Our Team

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Jeanette Padilla Vega | Founder, President/CEO

Jeanette Padilla Vega is the founder, President, and CEO of Food Justice Coalition. She is also a consultant with a focus on diverse communities experiencing food and housing insecurity.

Utilizing a holistic and trauma-informed approach, Jeanette guides nonprofit, for-profit, and government-run entities in developing more effective and culturally appropriate processes and programs.

Jeanette is proud to be the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She quickly learned English as a second language after her family moved from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco at the age of five. Growing up between central California and Sinaloa Mexico, Jeanette honors her Mexican heritage by sharing her culture, primarily through culinary anthropology. Her background as a private chef, plant-based nutrition education, and lived experiences with systemic racism and homelessness as a child led her to found Food Justice Coalition as a way to decolonize the diet— a necessary move to preserve indigenous foods and food sovereignty.

Jeanette is also a speaker, trusted advisor, and community activator dedicated to creating more just and sustainable communities in which all individuals can thrive. She lives with her six year old daughter in Salt Lake City.


Marc Chamberlain | Board Vice President

Marc is a seasoned digital marketer with a rich background in PPC advertising, search engine optimization, and internet marketing. Marc’s expertise spans a wide range of industries, managing PPC budgets upwards of 3 million dollars annually.

Starting his career as a self-taught website developer in Utah nearly two decades ago, Marc created niche websites and honed his skills in content creation, SEO, PPC campaign management, and web analytics. Marc’s strategies have successfully secured top organic rankings for numerous client websites while managing expansive PPC budgets, demonstrating his skills in optimization and resource management.

Known for his ability to quickly adapt to new programs and systems, Marc’s proficiency in a variety of software and programming languages contribute to his versatility as a digital marketing professional. Marc has a knack for developing innovative marketing methods, and enjoys staying current with the latest trends in digital marketing and emerging technologies.


Dominic Nell | Executive Board Member

Urban farmer, photographer, activist, and vegan chef, Dominic “Nell” is the founder and CEO of City Weeds, LLC & Executive Director of Be More Green Grocery Store in Baltimore, MD. CityWeeds is a trauma-informed food business that strives to eliminate food deserts and improve the health, wellness, and independence of Baltimore City residents through the growing and selling of microgreens and cold-pressed juices. CityWeeds’ youth empowerment program, BeMoreGreen, operates out of The Food Project in southwest Baltimore.

Nell is also an educator at the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts. In addition to the local community impact, Nell has also been recognized by national organizations for his work—the most recent being the Baltimore Ravens. Through his work, Nell plants seeds of independence and sustainability while feeding minds and growing leaders.


Carin Crowe | Executive Board Member

Carin Crowe is a seasoned professional with a rich history of leveraging her creative vision and strong leadership skills to drive impactful change. Over the past decade, she has held the pivotal role of Senior Director of Operations at Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, where she has played a key role in building organizational capacity. Passionate about affordable housing, Carin is a dedicated advocate within her community.

Her dynamic background is highlighted by a two-decade tenure as the Senior Vice President of People Development for a prominent international transportation company. During this time, she also held leadership positions in various non-profit organizations, showcasing her commitment to social causes. Carin holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Quincy University. Notably, she is a Certified International Human Rights Consultant, underscoring her expertise in this crucial area.

Beyond her professional roles, Carin is deeply engaged in community service. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Food Justice Coalition, the Trevor Mortimer Legal and Bail Fund and Black Lives for Humanity. Carin also serves on the Unsheltered Utah Advisory Board, member of Utah Housing Coalition and the Utah Women’s State Legislative Council. Her dedication extends further as she actively volunteers with numerous organizations focused on serving the individuals experiencing homelessness. Carin is Mom to four, grown, amazing humans, one daughter-in-law and three high energy goldendoodles.


Kenzie Hirai | Program Coordinator

Kenzie Hirai was born and raised in Salt Lake City. She attended the University of Utah and graduated with a sociology degree. Kenzie has worked at civil rights and law non-profits where she coordinated advocacy efforts and free public programs. She is fascinated with the study of people and motivated by working collaboratively towards a more just, equitable society.

Kenzie serves as a member of the Topaz Museum Board of directors. As a descendant of the Topaz incarceration site in Delta, Utah she works to promote education around Japanese American Incarceration during WWII and preservation of the site. Additionally, she is working to form a Friends of Topaz Museum Salt Lake City Group. This group helps support the museum and hopes to connect the museum to Salt Lake City and descendents to their history.

She is grateful to work in cooperation with her fellow community members on the Nihonamatsuri Planning Committee chairing the historical exhibits that highlight Japanese American culture and history in Utah at the Annual Utah Japan Festival. Kenzie also enjoys teaching taiko drumming and is a member of the Ogden Buddhist Taiko group. She is also a board member for the Ogden Buddhist Temple.

Mackenzie takes pride and gratitude in the opportunity to work as the program coordinator for Food Justice Coalition. In this role she is committed to combating food insecurity and creating systems that provide holistic support to people experiencing hunger.


Jude Perno | Volunteer Contributing Writer

Jude Perno (he/they) is a long-time volunteer with the Food Justice Coalition and a current student at the University of Utah studying social work and journalism. Jude aims to explore the intersection of these two fields, most recently working with the Great Salt Lake Collaborative to cover legislation related to the lake’s crisis. You can also find him raving about local music over at SLUG Magazine, or on Instagram showing off their cat at every opportunity at @jude.perno.