rose to Director of Youth Operations through his dynamic leadership in, and outside, the classroom.
Jonathan re-located to New York City in 2014 to build the Pure Food Kids Foundation’s capacity to teach workshops in the nation’s largest school district.
Ellen joins Sound Food Uprising with a passion for sustainable and healthy living. She has previously worked in events, startups, and an arts nonprofit in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Kenyon College, where she received a B.A. in Women’s Studies. Ellen recently drove across the country, working on organic farms along the way, and saw firsthand the importance of mending our food system. When she is not assisting SFU workshops, Ellen enjoys gardening, singing, and testing new baking recipes.
With a degree in Nutrition and Culinary Arts from Bastyr University, Nora strives to apply her passion for whole foods cooking, writing, and community activism to the Seattle area. Since 2013, she’s worked in the kitchen of a variety of local restaurants (Sutra, Bar Sajor, London Plane, Harvest Beat), written recipes and content for Firefly Kitchen’s Fresh and Fermented cookbook, as well as content for the blog of a supplement company, and developed and taught cooking classes to kids and adults throughout the Puget Sound region.
Currently she works as a personal chef, teaches nutrition and culinary workshops for Sound Food Uprising and Pure Food Kids Foundation, caters the green room at the annual Doe Bay music festival, and does her best to keep up with her budding food blog, for the love of cuts and burns.
Born and raised in a culinary family, Kayla Dinsfriend has been honing her cooking skills since she was age five. After studying childhood development, she served as assistant director of a before and after school program in Seattle and created the food and nutrition curriculum for a Florida-based program. When she's not assisting with the Sound Food Uprising Workshop and teaching youth cooking classes, Kayla loves reading, salsa dancing, and spending time outside.
Niesha brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to her role as Sound Food Uprising Workshop Instructor, from serving as a college mentor to high school students in Ghana, West Africa, to her work as a volunteer with several organizations including co-founding Tech Diversified, an initiative working to expose people of color to tech through professional development opportunities.
A graduate of California State University-Sacramento, Niesha is trained in mediation, negotiation, peace-building and has more than 10 years of marketing experience for a variety of businesses. Niesha has a can-do attitude, believes in setting a positive example for kids, and enjoys being a mom.
Julie joins us with a deep passion for all things health education, nutrition and food. After graduating from Western Washington University with a B.S. in Community Health and Environmental Studies, Julie moved to Seattle to pursue further health education opportunities. Discovering the Pure Food Kids program has become the perfect platform for Julie to continue gaining experience in the health education field while encouraging the next generation of food detectives become excited and curious about how to support their healthiest self!
When she is not teaching workshops, Julie spends her time getting out of the city to hike, staying active with yoga and of course, cooking for her loved ones!
- Kurt Beecher Dammeier | Sound Food Uprising Founder