Meet our team
The people who lead the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank are dedicated to ending hunger in our community.
Paul Ash attended the University of California at Davis, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. After working in the private sector for several years, including time spent overseas in agricultural development, Paul returned to school to earn his master’s degree in business from San Francisco State University. Paul has worked in nonprofit management since 1984, and has lead the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank as executive director since 1989. Paul’s commitment to ending hunger in San Francisco has enabled the growth of the Food Bank to skyrocket from distributing just under three million pounds of food when he started in 1989 to about 48 million pounds this past year. The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank distributes more fresh produce per person in poverty than any food bank in the United States.
Paul has served on the Board of Directors of Feeding America, Feeding America’s national affiliates council and is on the board of the California Association of Food Banks and other nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area. He lives in Oakland with his wife and two children.
Chief Financial Officer
Michael Braude has worked for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank since 2000 and has been the Chief Financial Officer since 2004 leading the organization’s HR, IS, Facilities, and Finance departments. During Michael’s tenure, the number of staff has tripled, and the budget has more than quadrupled. Michael and his team have driven the adoption and implementation of modern technology systems that have streamlined our operations, allowing the Food Bank to distribute food more efficiently and equitably across our network. Michael also played a critical role conducting due diligence during the merger with the Marin Food Bank.
In his free time, Michael is active in efforts to preserve and protect habitat on the San Mateo County coast, where he is on the board of an environmental education organization and a docent naturalist at Año Nuevo State Park. Michael received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Chief Program Officer
Sean Brooks joined the Food Bank in 1996 and has been instrumental in developing and expanding innovative and national award-winning programming. He was the catalyst for the development of the country’s most extensive network of weekly food pantries, which allows the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to distribute significantly more food per person living in poverty than any other Food Bank in the country. Sean has been a champion of providing convenient access to healthy foods, nutrition education, and food stamps (aka CalFresh) to disadvantaged populations. He oversaw the expansion of the Food Bank’s programming in Marin County in response to the 2008 recession that preceded the merger with the Marin Food Bank. He recently spearheaded the creation and expansion of a home-delivered grocery program to help frail and disabled neighbors age in place with dignity.
Sean has dedicated his professional life to eliminating hunger, working in the sector both internationally and locally since graduating from Stanford University in 1989. He serves on the board of Groceries for Seniors, the city’s largest food pantry targeting vulnerable older adults and supports the sustainable irrigation/food security project he started in rural West Africa. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children and performs with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus in his free time.
Vice President of Development
Judith Frankel received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from the University of Illinois. She spent a decade in a variety of marketing positions and the technology field before turning her attention to nonprofit development. In 2003, she joined Project Open Hand, where she served as Director of Direct Marketing and Annual Fund. Starting in 2007, she served in a variety of development positions with San Francisco Opera, where she led high-performing fundraising teams and directed strategic initiatives in annual giving, individual giving, major and principal gifts, legacy giving and the endowment campaign. She joined San Francisco-Marin Food Bank in 2018 and is responsible for leading the Development Team in fundraising, marketing, and community engagement.
Judith lives in San Francisco and in her spare time, enjoys running, hiking, figure drawing, travelling, and live jazz.
Chief Operating Officer
Meredith Nguyen joined the Food Bank in 2008. After serving in various administrative and fundraising roles at the Food Bank, Meredith took on the role of Chief Development Officer from 2013-2017 and was responsible for the organization’s fundraising, marketing, and community engagement efforts. During this time the organization’s private contributions grew by 25%.
Meredith accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2017, where she continues to oversee Development in addition to leading the Food Bank’s day-to-day operations and support functions including: finance, human resources, information systems, warehouse operations, and food resources.
Meredith also serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Association of Fundraising Professionals—Golden Gate Chapter, Board of Directors. Meredith graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English with honors from Birmingham Southern College. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children.
Vice President of Supply Chain
Michael Wirkkala is a former board member of the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, who during his tenure served as Vice Chair and as Chair of the Audit Committee. Michael joined the Food Bank as Vice President of Supply Chain in 2018. He is responsible for the Food Bank’s end-to-end supply chain functions inclusive of sourcing, warehousing, allocation, and distribution of food. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business from San Jose State University and a Master of Business Administration degree achieved with honors from Saint Mary’s College of California. Michael has over 30 years of leadership experience in supply chain, operations, logistics, technology, eCommerce and finance in retail businesses. He has served as both a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer in public companies. Michael has also served on the advisory boards of both supply chain and technology companies.
Michael is a native of California and currently resides in Oakland. He is the proud parent of two daughters who also reside in the Bay Area.
Vice President Human Resources
Nadia joined the Food Bank in October 2018, after spending more than 20 years as an HR executive in the high tech sector. She is an innovative and strategic thought leader who helps organizations achieve complex, strategically-aligned change. At the Food Bank, she is responsible for leading the design and implementation of HR policies and programs that advance our mission.
Nadia holds a B.A. from the University of Washington, and an HR Management Certificate from the Cornell School of Industrial Labor Relations. She is also certified as a Senior Professional in HR (SPHR) by the Society of Human Resource Management. In her spare time, Nadia enjoys cheering on her kids at their theatrical performances and sporting events, golfing with her husband, and traveling with her family. She lives in Alameda with her husband and two daughters.