Founder and Executive Director
In 2009, Ruthi saw an opportunity to improve to the emergency food distribution system in the United States by expanding the focus beyond simply filling empty stomachs. Inspired by the concept that food is medicine, she founded SuperFood Drive to ensure that nutrient dense SuperFoods are accessible to all individuals, regardless of income level.
Ruthi is a Clinical Nutritionist with a Masters in Mind Body Medicine. Ruthi’s professional experience includes corporate wellness, individual and community nutrition, public health initiatives, Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping for neighborhood food access and food system advocacy.
Ruthi is a member of the World Public Health Nutrition Association, faculty for Food as Medicine, and a recipient of the 2012 Stephen J. Brady STOP Hunger award. Ruthi speaks publicly about SuperFood Drive at national and international conferences and symposiums.
Cindy began volunteering for SuperFood Drive in May of 2012 and joined the team as Associate Director in 2013. She has a Masters in Public Health from Walden University, and completed her practicum work in the Strategy Development department of a national reproductive health organization. Cindy has worked for several nutrition and wellness agencies and businesses, including a corporate wellness company where she supervised a team of health coaches, conducted trainings, and worked with clients to shape the programs to meet their individual business needs.
Cindy loves spending time with her three children and teaching them about food. They spend free time in the kitchen, testing new recipes and creating some of their own! Strawberry pizza, anyone?
Business and Program Development Manager
Bethany joined the SuperFood Drive team in 2016 as Business and Program Development Manager. Prior to joining SuperFood Drive, she worked on evaluating state and national programs designed to promote nutrition and physical activity in schools, in research on neighborhood food access and its relationship to chronic disease, and as an educator teaching classes in nutrition to a wide variety of audiences. She earned her MPH from UC Berkeley.
Bethany loves hiking, cooking, traveling and exploring the small towns of California. Her most recent project is working on cultivating a love of all vegetables and fruits in her young son. She’s happy to report that despite the many skeptical faces, he has yet to spit anything out.
SuperKids Curriculum Consultant
Julie Negrin, M.S., has been a certified nutritionist, cooking instructor, and program developer for 15 years. She is the author of Easy Meals to Cook with Kids and has a Master’s in Nutrition from Bastyr University. Julie worked in culinary and nutrition education in New York City for 12 years – spending 5 years as the Director of Culinary Arts at the JCC in Manhattan where she taught and developed unique curricula for adults and kids 2-18 years old.
Julie designs and executes food education programs, writes curriculum, teaches cooking classes, and offers online professional trainings (How to Teach Cooking to Kids, How to Teach Nutrition). She has appeared on Sesame Street, Nightly News with Katie Couric, and the Today Show. Julie now resides in San Diego, CA where she teaches at e3 Civic High School and consults for SuperFood Drive.
Ashley is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy food and cooking. She completed her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition at San Diego State University and then went on to work as a chef after completing culinary school in 2007. Ashley is currently completing her Masters in Dietetic Administration at Utah State University. With an enthusiasm for teaching, Ashley has found herself in various professional roles, including weight loss consultant, health coach, outpatient counselor and wellness coordinator for various companies and as an independent contractor throughout San Diego. Ashley currently works as an independent consultant for long-term care, adult day health care and wellness programs to provide nutrition services, menu development, cooking demonstrations and diet education.
In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and their three daughters. She also loves to cook, enjoy the outdoors and manage their ‘mini’ farm of goats, chickens, dogs and fabulous garden!
Brenda Balmer has been a full-time grant development professional for the past fifteen years, working for a wide range of health and social service organizations. The last eleven of these years were spent happily at Vista Community Clinic where she was personally associated with obtaining more than $40 million in grant funding. Brenda is skilled in a highly effective team-based approach to grant and program development that includes prospect research, concept development, detail management of the grant development process, and of course writing, editing and submission.
In addition, her experience and skill set extends to organizational training and mentoring around grant and program development. She is interested in health, social services, environmental and social justice, music, the arts, and other types of writing and editing projects needed by organizations dedicated to serving the common good. Brenda has a deep desire to help make the world a more peaceful, healthy, just and beautiful place.
Tiffany Rios, RD
Recipe Tester & Community Engagement Volunteer
Tiffany Rios’ passion for food, fitness, and well-being inspired her to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition at Rutgers University in 2005. For 7 years she has practiced as a Registered Dietitian, empowering her patients to take control of their health through proper nutrition. Tiffany currently works for Sharp Healthcare as a Certified Diabetes Educator. Throughout her career, she’s observed how, for some people, not having the proper financial resources to implement diet changes can be challenging and overwhelming. SuperFood Drive’s mission inspired her to get involved with assisting this population. In her spare time, she loves being active outdoors, laughing, cooking, and spending quality time with friends and family. One of her favorite quotes is “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”
Recipe Tester & Community Engagement Volunteer
Holly is currently studying Foods and Nutrition at San Diego State University and is working toward her Registered Dietitian license post graduation. While learning how to eat around her many food allergies, she found a passion for cooking, healthy eating, and sharing nutrition facts with anyone who will listen! When she’s not working or studying, Holly loves exploring San Diego’s diverse food scene and finding new kinds of food to eat. She believes that healthy eating is an affordable and practical lifestyle that anyone can achieve!
Jessica has been working with SuperFood Drive since 2009 through both the website and community outreach events. Her experience with SuperFood Drive inspired her to pursue her goal of using technology and good design to improve the health of our communities. In December 2012, Jessica completed her Masters in Public Health at UCLA in Community Health Sciences and is currently the Product Manager for EatFresh.org at Leah’s Pantry.
Prior to her career in public health, Jessica worked as a User Experience Designer for the software company MindTouch, Inc. and has worked on various projects through her freelance design business, Green Papaya Designs.