We’re Stronger Together
We continue to build a team that reflects our commitments to equity, advocacy, and food for all. For employment and fellowship opportunities, check out our Career Opportunities.
To learn more about our team, read on.
Angeles, Policy Associate, joined Nourish California as a board director in 2018. She left the Board and joined the team as a staff member in 2019. Angeles specializes in advancing state policy that improves students’ access to healthy school meals and increases food access for immigrant Californians.
Angeles co-leads the Meals Count Team to develop resources, break down barriers, and identify potential state policy solutions to expand universal meal programs in CA. Angeles also conducts federal advocacy to preserve, protect, and improve access to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Angeles serves as Nourish California’s liaison to Spanish-speaking communities and media organizations to uplift immigrants’ voices and to advance mutual priorities.
Prior to joining Nourish California, Angeles worked as a community advocate and organizer in the community of Lemon Grove to create a vibrant community with opportunities, equity, and wellness for all through resident-led community projects, advocacy, collaboration, and leadership development. Angeles currently serves as Vice President on the board of directors for the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition. She is an appointed Community Advisory Commissioner for the Lemon Grove City Council, and she is a proud member of Kitchenistas.
When Angeles is not at work or volunteering in the community, she is a perpetual tourist in San Diego enjoying the sunny beaches with her four kids, her husband, and Daisy’s cheerful-golden paws.
Betzabel Estudillo, MSW
Betzabel, Senior Advocate, joined Nourish California in 2020. She oversees the organization’s #Food4All Campaign to increase food access among immigrant Californians. Betzabel also works to ensure students’ access to school meals and increase immigrant participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Betzabel Estudillo has more than a decade of experience in immigration, health and public benefits working in the non-profit and labor sector. Her areas of expertise include policy development and analysis, legislative and budget advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach. Betzabel is a member of the Los Angeles County Community Prevention and Population Health Task Force.
Prior to joining Nourish California, Betzabel was at the Miguel Contreras Foundation and the California Immigrant Policy Center. Her passion for health and food justice stems from her experience as a former undocumented immigrant. Betzabel obtained her Masters in Social Work from the University of California Los Angeles, Luskin School of Public Affairs.
In her free time, Betzabel enjoys hiking, coffee, watching horror movies, and spending time with her family.
George Manalo-LeClair, MSW
George, Executive Director, joined Nourish California in 1999. George describes his role as ensuring that Nourish California has the “resources and relationships” needed to advance our mission.
George’s long career in advocacy has taken him from the streets to the seats of power. He started as an organizer with the Alliance of the Streets and prior to joining CFPA, he was the Legislative Director for the Children’s Alliance in Washington. He has helped thousands of advocates find their voice in policy advocacy campaigns across four states and has raised his own voice in seats of power in several state capitals and in testimony before Congress.
Prior to becoming Executive Director in 2012, George led the successful campaigns to knock down persistent barriers to food stamps like fingerprinting, excessive paperwork, and the car rule. As a result of these efforts, he has helped bring more than $2 billion a year to fight hunger in California. He was the driving force behind the transformation of the Food Stamp Program in California to CalFresh. His early vision and persistent advocacy for paperless school meal enrollment has helped feed millions of students and created thousands of hunger-free schools in the state.
George has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and takes a personal and professional interest supporting new advocates. Many of his former interns and supervisees continue in advocacy across the country and in all levels of government.
In his free time, George enjoys setting aside the macro problems of poverty and hunger for a moment to focus on problems that can be solved in a weekend, like plumbing leaks or broken furniture. He loves to cook for a crowd. He thinks neckties are stupid.
Jared, Senior Advocate, joined Nourish California in 2015. He oversees the organization’s state legislative agenda and the annual policy development process related to state legislation.
Jared leads Nourish California’s advocacy aimed at increasing low-income Californians’ access and participation in CalFresh. His areas of focus include ensuring an equitable customer experience across the state, linking CalFresh access to other public benefit programs, and simplifying the application process — particularly for older adults and people with disabilities. He also leads our work to successfully implement state-funded nutrition benefit pilot projects.
Jared received his BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University. Prior to becoming a policy advocate, he worked to improve access to healthy food in Los Angeles by operating certified farmers’ markets, nutrition education programs, and healthy incentive projects for a local nonprofit organization.
While he has lived in various locales across the country and abroad, Jared considers himself a Californian through and through. He has equally split his years in the Golden State between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, where he currently lives and works. Fittingly, he is a fan of both the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jared enjoys spending his free time cooking, hiking and biking in the outdoors, and rooting for his favorite sports teams. The blond streak in his hair is natural.
Kameron Mims-Jones, MSW
Kameron, Policy Advocate, joined Nourish California in 2019. She is a part of our Cal-Fresh policy team whose work is focused on implementing policies to improve access and participation.
Kameron specializes in the intersection of age and access to public assistance. She is leading our nutrition advocacy with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan on Aging, a blueprint that can be used by state government, local communities, private organizations and philanthropy to build environments that promote an age friendly California.
Prior to joining Nourish California, Kameron was a MSW candidate whose research was focused on welfare reform, specifically reforms that support educational attainment in single mothers who identify as African/Black American. Kameron is passionate about policies that stimulate economic mobility and economic justice for minoritized populations. She has a Master of Social Work from Columbia University.
In her free time, Kameron loves to travel, especially travel with my family and friends.
Melissa Cannon, MS, RD
Melissa, Senior Advocate, joined Nourish California in 2015. She oversees the organization’s federal agenda and advocates progressive policies and programs that promote fair access to food for California’s critically under-resourced communities.
Melissa specializes in the intersection of law, health care, and access to government programs. She leads Nourish California’s “Getting to Yes” project and is involved in several projects aimed at improving data sharing across California’s health and human service programs. Melissa also has significant experience expanding access to food for young children and oversees the organization’s work in the early childhood space.
Melissa has more than a decade of experience in health and human service programs, including through previous roles at the Native American Health Center, a local WIC agency in California’s central valley, and within the Nutrition Services Division of the California Department of Education. Melissa is a Registered Dietitian and holds a MS in Health Policy and Law from UCSF and UC Hastings School of Law.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys rock climbing, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.
Sarah Samuels Public Health Policy Fellow
Michelle is Nourish California’s 2021 Sarah Samuels Public Health Policy Fellow. She supports Nourish California’s CalFresh and child nutrition advocacy. Her work includes helping identify state policy solutions to close gaps in equitable access to CalFresh for young children.
Michelle is currently working towards her Master’s in Public Health Nutrition at the University of California, Berkeley as well as her Registered Dietitian credential. During the school year, she teaches an undergraduate course on food insecurity and is a Maternal and Child Public Health Nutrition trainee. She is passionate about ensuring that every Californian has access to healthy, affordable foods.
Prior to joining Nourish California, Michelle worked at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County as a community outreach worker. In her time with Second Harvest, she helped lead her county’s efforts to facilitate the smooth rollout and enrollment of applicants during the historic CalFresh to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) expansion.
Outside of work, Michelle enjoys playing and listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and going on hikes.
Director of Programs
Tia Shimada, MPH
Tia, Director of Programs, joined Nourish California as a paid intern in 2008 and as a full-time member of the staff in 2009.
Tia provides overarching direction for programmatic work at Nourish California, leading the organization’s efforts to develop people-centered, stakeholder-informed, evidence-based priorities. She also oversees the Nourish California policy research agenda and serves as a staff lead for the Board’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. In all of these roles, Tia is privileged to work alongside a team that is dedicated to making California a better place for all who call it home.
Before life as a policy advocate, Tia conducted microbial ecology and child development research. The analytical and critical thinking skills she fostered in the pursuit of science serve her well in the pursuit of progressive policy change.
Her role at Nourish California allows Tia to engage in all areas of the organization’s work, though her deepest expertise lies in the school and summer nutrition programs. Among her favorite advocacy experiences was leading the long-sought, hard-fought effort to give students in California charter schools equitable, guaranteed access to school meals.
Tia earned a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. She values opportunities to support graduate students and new professionals as they blaze trails in public health and beyond.
Tia balances work life with adventures in open water swimming, hiking with family and friends, perpetual home repairs with her husband, and raising an ever-inquisitive Bay Area kid.