Michell AllertOperations Manager
Michell has been working in the nonprofit sector for over 18 years, providing financial management and administrative assistance to several organizations. Her passion is to be a part of the movement seeking to help individuals improve their quality of life, mentally, physically and emotionally. In her spare time, she is a facilitator for a local mental health agency presenting workshops geared towards developing healthy home environments for youth and their parents. Michell holds a BS in Technical Management – Small Business Management from DeVry University and has completed much of her studies towards earning a MS in Accounting from Liberty University and MS in Business Administration from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Jim Krieger, MD, MPHExecutive Director
Dr. Jim Krieger, the founding executive director of Healthy Food America (HFA), is a nationally recognized expert in the development and evaluation of community-based programs to prevent and control chronic disease. In his previous role as Chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Section at Public Health - Seattle & King County, his work led to broad improvements in school nutrition and physical activity, creation of the nation’s second menu labeling regulation, reduced exposure to sugary drinks, expanded access to healthy foods for low income people, support for healthier built environments, and adoption of smoke-free policies for all public housing units. Jim’s work has been funded by NIH, CDC, HUD and many private foundations.
Jim, who is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Health Services at the University of Washington, was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Childhood Obesity Action for Local Governments in 2008-2009 and on its Committee for Evaluating Progress in Obesity Prevention in 2012-2013. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Innovation in Prevention, the HUD Healthy Homes Innovation, and the US EPA Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Awards. Jim received his undergraduate degree at Harvard, completed his MD at the University of California, San Francisco in internal medicine, and received his MPH at University of Washington.
Jaclyn Konich, MPH
Jaclyn is a public health nutritionist passionate about environmental, systemic, and policy changes to promote health and prevent chronic disease. She has broad experience in food and nutrition including clinical dietetics, nutrition education, food insecurity, food policy, and food systems. Most recently, she was an intern at the Office of the Surgeon General in Washington, DC. Jaclyn has an MPH in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and BS degrees in Political Science and Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.
Sara Soka, MS
Vice President, Policy
Sara oversees the development of strategic policies to promote healthy food and works with Healthy Food America’s partners to adopt them. Prior to joining HFA, she was the campaign manager for Berkeley vs. Big Soda, the first local soda tax in the US to win voter approval (76%). Following that victory, she provided guidance to health advocates nationwide about soda tax policies, messaging, grassroots coalition building, and capacity building while consulting through Ninjas for Health and Grassroots Change. In earlier roles at the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sara advised local, state, and institutional food policy development, implementation, and research. She's also traveled nationwide, coaching community coalitions on strategic, story-centered messaging as a trainer and video producer. She earned a MS in Population Health Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BA in International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Petra Vallila-Buchman, MPHResearch Manager
Petra came to HFA from Ross Strategic Consulting, in Seattle, as a public and environmental health associate, managing diverse environmental public health policy contracts for private and public sector clients, including the CDC. She held a coveted CDC-sponsored Public Health Prevention Service Fellowship from 2009 until 2012. She spent most of that time working with Public Health – Seattle & King County, in the Environmental Health and Prevention Divisions on policy approaches to chronic disease prevention. She also worked as a communications consultant with UNICEF on polio eradication in Kenya. Petra has an MPH in Behavioral Science and Health Education from Emory University and a BA in Psychology from University of Michigan.