Board of Directors
Nancy is the board chair and founding director of CFYL. She is a principal of The Octavia Foundation, a charitable organization that focuses on issues of food, health, and nutrition. Their generous $500,000 grant was used to establish CFYL and continues to support its daily operations. The Octavia Foundation also funded projects such as Healthy Child, Healthy World, Drexel University Food Lab, and the New Orleans Edible School Yard. Prior to her involvement in Octavia, Nancy was a business journalist and editor for more than 30 years at publications including Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Money, The American Lawyer, and Business 2.0. She divides her time between New York City and Montecito, CA.
Paul is the former executive vice president and CFO of Diversified Communications, a Maine-based multi-media company that helps business connect worldwide through trade events, training conferences, digital products, and publications. Paul was with the company for 35 years and played a key role in its growth. Now retired, he remains a member of the Diversified Communications’ board. For several years, he was involved with Junior Achievement of Maine, serving as chairman, treasurer, and fundraising chair. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Paul began his career as a CPA for Ernst & Young in Portland, Maine.
Jonathan is Professor of Culinary Arts & Food Sciences at Drexel University. He oversees the Drexel Food Lab, a product development and food innovation lab that solves real world problems. He is the author or editor of six books including Barbecue: A Global History (with Megan Elias), Culinary Improvisation, and Gastropolis: Food and Culture in New York City (with Annie Hauck-Lawson). Jonathan is a classically-trained chef and has worked for luxury hotels and restaurants in the U.S. and abroad. He earned his doctorate in food studies and food management from New York University. When not in the kitchen, he can be found behind his tuba.
Stewart B. Fleishman
Dr. Fleishman is the former Founding Director of Cancer Supportive Services at Continuum Cancer Centers of New York, part of the Mt. Sinai Health System. He is board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine, and has devoted his career to active symptom management in cancer illness, treatment, and survivorship. Dr. Fleishman is also an investigator at the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, focusing on trials to reverse cancer cachexia or “wasting syndrome,” fatigue, nausea, vomiting, testosterone loss, cognitive impairment, and survivorship. He is the author of LEARN to Live Through Cancer: What You Need to Know and Do and the accompanying textbook Manual of Cancer Treatment Recovery: What the Practitioner Needs to Know and Do. He volunteers at the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, which provides primary care to the underinsured.
Andy has over 20 years of leadership experience in the global IT sector and has helped bring multiple transformational technologies to market, including cloud/virtualization, e-commerce, and mobility. He is an independent consultant for NYLA, which provides IT security, compliance, and business process improvement services. He previously worked at leading technology companies including TimeWarner Cable (now Spectrum), CA Technologies, and VMware. Prior to joining the IT sector, Andy served 13 years in the medical laboratory at one of the UK’s largest cancer treatment centers. He received his MBA in medical lab management from the University of London and a degree in laboratory science/medical technology from NE Surrey College in the UK.
Debra is co-founder and chief operating officer of Magnolia Trading, an international distributor of premium natural American brands, whose goal is to deliver exceptional services to consumers while creating public awareness of the connection between diet and health. Magnolia distributes brands including Barbara’s Bakery, Bobble, Kiss My Face, Regale, Nature’s Earthly Choice, ProBar, Rudi’s Bakery, Seventh Generation, and Flint to markets worldwide. Debra has over 25 years of experience in developing marketing, sales, and communications strategies for technology, business-to-business, and consumer companies. Career highlights include evaluating technology startups as a venture partner in a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and working with entrepreneurs to develop marketing and business strategies for newly-formed companies.
Tony is co-founder of the San Francisco Cooking School (SFCS), which offers a professional culinary and pastry arts certificate program, as well as the largest hands-on recreational cooking classes program in the Bay Area. Prior to founding SFCS, Tony has been an active entrepreneur, advisor and early stage investor in over 20 digital media companies, as well as a filmmaker and founder of BlueRain Films. Over the past 25 years, Tony has held positions with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Cognisoft, Crackle, and Microsoft Corporation. He received his MBA at Northwestern University and a degree in economics from Purdue.
Noelle C. LeVeaux
Noelle is a professional speaker, author, and communications consultant. Prior to forming her brand strategy and consulting firm, she was the Chief Marketing Officer of Visit Dallas, where she launched an award-winning campaign to rebrand the city, and was the interim VP of Marketing/PR for the Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where she co-produced a 13-part TV documentary on the hospital. She also co-founded the non-profit Dress For Success Dallas, which promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women. Noelle has presented at the 2015 TEDxSMU, and wrote a children’s picture book, I Miss You When I Sleep. In 2014, Noelle was diagnosed with breast cancer and shares her experiences through the blog Confessions of a Single Mom with Cancer.
Vita has over 30 years of experience in advertising, marketing, media, and technology. She is the president and global leader of Avalon LLC, a change management partner that drives operational excellence for commercial organizations, accelerators, and economic development teams. Prior to founding Avalon, she held several key positions for the Interpublic Group of Companies, including director of business transformation, chief information officer, director of operations, and strategist. She has been an advisor and mentor to over 30 companies within a top urban incubator, to the accelerators aligned to the University of Michigan (SPARK) and Wayne State University (TechTown), and to the Michigan Women’s Foundation’s Power of 100 Women.
Carol is a successful entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in technology, marketing, and executive management. She is currently an investor/advisor with Astia Angels, which funds primarily women-led companies in the San Francisco area. She was also the CEO and co-founder of givezooks!, a crowdfunding platform used by non-profits and small-to-midsized businesses for online fundraising, cause marketing, and event management. Carol is originally an Iowa farm girl, where farm-to-table eating was part of her everyday life. She maintains her passion for healthy eating as a board member of Equitable Food Initiative, which brings together workers, growers, and retailers to create a safer, more equitable food system through better working conditions, pest management, and food safety.
Annabel Vartanian Jeffries
Annabel is an event planner for Gavin McLaughlin Events & Catering. Previously, she worked for companies including Cartier, Kipton Art, Hermes, and Halston. In addition to her generous volunteer work with the CFYL Young Professionals Committee, Annabel has been involved with several charitable organizations including the New York Harbor School, Operation Smile, The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and New Yorkers for Children. She attended Rollins College in Winter Park, FL., and is a graduate of Blair Academy, which recently recognized her philanthropy and contributions to the school. Annabel is an avid cook and completed classes at the International Culinary Institute.
Retiree Board Members
Dr. Scates retired after over 20 years in private practice, specializing in hematology, medical oncology, and internal medicine. Prior to launching his private practice, he was an assistant professor of medicine at UCLA. He was board-certified in internal medicine, hematology, and medical oncology, and has authored or co-authored numerous articles, medical book chapters, and clinical research studies. Dr. Scates was active in several professional organizations including the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Hematology, and Mensa. In addition to his medical degree, he has an MS in astronomy from Swinburne University, Australia, and maintains an active interest in the field.
Esther was a registered dietician for over 10 years, most recently at God’s Love We Deliver, where she provided individual and group counseling, education workshops, and nutritional programs. Esther believes it is better to treat the whole person, not just the disease, and used an integrative, holistic approach to help patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, obesity, multiple sclerosis, and other serious illnesses and chronic medical conditions. Although she is retired, Esther continues to write for the Cook For Your LIFE Living With Cancer blog, and has contributed several Ask Esther articles on nutrition topics. Esther completed her dietetic internship at Columbia University, where she also earned her masters of science degree.
As a retired corporate attorney, Jeff’s legal expertise has been a valuable resource to the CFYL board for many years. He has vast experience in debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance matters. Before his retirement in 2009, Jeff served as the chair of the Latham & Watkins training and career enhancement committee, was a member of the firm’s associates’ compensation committee, and was the managing partner of the firm’s London office. In addition to CFYL, Jeff has served on many non-profit boards including the Orange County (CA), Southern California, State of California, and national boards of directors of the American Diabetes Association.