• Tel: (212) 799-3894
  • Email: info@cfyl.org

Board of Directors

Nancy is a founding director of CFYL, and a principle of The Octavia Foundation. In addition to it’s sponsorship of Cook For Your Life’s website, Octavia has also funded projects such as Healthy Child, Healthy World and the New Orleans Edible School Yard. Octavia recently funded a new branch of the NOLA Edible School Yard with a donation to build an acre garden at a new, state-of-the-art elementary school in that city. The school will be the first in the nation to feature a working vegetable garden, cafeteria, and teaching kitchen at the front entrance.

Prior to her involvement in Octavia, she worked as a business journalist and editor for more than 30 years, at publications such as Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Money, The American Lawyer, and Business 2.0.

She divides her time between New York City and Montecito, CA.

Maria currently lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and two kids. She volunteers for the National Charity League, is a board member at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, and is on the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Advisory Council. She is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, and a member of ONS, and AOCN certified. Maria brings her years of experience and expertise as an oncology nurse to the CFYL board.

Paul Clancy is a member of the Diversified Communications’ board, a Maine-based global producer of trade events and training conferences. He served Diversified as its Chief Financial Officer for 35 years, playing a key role in its emergence as an international company. He also served for 15 years on the board of Junior Achievement of Maine as Chairman, Treasurer and Fund Raising Chairman. Mr. Clancy is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received his MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College. Mr. Clancy began his career as a CPA working for Ernst & Young in Portland, Maine.

Jonathan is a classically trained chef and Professor and Program Director of the Department of Hospitality Management, Culinary Arts, and Food Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He earned his doctorate from the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, where he focused his research on social and cultural aspects of food and nutrition. He is the author or editor of numerous articles and six books including Gastropolis: Food and New York City (Columbia University Press, 2009), Culinary Improvisation (Pearson Education, 2009), and Food Studies: An Introduction to Research Methods (Berg, 2010). He is the Advice Guy for Restaurant Business Magazine, providing technical assistance for hundreds of restaurants annually. As a chef, Deutsch worked in many sectors of the industry including product development, food manufacturing, luxury hotels, institutions, and independent restaurants, both in the US and in Japan. In addition to NYU, he is a graduate of Drexel University (Hospitality Management, 1999) and The Culinary Institute of America (Culinary Arts, 1997). When not in the kitchen, he can be found playing tuba in community bands around New York City.

Stewart B. Fleishman MD is the author of LEARN to Live Through Cancer: What You Need to Know and Do and the accompanying provider’s textbook Manual of Cancer Treatment Recovery: What the Practitioner Needs to Know and Do. He currently surveys cancer centers around the country for accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. He is the Founding Director of Cancer Supportive Services at Continuum Cancer Centers of New York: Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt. He also served as the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Continuum Hospice Care, and the Chair of its Ethics Committee. Dr. Fleishman was among the first group of physicians Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and has devoted his career to applying principles of active symptom management to care throughout the trajectory of cancer illness focusing on the period of treatment and survivorship. Dr. Fleishman has been an investigator at the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (now the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology) since 1986, and was the Vice Chair of its Quality of Life Sub-Committee. His research interests include trials to reverse cancer cachexia, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, testosterone loss in male patients, cognitive impairment and survivorship. He serves on the NCCN Distress Management Guidelines Committee. He has authored numerous peer reviewed journal articles as well.

Dr. Fleishman also volunteers at the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine in Indio, California, which provides primary care to the under-insured. Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Fleishman taught in the New York City public schools.

Andy has over 20 years of leadership experience global IT sector. He has helped bring multiple transformational technologies such as: Cloud/Virtualization, eCommerce, and Mobility to market. He worked at leading technology companies including, most recently: TWC, CA and VMware. Prior to joining the IT sector, Andy served 13 years in the UK Medical Laboratory Service in one of the UKs largest cancer treatment centers.

As Julia Childs once said: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it”. Andy has always followed that ‘policy’ and strongly believes in food as ‘medicine’ ! Andy lives on Cape Cod, MA and benefits from really good local seafood.

Debra is co-founder and chief operating officer of Magnolia Trading, an international distributor of premium natural American brands. Magnolia Trading exclusively represents Barbara’s Bakery, Horizon Organic, Kristian Regale, Nutiva, Seventh Generation, Silk and Zevia in international markets. Because Magnolia Trading’s business is exclusively focused on international markets, Debra has become a student of international trends in consumer behavior and business evolution. Debra’s career covers over 25 years of experience developing marketing, sales and communications strategies for technology, business-to-business and consumer companies. Career highlights include work as a venture partner in a Silicon Valley venture capital firm evaluating technology startups and working with entrepreneurs in the development of marketing and business strategies for newly formed companies.

Tony Liano is co-founder of San Francisco Cooking School, a professional culinary school in San Francisco that also offers the largest program of cooking classes on the West Coast. Prior to SFCS, Tony work in media and technology, starting his career at Microsoft in 1991 before leaving to co-found Cognisoft in 1996, which was later sold to Verity where he served as VP Marketing. Through his company BlueRain, Tony has been an entrepreneur and early stage investor in over 20 digital media start-up companies, including Iris Distribution and Matchmaker.com. His most recent post was Senior Vice President of Digital Programming at Sony Pictures Entertainment where he built Sony’s New Media Studio and launched the digital channel Crackle in 2008. Tony designed and taught a nine-month Integrated Marketing Executive Certificate Program at the University of Washington, and received a BA from Purdue University and MBA from Northwestern University. He currently sits on the Filmmaker Advisory Board for the San Francisco Film Society and the board of directors for Food Runners.

Steven Scates MS, MD recently retired from his private practice specializing in Hematology/ Oncology. Prior to launching his private practice, Dr. Scates was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCLA. He has been active in a number of professional societies including: American College of Physicians, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society for Hematology and Mensa. Dr. Scates’ various committee appointments have included Director, Cardiopulmonary & Respiratory Therapy Department, Chair, Department of Medicine, Chair, Bioethics Committee, and Chief of Staff among others. He has authored numerous articles and contributed to book chapters and various clinical research studies.

Dr. Scates received his BS degree from the University of California, Davis and his MD from Washington University. He also received his MS in Astronomy from Swinsburne University and maintains an active interest in this field. He currently resides in Gilroy, CA where enjoys time with his 2 sons.

Noelle LeVeaux is the former Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau (DCVB).

In 2013, Noelle was honored by Skift.com as one of the 50 top travel marketers in the world, in 2014 she was named one of the top minority business leaders in Dallas by the Dallas Business Journal and a finalist for CMO of the Year by the DFW American Marketing Association, and in 2016, she was named to D CEO’s Dallas 500 most powerful business leaders in DFW. Most recently, Noelle led the DCVB’s website redesign, and in July of 2016, it was named one of the top 25 travel websites in the world by skift.com.

Prior to joining the Bureau, Noelle served as senior director and interim vice president of Marketing and
Public Relations for Children’s Medical Center in Dallas where she was responsible for internal communications, brand and clinical marketing, advertising, media relations, events, and digital platforms. One of her last projects at Children’s was co-producing a 13-part television documentary for the hospital.

Noelle launched her professional speaking, teaching and consulting business with a talk entitled Asleep at the Wheel at TEDxSMU in October 2015. She focuses her work on communications and personal branding, weaving her personal and professional experiences into customized talks and materials.

In 2006, Noelle co-founded Dress for Success Dallas,whose
mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women. Noelle has continued her
commitment to her community through board positions with Community Partners of Dallas, Uptown Dallas Inc., McKinney Avenue Trolley Association, North Texas Leadership Council for the American Lung Association and Relay for Life through the American Cancer Society.

Noelle received her bachelors of science in mathematics from Spelman College. She is the mother of 2 girls, Sydney (11) and Jordan (8). In 2010, she published a children’s picture book entitled, I Miss You When I Sleep. In 2014, Noelle was diagnosed with breast cancer and is sharing what that experience has taught her through her blog: Confessions of a Single Mom with Cancer.

Vita Merlotti brings 30 years experience in the advertising, marketing,media & technology industry to her role leading Avalon LLC, a privately held consultancy. For the past 20 twenty years she has been a ‘go-to- executive’ for a number of CEOs, CFOs and COOs to ensure the viability and ongoing health of their organizations. Vita is one of the few executive advisors with a proven track record across the full spectrum of business, operations & technology solutions, with significant experience in growth & distressed situations.

Prior to creating Avalon, Vita was the Director of Business Transformation for The Interpublic Group of Companies, a 7.0 + Billion dollar marketing, media , entertainment and communication multi national. Vita has delivered measurable results as an executive, and as consultant, across a diverse set of responsibilities-Director of Business Transformation, Global CIO, Director or Operations, Chief of Staff, Program and Account Director.
Vita is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Wayne University with additional discipline studies at Northwood Institute. She is a member of the Michigan Women’s Foundation, The Power of 100 Women, and a Certified Facilitator for the Kaufman Foundation FastTrac Tech Venture series.

Esther, a Registered Dietitian, has worked as a nutritionist for over 10 years. She is specialized in providing nutrition therapy for people with chronic medical conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses. Using an integrative approach, she treats the whole person, not the disease. She recently retired from God’s Love We Deliver in New York City and now lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Esther earned her Master of Science degree at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she also completed her dietetic internship.

Carol is an entrepreneur and marketing executive living in San Francisco with her husband, Eric. Carol currently consults with emerging technology companies after her most recent venture, Givezooks!, was acquired in the fall of 2014. Carol’s career as a marketing executive spans multiple Silicon Valley-based software firms where she led all aspects of corporate, product and industry marketing initiatives for both private and public companies, including multiple successful IPOs. Carol has also served on nonprofit boards and participated in the creation of a new category of online fundraising for small to mid-sized nonprofits with her colleagues at Givezooks!

Carol is originally an Iowa farm girl where Farm to Table was an everyday life event. She has a B.A. in Business from Clarke University, completed course work for a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University and completed the Non-Profit Management mini-MBA through St. Thomas University.

Annabel lives in New York City with her husband Andrew. A graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park FL, Annabel has worked for Cartier, Hermes, Kipton Art, and currently works with Gavin McLaughlin Chef services as an event designer.
In addition to being a star volunteer and Chairman of the Young Professionals Committee for CFYL she has been a volunteer or committee member for the New York Harbor School, Operation Smile, and New Yorkers for Children along with many other organizations. An avid cook, she has completed classes at the International Culinary Institute.

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