TasteWise Kids Board of Directors 2020
TasteWise Kids is committed to diversity and inclusion for its board, staff, volunteers, and community. The Board assesses member composition and promotes diversity and inclusion for board recruitment, programs, decision-making and operations by considering and respecting diversity of skills, experiences and demographics to ensure that all voices are valued and heard.
Lon Engel, J.D., serves as co-President and counsel to TasteWise Kids. He has been involved since TasteWise Kids’ origination and with its Days of Taste program since 2006. Lon is the managing attorney for Engel Law Group, a firm dating back to 1949. He is also co-owner of Engel Family Vineyards in St. Helena, Napa Valley. His favorite vegetable is corn and his favorite comfort food is Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream.
Riva Eichner Kahn
Riva Eichner Kahn, PhD, is Days of Taste Director, and TasteWise Kids Board Vice-Chair. Riva has been involved with the Days of Taste program since its inception in the Baltimore area in 1998, and has been National Days of Taste Chair since 2006. Riva retired from the Faculty of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Riva has been invited to speak at many state and national conferences on food education, student wellness programs and farm-to-school initiatives, and represented Days of Taste at Michelle Obama’s launch of Chefs Move to Schools at the White House in June 2010. Outside of TasteWise Kids and Days of Taste, she is active in several Baltimore area cultural organizations. Her favorite fruits and vegetables are radishes, zucchini, pomegranates and watermelon - depending on the time of year.
Jeff Reinhardt, CPA, CVA, serves as Treasurer of TasteWise Kids and has been involved since September 2016. Professionally, Jeff is partner/stakeholder with KBST&M Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. In Jeff’s spare time, he enjoys golf, football and coaching youth sports. His favorite vegetable is broccoli.
Dana Slater is the Communications Secretary and has been involved with TasteWise Kids since it began. She has also been part the planning committee for the Farm to Chef Maryland event since 2012. Outside of TasteWise Kids, produces the ORIGINS speaker series held monthly at Artifact Coffee. Her favorite vegetable is butternut squash.
Jamelle Bryant is a program manager at OneMain Financial. She focuses on leadership education programs for new managers. Jamelle has prior non-profit board experience. She was previously the board secretary at the Village Learning Place, and also chaired their Governance Committee. Jamelle is passionate about serving the community and often volunteers her time to causes related to children and education. She enjoys mentoring, has worked on many Baltimore City School initiatives, and has also taught financial literacy to middle and high school students. Jamelle is originally from Connecticut and has been slowly migrating down the east coast with a stop in Pennsylvania before moving to Maryland. As a life-long learner, she has an undergraduate degree in accounting from Bentley University, a master’s degree in business administration from Bowie State University, and is currently pursuing an instructional systems development certification from UMBC. In her free time, Jamelle can be found attending concerts and live music festivals, book club activities, and happy hour events. Her favorite vegetable is zucchini.
Renee Evans has been a board member since 2017. Professionally, she is the Vice President of Human Resources for Pompeian Inc., a manufacturer of olive oils, vinegars, and cooking wines. Growing up on a small farm in Ohio, Renee fondly remembers picking fresh vegetables out of the garden and bringing in eggs from the chicken coop. Today, Renee and her husband enjoy traveling the globe and experiencing different foods and cultures. Always open to new experiences, she’s tried some interesting dishes during those travels. Her favorite vegetables include red beets, peas, and tomatoes.
Michael Abboud, MBA, serves as a member of the TasteWise Kids Board of Directors. Michael joined the board of TasteWise Kids in July of 2018. He comes to the board from BGE where he is currently the Manager of Regional Distribution Engineering. Michael is responsible for leading an engineering team focused on improving the system reliability of Baltimore and surrounding counties. He has worked at BGE for 14 years and served in various roles from Design & Engineering, Project Management, Customer Relations, Utility Training and Business Operations. Michael’s most recent position was working directly for CEO of BGE where he was responsible for providing analytical and business support for the CEO. Prior to joining the board of TasteWise Kids, Michael has been actively involved as a coach for the Bel Air Terps youth football program and the Baltimore Lutheran Saints. Michael brings his passion for food to TasteWise Kids which was developed early in his childhood while working at his family’s restaurant in Bel Air, MD. Michael holds a B.S. from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Loyola University. He lives in Harford County with his wife and two daughters who love to enjoy the outdoors, cook wonderful meals and travel to new destinations. His favorite vegetable is sweet potato.
Kimberly Barker is Director of Marketing Operations at M&T Bank. M&T is a $120 billion bank with more than 700 branches. Kimberly is responsible for marketing risk management, budgeting and forecasting, project management and change management, as well as the division’s continuous efforts to improve its operating model. She is also responsible for the division’s leadership and talent development program, as well as employee engagement. Until 2016, Kimberly also managed the enterprise direct marketing program, driving process improvement, brand consistency and improved revenue generation. Prior to her current role, Kimberly was the Strategic Internal Communications Manager at M&T, overseeing the development of all messaging and marketing to employees, as well as the implementation of internal communications/branding best practices. Before joining M&T, Kimberly was the Creative Services Manager at Provident Bank, a $6.1 billion institution with more than 150 offices in Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and Virginia. She has more than 16 years of bank marketing experience including advertising, direct response marketing, internal communications, sales collateral, merchandising, Web site content development, marketing risk management and operations. Ms. Barker has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. She is also a graduate and now a faculty member of the School of Bank Marketing and Management. She is also a member of the Notre Dame of Maryland University Business and Economics Department advisory board. Her favorite vegetable (even though she knows it's a fruit) is tomatoes.
Neal Crowley is the Head of Corporate Insurance at Legg Mason Global Asset Management where he is responsible for overseeing the corporate insurance program. This includes devising strategies for risk mitigation across the firm, coordinating corporate and affiliate coverage needs, and providing management and advocacy for all insurance claims. Neal has a BBA in finance and JD from the University of Georgia. In addition, Neal is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He enjoys staying active, traveling, cooking and discovering new foods and listening to music. His favorite vegetable is collard greens, a nod to his southern upbringing.
Wendy Jeffries, MPP, serves as the Executive Director of TasteWise Kids and was part of a group committed to founding the non-profit in December 2015. In her role as Executive Director, she manages the organization’s core functions, works closely with the Board of Directors, and is building partnerships to increase the reach of the organization. Prior to TasteWise Kids being established, she has been involved with the Days of Taste program since 2009. Ms. Jeffries brings her expertise in using data and research-based practices to improve programs and outcomes for kids and families. She lives in Baltimore City with her husband and two daughters where they love to stay active, cook up great meals after buying ingredients at our city’s great farmers’ markets, and visiting new restaurants. While she loves to buy whatever is in season, her favorites are watermelon and butternut squash.