Christopher Brown started as Executive Director of 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 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 runs ALBA’s Farmer Education Course and supports farmers in their early years in the Organic Farm Incubator. 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 “Tito” joined ALBA in February 2016. As the Ranch Maanger, 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 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 mechancal 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.