Acta Non Verba's Board! (Not all members pictured here.)

Staff and Board

Acta Non Verba’s Staff

Kelly Carlisle,,Founder/ Executive Director
Kelly Carlisle, Founder/ Executive Director Photo By: 2812 Photography

Kelly D. Carlisle, Founder and Executive Director of Acta Non Verba, is a veteran of the United States Navy and has been the recipient of many awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. She is an avid gardener and is an Alameda County Master Gardener Trainee. She is an active member of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.

Ms. Carlisle was selected as one of 200 U.S. Delegates to Slow Food International’s Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto in 2012 and 2014. Ms. Carlisle is the December 2011 Bon Appetit Good Food Fellow. She has worked with and mentored pre-teen and teenage youth since the age of 14. A native of East Oakland, California, she is committed to creating positive change in her childhood city.

Most recently, Kelly’s work has been honored at the White House by President Barack Obama.

Emily Finkel ANV@Tassafaronga Production Manager Photo By 2812 Photography
Emily Finkel ANV@Tassafaronga Production Manager Photo By 2812 Photography

Emily Chu Finkel, Farm Production Manager at ANV@Tassafaronga was born and raised in Oakland.

Emily completed her BA in Environmental Studies at Oberlin College. She is a graduate of the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture program at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz, a member of the Oakland Food Policy Council, and a passionate proponent of growing food and contributing to a healthy thriving Oakland community.

Emily is excited to bring five years of experience gardening and working with youth to the role of Production Manager with Acta Non Verba.

When Emily is not at the ANV farm you can find her gardening alongside friends at the 59th St. Garden, propagating succulents in her backyard, and working with her partners to launch their own small farm business, Root & Bloom Farm in Sunol.


Esther Goolsby: Office Manager Photo By 2812 Photography
Esther Goolsby: Office Manager Photo By 2812 Photography

Esther Goolsby, Office Manager of Acta Non Verba, holds an Associates of Science Degree and is a Licensed Pharmacy Technician. Ms. Goolsby is an Oakland native and has been living in East Oakland for over 20 years. She has been contributing her time and efforts to Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project since late 2012.

She recently became a part of the team as Office Manager at ANV:SOS, the Shared Office Space ANV offers in East Oakland.

As an active community member Esther has also partnered with other organizations such as Hope Collaborative (HOPE), where she sits on the board of the Steering Committee and is a Community Leader and Organizer with Built Environment/Active Living team, she is an Environmental Justice Activist and Advocate as a member of Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), and at least three other nonprofit organizations. She believes that actions are keys to changing and improving the overall community health and standard of living in East Oakland.

Esther has a quote that she loves to share, “Living is not living if you do nothing with the life you have. Make a difference to yourself and someone else. Now that’s LIVING LIFE to the highest potential” Esther loves to volunteer and feels everyone should too.

Acta Non Verba’s Board


Esperanza Pallana, Interim ANV Board President Photo From:
Esperanza Pallana, Interim ANV Board President (Photo From:

Esperanza Pallana brings over fifteen years experience in nonprofit administration to social movements in the urban landscape. She studied biology and urban studies as an undergrad at San Francisco State University.

She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco where she studied collaborations for sustainable school food systems.

Esperanza’s passion is preserving her traditional foodways through practice. She has written on her experience online at Pluck & Feather. Esperanza is the Council Director of Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC). She is an active and vocal participant in creating a healthy and just food system in Oakland.


Cynthia Armstrong, ANV Board Member
Cynthia Armstrong, ANV Board Member

Cynthia Armstrong brings over fifteen years of experience in recreation, youth development and community outreach.

She is currently studying Psychology, and will soon be attending Patten University in Oakland.

Since 2000, she has been employed with the City of Oakland Parks and Recreation Department as a Recreation Leader, Recreation Program Director and currently as the Recreation Center Director at Tassafaronga Recreation Center.

Cynthia’s goal is provide healthy living options through programming and engagement in the community.


Evelyn Danforth, ANV Board Member
Evelyn Danforth, ANV Board Member

Evelyn Danforth is San Francisco-based management consultant with Deloitte Consulting’s corporate strategy and operations practice. Previously, she worked as a White House Intern with Vice President Biden’s policy advisory team and for the Environmental Defense Fund’s economic policy group. As an undergraduate, Evelyn conducted research on sustainable food systems (focusing on the livestock industry) with through Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment and the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Evelyn holds a Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, where she graduated with honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. A native of San Francisco, she enjoys being outdoors, cooking, and keeping up with current affairs.


Nadine Johnson, Board Member
Nadine Johnson, Board Member
Nadine Johnson is a designer, a community advocate and a native San Franciscan.   With degrees in Engineering and Design, she’s worked for global corporations and entrepreneurial start-ups as a Designer, Trend Forecaster, Innovation and CMF Specialist.  Her passion lies in making beauty and health accessible to everyone through her design work and by teaching yoga.  Practicing yoga for over two decades has enhanced her enthusiasm for life and work.
Becoming a vegetarian at 16 and vegan at 21, sparked a life-long interest in food, health and wellness.  Nadine is currently the Creative Lead at the design firm Stor::Re and a well know Yoga Teacher leading classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.

Rosemary Ku MD/MPH/MBA, Board Member
Rosemary Ku MD/MPH/MBA, ANV Board Member

Rosemary Ku is a physician who began working in youth outreach and community development over 11 years ago.  Her passion is preventing chronic disease, which begins in the community, not the doctor’s office. Over the years, Rosemary has completed work for local and state public health departments in communicable diseases, young women’s health, and low-wage occupational disparities.

She has also conducted academic and health systems research on obesity.  Rosemary is a graduate of Kaiser Permanente’s Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine combined residency program in San Francisco and received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

She also holds a Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management from UC Berkeley as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia Business School.  On the more fun side, Rosemary enjoys yoga, home food preservation, and healthy cooking.


Ana McPhail, ANV Board Member
Ana McPhail, ANV Board Member

Ana McPhail received her BSE in Chemical Engineering and MSE in
Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan.

She has worked in
the oil industry as well as finance, always working towards bringing
environmentally sustainable solutions to the companies she’s worked with.

In addition, Ana has started a business in “green” body care products and
has a passion for educating people on healthy living and eating, community
building and financial literacy.


Lisa Mejia, ANV Board Member
Lisa Mejia, ANV Board Member

Lisa Mejia has over 20 years’ of international work experience in various fields, including banking, accounting, human resources, event planning, and marketing. She is a certified banker in Germany and holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an Option in Marketing Management from CSU East Bay.

Lisa enjoys working in a cross-functional environment, helping teams solve complex problems and improve processes. She loves learning new skills and sharing what she brings to the table.


Marissa Pienaar, M.Ed., ANV Board Member
Marissa Pienaar, M.Ed., ANV Board Member

Marissa Pienaar brings with her over 13 years of experience in the education field. In various positions, she has been able to successfully navigate working effectively both in and out of the classroom.

While a Peace Corp volunteer in Namibia for two years, Marissa collaborated with members of the community in order to enhance school and community resources, strengthen school

and community relationships, and increase continuing education opportunities for all segments of the community. Some of these projects and programs include: creation of a library and kindergarten, computer and English classes, and teacher training in learner-centered education methods.

As a teacher leader at several schools for over 10 years, she worked with all sectors of the school community along with outside organizations to increase the educational opportunities and material resources of the schools. Additionally, Marissa mentored teachers, created educational curriculum, and monitored and used data to inform best practices for enhancing student outcomes. In this capacity, she also planned and facilitated weekly meetings, numerous workshops, and coordinated school-wide programs.

As an instructor, she prides herself on creating strong classroom communities built on personal and collective responsibility, a standard of excellence in work, and genuine connections among all group members. She has had consistent success in moving students toward their educational goals.

Marissa is a graduate of California State University, Northridge (B.A. in Pan African Studies), and Northern Arizona University (M. Ed. in elementary education with an emphasis on reading).


Stephanie Radbill, ANV Board Member
Stephanie Radbill, ANV Board Member

Stephanie Radbill has been working to strengthen community food systems since she signed up as a volunteer-member at her local southwest Atlanta, GA CSA farm back in 2008.

Working her way up, she eventually became that farm’s site manager. She has gone on to serve in communities in Seattle, WA and Oakland, CA, advocating for a just food system.

She holds a Bachelors in Industrial Design from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Stephanie has diverse experience within the food movement: she’s worked as a youth garden educator, a professional cook, and is currently a community farm consultant. She is passionate about health, wellness and good music.


Omolade Roddy, ANV Board Member
Omolade Roddy, ANV Board Member

Omolade Roddy has worked as a Readjustment Counseling Therapist at the Dept. of Veteran Affairs’, Oakland Vet Center since 2008.  In this position she provides Individual, Group and Family therapy to Veterans and their families related to adjustment issues stemming from TBI and Combat and/or MST related PTSD. She has been the “Women and Children’s” Tent Leader and Clinical Consultant around services for homeless female veterans and their families at the East Bay Stand Down in 2010 and 2012. Omolade tool on the role of Tent Coordinator for EBSD 2014. She also acts as the Northern California Grief group facilitator for the T.A.P.S (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors).

During Ms. Roddy’s 30 years (plus) of service as a clinician, her practice has focused on  addressing the impact of  historical and other traumatic experiences on health and well-being, the psycho/social determinants which impact mental health prevention, intervention and their outcomes  and resilience. Her practice has included working with youth, families and adults impacted by HIV/AIDS, Foster Care and Criminal Justice systems, Community Mental Health and Combat; and utilizing complementary and alternative treatments.

She has trained and provided consultation services to school administrators, child development staff and other direct service professionals on issues related to the impact of trauma on learning, learning differences, ADA accommodations and the resilience  of trauma impacted communities. She mentors the next generation of social work interns in “Community”  Engaged Scholarship and Restorative Justice Principles.

Ms. Roddy maintains a private practice in Oakland, where she provides clinical and consultant services to various communities and organizations.


Carlynn Scott, Board Member
Carlynn Scott, Board Member

Carlynn Wooten-Scott

As a parent of children who attended Acta Non Verba’s (ANV) 2014 Spring Break Camp and a resident of East Oakland, Ms. Scott became inspired and excited about working with ANV on transforming the lives and culture of residents in East Oakland.

Mrs. Wooten Scott brings over fifteen years’ experience working with non-profits and community based organizations specializing in strategic planning, fundraising, and organizational capacity building. As such, she has a wealth of knowledge relating to grant writing, community outreach strategizing, and program planning for nonprofit startups.  Carlynn holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and currently works as a consultant with CWS Professional Development Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in professional and organizational development.


Aminatu Yusuf, Board Member
Aminatu Yusuf, Board Member

Aminatu R. Yusuf holds a Graduate Certificate of Public Health with an emphasis in Community Health from Westminster College and a Bachelors of Science in Health Promotion and Education from the University of Utah.

As a transplant to the Bay Area, Ms. Yusuf garnered a breadth of experience through the implementation and evaluation of behavioral health modification interventions, fostering strategic community partnerships and providing advocacy and support services in high-risk, low-resource communities within Oakland, California.

Currently, Ms. Yusuf, develops and provides external oversight for supplier and workforce diversity inclusion programs for local, state, and federal government agencies. In this role, Ms. Yusuf provides evidence-based, constitutionally-sound policy recommendations which direct publically funded employment and contracting opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, and socially disadvantaged persons.

Ms. Yusuf has a genuine passion to influence transformative economic and environmental public policy efforts through research, evaluation, and advocacy.

Ms. Yusuf’s hobbies include reading, preparing health conscious meals and skin/hair care products with locally sourced ingredients, and spending time outdoors.

One thought on “Staff and Board”

  1. I’d love to meet Kelly Carlisle! I teach a Culinary Garden Program at Juvenile Hall in San Francisco. I wonder if we could hire Kelly one day as a guest speaker…She is amazing!!


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