Who We Are

For over 45 years, the Food Bank—made up of a diverse staff, dedicated Board of Directors and passionate volunteers—has been leading the fight to end hunger.

Executive Staff

Joel Sjostrom
President and CEO since 2019
[email protected] | ext. 202

Joel joined the Food Bank in December of 2019, just months before the full rise of the pandemic and shelter-in-place orders. He led our team through immediate and significant expansion of staff, facilities and food distribution programs to respond to record food insecurity levels created by COVID-19 and crushing wildfires. Under his leadership, the organization was able to serve more people and provide more food than ever before. Building strong teams and increasing organizational capacity has been a strength in Joel’s leadership experience, and his sights are set on expanding the Food Bank’s ability to serve our neighbors in need well into the future.

With a deep personal commitment to strengthening communities, Joel has long been an avid volunteer for various nonprofit organizations, including the Greater Richmond Interfaith Project (GRIP), Hope Lutheran Preschool, Trinity Church Brown Bag Program in NYC, Haitian Foster Home Project and the American Heart Association.

Joel holds a BA in Management and Marketing from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. A Minnesota native, Joel is a long-term resident of Contra Costa County and resides in El Sobrante with his wife Sherry.

Kim Castaneda, CFRE
Vice President of Development and Communications since 2017
[email protected] | ext. 265

With over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Kim brings expertise and energy to her role as VP of Development & Communications. Kim’s team creates strategies and builds relationships that advance all aspects of the Food Bank’s resource development work to support the mission of ending hunger in our community. Kim is passionate about giving back to her community, and through resource development, she sees opportunities to inspire and enable others to give back as well.

Kim is a Certified Fundraising Executive, a graduate of San Jose State University and holds a certificate from the University of Notre Dame-Mendoza College of Business Executive Leadership Program.

Brian Morrow, CPA
Vice President of Finance since 2021
[email protected] | 925-849-8340

Brian is a licensed CPA and experienced finance professional with executive leadership and consulting experience. He has worked with several CPA firms throughout his career and provided specialized support to large and small nonprofit organizations. Before coming to the Food Bank, Brian held the position of CFO & Treasurer for The Reutlinger Community, a nonprofit eldercare organization with skilled nursing and rehab services. Additionally, he currently serves as a board member and finance chair for Kokoro Assisted Living in SF.

He holds a BS in Business Administration and a Master of Accounting degree.

Jenny Schaeffer Headshot

Jenny Schaeffer
Program Director since 2021
[email protected] | ext. 204

Jenny brings a wealth of leadership experience in food retail at national brands including Whole Foods, Panera Bread and Trader Joe’s. Nine years ago, Jenny brought her expertise to the non-profit sector, where she has held leadership positions in multiple food-focused non-profits. Before moving to California, she was a key contributor at the Food Bank of South Jersey (SJFB) for five years. At the SJFB, Jenny held a series of leadership positions with growing responsibility in procurement, operations and programs, most recently as the Senior Director of Operations.

Krystine Dinh
Marketing and Communications Director since 2021
[email protected] | ext. 206

Krystine has 13+ years of marketing and corporate communications, integrated marketing, and media relations experience and is thrilled to be applying this knowledge to further the Food Bank’s mission to end hunger. In her previous roles, her team was responsible for driving awareness of the mission, cross-channel promotion, and evangelizing the corporate narrative and reputation. Most recently, she held the position of Vice President of Integrated Communications for Better Place Forests, the company that founded America’s first conservation memorial forests. Prior to that, she held several marketing leadership roles as Director of Communications & PR at travel and expense company, TripActions, and the Director of Communications at global mobile app and data company, data.ai (formerly App Annie). Krystine is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and holds a B.A. in Political Science.

Jennifer Costa, Director of Human Resources

Jennifer Costa
Human Resources Director since 2023
[email protected] | ext. 203

Jennifer began her career as a nonprofit fundraiser and program manager before discovering her passion for human resources. She brings 15 years of experience with mission-driven organizations in the Bay Area, including San Francisco’s St. Anthony Foundation and Roots Community Health in Oakland, where she most recently served as HR Director. Jennifer has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, her M.A. in Counseling from St. Mary’s College, and her Nonprofit Management Certificate from Golden Gate University.

As Director of Human Resources, she is committed to promoting employee wellness and making the Food Bank a great place to work.


CHAIR: Jill Steele (2020)
Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Prophet

VICE CHAIR: Laura Moran (2016)
Retired, Partner, Prophet

Jenny Berten (2022)
College Health Nurse, Saint Mary’s College of California

Dan Birkhaeuser (2022)
Partner, Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP

Bill Burke (2022)
Vice President, Comerica Bank

Tom Chowaniec (2020)
Retired, Regional Manager, General Mills

Keva Dean (2022)
Eligibility Work Supervisor, Contra Costa County

Rich Golinski (2020)
Partner, Cerity Partners

Mark Gundacker (2019)
Head of People, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Melissa Manke Fimbres (2022)
Director, Technical Services, Valero Energy Corporation

Melissa Jones (2018)
Executive Vice President, Chief HR Officer, CSAA Insurance Group

Marc Lewis (2017)
Attorney, Partner/Co-Founder, Lewis & Llewellyn LLP

Teresa Makarewicz (2019)
Retired, Manager CA Business Coordination, Shell Oil Products US

Ryan Misasi (2022)
Executive VP, Retail Banking, Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central CA

Bruce Phelps (2018)
Retired, Consultant, BiotecHPro Consulting, LLC

Tanya Powell (2020)
Chief Financial Officer, Total Safety Supplies and Solutions

Gretchen Tai (2022)
Vice President, Investments, CSAA Insurance Group

NOTE: The year in parentheses indicates the year that member was elected to the Board of Directors. Board members are all independent voting members.


The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is actively seeking Board of Director candidates for membership. New Board Members will start July 1. Our Board is a passionate group of volunteer members who care about serving our neighbors in need and advocating for a hunger-free tomorrow. Its role is to provide oversight and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Food Bank’s mission and vision.

We look for candidates who care deeply about our mission, which is: Leading the fight to end hunger, in partnership with our community and in service of our neighbors in need.

We are committed to promoting diverse perspectives, lived experiences, and equitable access and opportunities essential to achieving our mission of leading the fight to end hunger.

If you are committed to addressing food insecurity and interested in becoming a board member, please review the Board of Director Roles and Responsibilities. After review of the Roles and Responsibilities, if you would like to pursue becoming a board member, please complete and submit a Board Interest Questionnaire along with your resume. We request that the questionnaire and resume be emailed to Teresa Makarewicz no later than April 10, 2023.

Your application will be reviewed by the Food Bank Board’s Governance Committee and, if selected, you will be contacted for an interview.

At this time in particular, we are looking for candidates with experience in the areas of law, technology, healthcare, fundraising and human resources. However, we encourage all interested parties to apply.

We hope to hear from you.

If you have a question, but don’t know who to ask, contact us at 855-309-3663 (FOOD) or [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch with the staff member best suited to answer your inquiry.