CVNL is thrilled to have placed its next executive leader, Andy Naja-Riese! On May 7th, Andy will join Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM) as CEO. Andy will be responsible for all day-to-day management decisions and for implementing the AIM’s long and short term plans. Andy said of his appointment: “I am honored to be the next leader of AIM and look forward to bringing innovation and growth to AIM’s high-quality farmers’ markets, educational programs, community outreach, and partnerships.”
Andy brings a wealth of experience in nutrition assistance and community agriculture programs. He has guided many state, community, and tribal partners to create cost-effective programs with an emphasis on technology, inovation, marketing, and customer service. Most recently, he was the Chief of the Program Integrity Branch of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Western Region, where he was responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called Food Stamps and known as CalFresh in California). Andy oversaw the administration of $12 billion in benefits redeemed by 8 million low-income households at grocery stores, farmers markets, and other retailers across Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the U.S. Territory of Guam.
Andy is nationally-recognized for the design of the National SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework to support health departments, cooperative extension services, and non-profit organizations in measuring and reporting outcomes from nutrition education, farmers markets, and community-wide coalitions. Andy previously worked as a Senior Manager at Resource Development Associates, a social and economic consulting practice in Oakland, California, and was a Public Health Analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was also a U.S. Presidential Management Fellow.
Andy received his Master’s degree in Society, Human Development, and Health from the T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health and his Bachelor’s degree in Community, Environment, Science, and Health from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He is currently the Secretary of the City of San Rafael’s Citizens Advisory Committee on Economic Development and Affordable Housing; an active member of the Marin/Napa chapter of the Cornell University Alumni Ambassador Admissions Network; and founder of the Bay Area Group Eating Lox (B.A.G.E.L.) & Bagels.
AIM’s mission is to educate the public about the nutritional and economic benefits of buying locally grown food directly from farmers, and to connect and support communities and agriculture. AIM currently manages seven Certified Farmers Markets in the Bay Area and represents over 300 family farms, specialty food purveyors, and artisans. They are working diligently to build the most productive markets for their participating members that best reflect the communities they serve. Said Andy: “AIM’s farmers’ markets represent a win-win for Bay Area shoppers and California farmers alike: consumers can purchase nutritious foods from their local farmers while stimulating the local food economy.”
Please join CVNL in welcoming Andy Naja-Riese as CEO of AIM!