Founded in 2008, we developed the name "Sanzuma" based on our two initial locations:
San Rafael, California, and our sister city, Montezuma, Costa Rica.
San + zuma = Sanzuma.
Sanzuma's founder, Lori Davis, started Sanzuma in Central America by designing a solar bakery. With the bread produced from the bakery, the village women could earn a little income, cook food without cutting down trees for wood, and purify their water -- All without electricity or propane! Their forests would stay intact, and they would not have lung problems from cooking over a smokey fire. As we expanded our solar bakery idea to other villages, we saw an urgent need for basic, sustainable, healthy food systems education as well. (For more information, check out our Solar Cooking page.)
The more time Sanzuma spent in Central America and Mexico, the more we realized many locals were using non-organic fertilizer that was degrading their soil, and the runoff, full of chemicals from the fertilizer, was contaminating the few potable water sources. This conventional farming style generally produces a large yield for a year or two but depletes soil nutrients over time, and makes growing fresh, healthy food increasingly difficult. With community members, we created culturally sensitive plans to help locals get back to their roots, and farm like their grandparents did. The first step was to stop using fertilizers that were not organic. Feeding their soil would feed them!
Sanzuma's motto of, "Your health should not be a reflection of your economic status" informed our many trips South of the Border, but in the meantime, we realized there were many communities in our own Marin County where hunger, and healthy food options, were a problem. Thus, we began developing our School Farm-to-Cafeteria program. We convert existing school gardens into producing farms, while teaching the students how to grow their own food. The bounty is then processed through the San Rafael City School lunch program for their salad bars.
Sanzuma's combined knowledge of organic farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, alternative energy, Nutrition Education Obesity Prevention (NEOP), and farm-to-table cooking has supported the conversion of several Marin school gardens thus far, with more to come. As we continue these conversions, we're working to build partnerships with local farmers to further increase healthy foods in the San Rafael City School district lunches.
After fifteen fulfilling years in interior design, Lori developed a burning desire to make a long-term social and environmental difference in her community and beyond. She discovered University of California, Berkeley's Agrobiodiversity and Cultural Food Systems program, graduating a few years later with a B.S. and scientific honors. Lori and her son Cameron Davis, started raising money to donate solar ovens in Central America and Mexico. Her first goal was to make sure the people they worked with had access to healthy food to put into their solar ovens. After several trips south of the border, she realized people in her own Marin County community were also in need. Lori teaches urban farming, seed-to-table cooking, as well as nutrition education and cooking classes at many Marin schools, following USDA "My Plate" guidelines. Her programs have been very successful, whether in school classrooms or school gardens. Lori is also the Wellness Coordinator for the Marin County Office of Education.
Bob was born and raised in Marin County. He attended all San Rafael schools and graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California with a Liberal Studies degree. He received his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Saint Mary’s College of Education and his Masters in Education Administration from San Francisco State University. Bob has served as a teacher and principal in San Rafael City Schools since 1997 and he is currently the proud Principal of Davidson Middle School. Bob loves exploring nature, playing live music around the county, and being with his family, which consists of his wife Kristen, children Nello and Lena, his two dogs Zorra and Carlos, and his tropical fish.
Elaine is a highly collaborative leader, driven by a passion for shepherding organizations and communities towards a healthy, sustainable future. Currently applying her extensive and diverse management experience in the food, education, and health care industries to a private consulting practice. Prior to her move into consulting, she served as VP of Operations for a start-up medical device company in San Rafael, where she helped bring the world’s first biodegradable medical device to market. She earned a MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from Dominican University of California (DUC), and then served as its Program Director. She also led the Sustainable Practices Program at DUC, ushering through more than 50 graduates. Elaine holds a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics and earned her Registered Dietitian status in 1999 after completing a dietetic internship at University of California, San Francisco.
She is a seasoned professional with extensive management and proven success in: Developing and motivating diverse teams of professionals towards shared goals; Designing and managing innovative programs; Analyzing and improving processes and systems; Developing and implementing strategies and tactics.
Robyn Chapman is an Agency Director for Monster Worldwide responsible for managing recruitment advertising agency relationships between Monster, clients, and agencies. With a long career in Sales Management, as a Certified Human Resources professional, and Professional Recruiter, she is immersed in relationship building and management, recruiting strategies, and technology every day.
Born and raised on the East Coast, with a degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Hartford, her heart is in the Bay Area, spending as much time here as possible. Additionally, she is either on, or served on, several boards and leadership initiatives, with a focus on education, or companion animal concerns, including equine. She previously served on the Board of the Rockdale County Public Schools Foundation and currently serves on the Grant Review Committee. Most notably, she chaired Strand 3, Sustaining Change Through Business and Civic Leadership on the Ford NGL/PAS project in partnership with the Covington Chamber of Commerce and Newton County School District. She has also successfully written many grants for animal welfare and rescue organizations. She uses her professional skills and knowledge to engage, attract, and maintain visibility to a cause, helping to build fledgling organizations. View her full profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robyntchapmanfindbetter.
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Marie spent her early life as a professional artistic roller-dance skater. She quickly discovered her passion for the intersection of sustainability, development, and business during her first year at U.C. Berkeley. She was heavily involved in the Student Organic Gardening Association as a student, instructor, president, and grant writer. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Conservation of Resource Studies. Marie is currently an accounting assistant at an organic produce distribution company. Her passion for organizational systems and social enterprises led her to Sanzuma where she hopes she can make a difference by creating sustainable programs that build healthy and educated communities.
Holly de pfyffer
(Bio to come)