FOOD SCHOOL
Empowering Returning Citizens to Build Careers with Food

Team

Our Story.

 

FoodSchool.us is a project of Human Capital Remedy, a group of social entrepreneurs dedicated to solving employment problems in California. We are working with the nonprofit services network and the food industry community to develop and implement solutions to challenges faced by employers and disadvantaged job seekers.

We came together because Ellen had an idea. 

After earning her MBA at Presidio Graduate School, Ellen brought years of account management, business development and recruiting experience to her first passion project, Ellen’s Kimchi. Recognizing that a modern western diet undermines health in our communities, Ellen set out to share her grandmother’s kimchi traditions with San Francisco. Great product and Ellen’s formidable networking chops kept orders rolling in, but she struggled to find workers to meet demand. Working from a commercial kitchen and building relationships with the organic farmers who supplied her produce revealed labor gaps were swallowing small businesses throughout the food industry. 

This experience affirmed Ellen’s belief that human capital is the beating heart of successful business. She eventually decided to shut down kimchi production and begin working as a people operations manager for an environmental advocacy organization. As she lead recruiting for hundreds of election season hires and worked with the HR team to build a supportive, people oriented work environment, she continued to consider ways to solve this industry issue. 

As Ellen made new friends in the political sphere, she learned that even as food businesses struggle to find labor, thousands of people struggle to find sustaining work. Ellen founded Human Capital Remedy with the goal of eventually creating a holistic, residential jobs training program to prepare returning citizens for work in agriculture, food preparation and food service. 

Through research and interviews with leaders in reentry services, ethical employment, nonprofit culinary training and food business, our team identified scalable opportunities to contribute to the good food movement in California. Given the skill sets of our team and existing service gaps, we decided to focus on raising awareness of and access to training and support services for Bay Area job seekers and a platform for inclusive food businesses to connect.  Please check out our event and resource pages to learn more about what we're building and check out our news tab for the latest from FoodSchool.us and our partners.

Our team continues to grow through word of mouth 

 

Ellen White | Founder

Ellen White | Founder


Ellen was inspired to create something great while studying at Presidio Graduate School’s sustainable management program. Before entering the program, as a result of years spent in telecom, technology and technical recruiting, Ellen realized human capital is the beating heart of any successful organization. After experiencing and witnessing the impact of labor shortfalls in small food businesses as the founder of Ellen’s Kimchi, she committed herself to solving this pervasive issue. Learning from colleagues across California about the challenges faced by returning citizens as they reenter the workforce, Ellen was moved to address the needs of both communities by providing training in agriculture, food preparation and food service. Her vision of a global program combining housing and teaching facilities guides the HCR team.

James Snyder | Partnership Developer

James Snyder | Partnership Developer

James originally studied mechanical engineering and industrial design at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh PA. He moved to the Bay Area after working as a Field Organizer for NextGen Climate in Reno Nevada. James put his diverse experience to work battling systemic issues facing our society, starting with developing the framework of partners of HCR. Along with Eva, he lead the field research phase of HCRs organizational development and remains involved in maintaining our partnerships. When he’s not working to break down employment barriers, James likes to explore the vast world around him, ride his bike, climb rocks, make good food, and play board games with friends.

Eva Humphrey | Webmaster

Eva Humphrey | Webmaster

After studying Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design at Carnegie Mellon, Eva discovered a passion for clear communications, and system/process design while working as a juvenile product supply chain engineer. Don’t ask her about transparent supply chains or third party certifications unless you want to be steamrolled by enthusiasm. She joined HCR to help build systems that improve information access to remove barriers and help people secure meaningful, living wage work. Along with James, she lead the field research phase of HCR's organizational development and remains involved as the team's webmaster and copywriter. Off the clock, you can find her rock climbing, trail running, cooking weird health food, or dancing in bathroom mirrors. 

San Dryzmala | Communications Advisor

San Dryzmala | Communications Advisor

Sam Drzymala is an aggressive and creative digital communications professional: a veteran of presidential campaigns, superPACs, and the United States Senate.  Most recently, Sam served as Digital Director to U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), where he helped Senator Booker launch his Congressional career with engagement on new platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Sam is proud to work with HCR as a communications advisor  as we work to expand economic opportunity.

Will Lebherz | HR Advisor

Will Lebherz | HR Advisor

Will is a metallurgical engineer by education, with a graduate degree in sustainable management, and he has over 20 years experience in staffing and HR roles at some of Silicon Valley’s tech icons.  He’s helped build agile teams ready to take on the next seemingly-impossible challenges, building on the lessons learned scaling Tesla Motors from 300 to 6500 people, and Qualcomm’s MEMS R&D to production fab from 50 to over 400 people. As an HR Business Partner and people leader, he is passionate about solving the unique issues faced by growing and changing world-class organizations like Zendesk, Google, and GREE International Entertainment.  He has coached both new and experienced leaders on building resilient and communication-rich cultures, and engaged employees to step into larger-than-life challenges. He wants to use the same tools with HCR to solve the shortage of labor in California with a returning population that needs work opportunities.

Bob Bollinger | Grant Writer

Bob Bollinger | Grant Writer

Bob graduated from Haverford College with a degree in biology. After graduation, he interned for the programs development team at The Carter Center in Atlanta, where he worked on grant applications and funding opportunities for The Carter Center’s disease eradication program. Prior to coming to Human Capital Remedy, Bob worked as a field organizer with NextGen Climate in Pennsylvania during the 2016 campaign.