Patricia Carrillo, Executive Director
Patricia Carrillo joined ALBA in February of 2017 as its Executive Director. She has over a decade of experience working in the non-profit sector, including working as ALBA’s Business Education Program from 2006 to 2013. In that role, she developed tools and curricula for beginning farm entrepreneurs, increased alternative financing opportunities for small scale organic farmers, and advocated for socially-disadvantaged beginning farmers. Aside from financial management, Patricia’s skills also include grant management and reporting, budgeting and record keeping for small businesses, small business development consulting and training, and program monitoring and evaluation. Prior to returning to ALBA, Patricia took on the role of Finance & Operations Director at the YWCA Monterey County and later went on to become Program Director at the Housing Resource Center of Monterey County, where she was responsible for the administration and management of all HRC programs, including homeless prevention, rapid rehousing, Veteran assistance, security deposit guarantee, financial literacy and home ownership programs. Patricia is a Salinas native and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from San Jose State University, with a specialization in Business Management.
Christopher Brown, Development Director
Christopher Brown started at ALBA in March 2012 and is a native of Berkeley, California. He studied economics at University of California Berkeley and spent five years in the finance and investment field before entering UCLA’s Anderson School of Management to earn his MBA. Upon graduation, Chris pursued opportunities in the international non-profit field, taking an assignment was as a small-business consultant in Ukraine. This led to a project management role in Kiev, followed by others in Romania, Georgia and Montenegro over the course of a decade. His most recent position was as a Washington, DC-based project manager for a research grant studying how to link small farmers to market opportunities in Mongolia and Rwanda. After nearly 15 years away, Chris is delighted to return to California to apply his experience and education toward advancing the economic development among beginning farmers in the Salinas Valley and Central Coast region.
Patty Howe, Administrative Director
Patty joined ALBA as a bookkeeper in September of 2004, and later moved on to manage all administrative activities at ALBA. Currently, she maintains the financial records and tracking of all grant activities and expenses. She moved to the California coast in 1974 and developed an interest in organic farming issues as an avid backyard gardener while earning a B.A. in Economics at the University of California Santa Cruz. Patty served at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange as Garden Manager, where she oversaw a 1/2 acre demonstration garden, and Treasurer. She is currently the Treasurer at the Springfield Grange in Las Lomas.
Nathan Harkleroad, Education Program Manager
Nathan runs ALBA’s Farmer Education Course, supports farmers in their early years in the Organic Farm Incubator, and manages a number of educational and research projects. He came to ALBA in March 2010 from San Luis Obispo, where he worked in various capacities (student farm manager, harvest leader, farmers marketeer, and much more!) at the Cal Poly Organic Farm, a student enterprise that provided a 300-member year round “Community Supported Agriculture” vegetable box subscription service. While there he also earned an M.S. in Agriculture, emphasis Crop Science. Nathan fondly remembers his start in organic agriculture on a 5-acre biodynamic farm in rural Scotland that grew mixed vegetables and pastured laying hens. Originally from San Diego, Nathan sees organic agriculture as way to improve peoples’ lives, the planet, and provide meaningful employment. In total, he has over a decade’s experience in organic production, agricultural education, and project management.
Gerardo Fuentes, Farm Incubator Manager
Gerardo “Tito” joined ALBA in February 2016. As the Ranch Manager, Gerardo assists farmers out in the field with production, as well as overseeing the facility. He also monitors the fields and forecasts product coming in to the cooler to the sales team. Gerardo most recently came from Driscoll’s where he distinguished himself as one of their top strawberry forecasters. He has a Bachelor Degree from Cal Poly in Agricultural Systems Management. Gerardo is a native of Watsonville and is currently studying in ALBA’s Farmer Education Course.
Juan García, Farm Assistant
Juan has been working at ALBA since the summer of 2008. He is originally from Jalisco, Mexico and has lived in the Salinas area since 1986. With more than 20 years of mechanical experience, he is in charge of the maintenance of the ALBA’s training site, including the farm equipment. Prior to ALBA, Juan worked for ten years on two farms in Watsonville, California, where he learned and gained experience in farm irrigation systems, repair of farm equipment and general farm management. Juan enjoys helping the ALBA farmers and seeing the organic crops grow. . . and of course tasting them.
Juana Hernandez, Administrative Assistant
As Administrative Assistant, Juana has worked at ALBA since June 2016. Before coming to ALBA, Juana worked for a local organic company doing quality assurance. Raised in Salinas, she is excited to be working for a community-based non-profit organization, and also serves on committees for the Center for Community Advocacy.
Nadia Salas, Finance Assistant
Nadia is one of ALBA’s newest hires. Before coming to ALBA, Nadia worked in billing at a local non-profit. Born in la Ciudad de Juarez in the state of Chihuahua, Nadia immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. in 2009. She has a B.S. in Accounting, specializing in Taxes. She loves working with numbers and is excited to be at ALBA to help its participants and be surrounded by farms.