Michael Dimock, President

Michael is internationally recognized as a thought leader, organizer, and advocate for transformation of food and farming systems. His opinion editorials have been published in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Slow Food International publications. He is a regular contributor to the blog sites Civil Eats and Huffington Post. He has been leading Roots of Change since 2006. Michael began his agriculture and food career as a marketing executive in Europe for a California-based agribusiness company. In 1992, he founded Ag Innovations Network where he began his work on community consensus building and strategic planning for healthier food and agriculture. He pioneered regional and environmental branding programs in California and Western Australia. Michael sat on the board of Community Alliance with Family Farmers and served as its chairman in 1994-95. In 1996, he founded Slow Food Russian River, which is among the nation’s most active and influential Slow Food chapters, doing pioneering work on heirloom and heritage breed protection, grass-fed beef promotion, community support for school gardens, and local food systems development. In 2000, he became the first California Governor of Slow Food USA. In 2001, Michael graduated from the California Ag Leadership program, Class XXXI, the nation’s most respected leadership development program in the agricultural field. From 2002 to 2007, he was Chairman of Slow Food USA and a member of Slow Food International’s board of directors where he worked with founder Carlo Petrini on international strategy and was instrumental in organizing the USA’s first delegation to Terra Madre in 2004. Michael’s love for food systems grew from his experience on an 11,000-acre cattle ranch in Santa Clara County in the late 1960s and a development project with Himalayan subsistence farmers in Nepal in the late 70s. He holds a BA with honors in History from UCLA and a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University. Author, Katrina Fried, and Photographer, Paul Mobley, feature Michael in their book, Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing The World, published in October 2012.

Michael’s email address is michael@rootsofchange.org

Doris Meier, Project Coordinator

Doris brings various business and management experiences to her position as Project Coordinator with Roots of Change.  For close to a decade, she directed an international education business and later worked as an organizational development consultant and business coach.  She is currently also involved in a start-up company focused on building a story-telling platform to help mission-driven brands in the sustainability sector reconnect consumers to the origins of the food they eat. She is very committed to facilitating the growth and success of Roots of Change and its community and to reaching the goal of establishing a sustainable food system in California by the year 2030.  Doris received a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from New College of California and a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Golden Gate University.  She grew up in a small farming town in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and has lived in the Bay Area for the past twenty years.  She is an avid photographer, traveler and cook…and loves to eat!

Doris’ email address is doris@rootsofchange.org


Brenda Ruiz, Strategic Advisor

Brenda is ROC’s frontline organizer in Sacramento. An immigrant from Guatemala and a culinary professional, Brenda Ruiz has been working in the Farm to Fork Capital’s top restaurants since 1996 including The Water Boy, Freeport Bakery, The Kitchen, and Biba Ristorante. Highly regarded among her peers for her skill and work ethic, she’s known for combining her love of the culinary arts with her passion for supporting the work of charitable organizations. Notably, Ms. Ruiz serves on the Executive Board of Slow Food Sacramento as Director of the School Garden Coalition and Chair of its Youth and School Projects. Ms. Ruiz is currently the Nutrition and Kitchen Classroom Coordinator/Instructor at Grant High School’s GEO Academy, a certified Food Genius and instructor with Food Literacy Center, a graduate of Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Academy, and head chef instructor for summer camp programs with Jr. Chef Central.

Matthew Marsom, Vice President for Public Policy and Programs, Public Health Institute

As Vice President for Public Policy and Programs for the Public Health Institute (PHI), Matthew works to advance and support the work of the organization’s domestic and global health programs, identifying opportunities to strengthen program impact and promote cross‐program collaboration. Matthew is also responsible for designing and implementing strategy for monitoring and influencing public policy, legislation and regulations affecting PHI projects and public health policy relevant to PHI interests. Previously, he was chief of the Policy, Partnerships and Planning Unit of the Cancer Prevention and Nutrition Section of the California Department of Public Health, providing support for policy development, legislative analysis and external relations. He also oversaw the policy and partnership activities of the Network for a Healthy California. Originally from the United Kingdom, Marsom was an advocate for community‐based child care organizations and an advisor for policy and strategy within the Early Years and Childcare Unit for the Department of Education and Skills. Mathew is a strategic advisor to the ROC team, helping us to develop pathways and partnerships that will increase our impact on public policy.

Dan Imhoff, Strategic Advisor

Dan Imhoff is a researcher, author, and independent publisher who has concentrated for over 20 years on issues related to farming, the environment, and design. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books including CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories; Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill; Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World; Farming with the Wild: Enhancing Biodiversity on Farms and Ranches; and Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood.

Dan is the president and co-founder of Watershed Media, a non-profit publishing house based in Healdsburg, California. He is the president and a co-founder of the Wild Farm Alliance, a ten-year-old national organization that works to promote agriculture systems that support and accommodate wild nature. He is the publisher, co-author and editor of the annual ROC-generated Report on California Legislation Related to Food and Farming.

He received a B.A. in International Relations from Allegheny College and an M.A. in International Affairs from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University.


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