California FreshWorks Summit




Tuesday, July 23, 2019
8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Networking reception from 4-5:30 pm

Double Tree by Hilton (map)
2233 Ventura Street
Fresno, CA
Event registration located at M Street entrance 

This event has passed. 




Join California FreshWorks for a day-long summit focused on increasing access to healthy food by building an equitable and sustainable food system. Connect with others working to improve California’s food system, and attend learning sessions related to equity and inclusion efforts in FreshWorks’ investments.

Event Schedule:


Registration (8:30 am, Main Foyer)

Opening Plenary & Breakfast (9-10 am, Salon C )

Equity Analysis within Finance (10:15-11:45 am, Salon D1)

Presenters: Chisato Fukuda Calvert, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Impact Experience; Mark Watson, Managing Director, Boston Impact Initiative Fund; and Leticia Corona, Global Development and Population Fellow, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.

A workshop style panel on racial equity and financial analysis. This group will discuss how to address structural racism within finance and integrate racial equity as an explicit factor of analysis and engagement within approaches to credit analysis, grant analysis and investing in social impact.

Rural Communities Strategies & Context (10:15-11:45 am, Salon D2)

Presenters: Brian Lang, Director, National Campaign for Healthy Food Access, The Food Trust; Dennis Hutson, Owner of The Allensworth Corporation and a 60-acre farm in Allensworth, CA; Molly Hartman, Program Director, Healthy Food Financing Initiative at Reinvestment Fund; Isabel Arrollo, Executive Director, El Quinto Sol de America; and Kassandra Hishida, Coordinator, Community Alliance for Agroecology.

A scan of the rural context from Lindsay & Allensworth in Tulare County to Pennsylvania and the Deep South. The panel will explore food access and food enterprise in rural communities while centering power building, equity and racial justice.

Lunch Plenary & Panel (12-1:30 pm, Salon C)
Lunch provided

FreshWorks: One Year in Review
Pacific Community Ventures

In Real Time with Food Projects

Presenters: Neelam Sharma, Executive Director, Community Services Unlimited, Inc; Warren King, CEO, Food Commons Fresno; Brahm Ahmadi, CEO/President, Community Foods Market; and Catherine Howard, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Community Vision.

A moderated discussion on what the reality has been to start a grocery retail business from the ground up. Speakers will describe what it really takes to get healthy food access projects done in underserved communities. More often than not locally-based solutions to increasing food access and building an equitable food system are years in the making. This discussion will delve into key barriers to accessing mainstream capital into high impact projects and realistic expectations for partners in philanthropy and government to support projects from concept to operations.

Using an Equity Lens in Business Development (1:45-3:15 pm, Salon D1)

Presenters: Mariela Cedeño, Interim Executive Director, Mandela Partners and Rudy Espinoza, Executive Director, Inclusive Action.

A participatory presentation on best approaches for deeply understanding and serving communities at risk for financial discrimination. Presenters will highlight root causes and share methods to foster business development that enables effective community driven solutions.

Beyond Grocery Retail (1:45-3:15 pm, Salon D2)

Presenters: Clare Fox, Executive Director, Los Angeles Food Policy Council; Asia Hampton, Director, Phat Beets Produce; Samantha Lopez, Founder/Owner, Urban Foodies; and Esperanza Pallana, Program Officer, Community Vision.

A workshop style panel featuring high impact community centered and supported projects. The session will focus on how and why they are effective and how to best support them.

Networking Reception (4-5:30 pm, Main Foyer)

There are limited scholarships available for transportation, lodging, and child care on an as needed basis. If you would like additional information or have questions, please contact Esperanza Pallana, Program Officer, at