Board and Advisory Committee
of Nourishing Generations

Nourishing Generations Educational Project is dedicated to educating children, families, and community members of all ages about cooking and eating a healthy, whole foods diet, and enjoying regular exercise – to maximize optimal health and minimize disease.


We are a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 corporation that offers dynamic after school programs for elementary school aged children that encompass nutrition education, healthy food preparation, culinary skills, and fitness. We engage teenagers to act as mentors in our programs. They help teach the younger children while they themselves learn about healthy lifestyle choices.


We offer individual classes and six or 12-week comprehensive programs targeting positive diet/lifestyle intervention for children and families.



We partner with local and national agencies such as Santa Cruz County Health Services, Live oak School District, Encompass Community Services, Go For Health, Cradle to Career, Live Earth Farm, Second Harvest Food Bank,  and many others, to combine resources that allows us to maximize the effectiveness of our program.


Nancy Birang, B.S, MT (ASCP), NC

Nancy is the Board president, co-founder and former executive director of NG.  She has a background in microbiology and biotechnology but now lives her passion of teaching adults and children to nourish and vitalize their body mind-spirits and to manage health challenges- through healthy eating and living. A Licensed Clinical Laboratory Scientist and a Board Certified Nutrition Consultant, she runs her own nutrition consulting firm in Los Gatos, CA.  She is a former instructor at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and currently works at Cancercarepoint where she provides nutrition consultations, group talks and food demoes for individuals and families on the cancer journey.

Mario Ballasteros

Mario is the co-owner and operator of Ballesteros Catering.  As a self-taught life-long chef, Mario has been in the kitchen since he was a young boy. Along with his wife, Jessica, they pursue their passion for good food and cooking in their successful business.  We are fortunate to have them share their enthusiasm and skills with the children in our programs in their roles as NG chefs. Mario brings an expertise in the catering and benefit event production. 


Cathy Crystal, B. Ed, CNC

Cathy is the co-founder of Nourishing Generations. She has worked as a Holistic Practitioner with her private practice for over 30 years as a Board Certified Nutrition Consultant, Herbalist, Sound Attunement Balance Practitioner & SoulCollage Practitioner. She has developed Nutrition Curriculum materials for adults and children for numerous programs -  as Academic Manager, Curriculum Developer and Instructor for Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts for 20 years, Co-Developer of our NG after school programs and LifeLab at one local Santa Cruz City School in the early 90’s. Cathy is passionate about holistic health and well-being on all levels and is thrilled to be on the NG board. 

          Mica Hall

          Mica has a strong personal interest in improving community members' health through education about nutrition and exercise. She is a career educator

          that believes the way to change the present and the future is by educating children and supporting them in taking the lessons they have learned back to

          their families, to make healthy choices a way of life. As an American Council on Exercise Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Fitness Nutrition

          Specialist, born and raised in the area, she is dedicated to ensuring we all enjoy the bounty of our local harvest.  Mica hold a BA from Williamette

          University, MA and PhD from the University of Washington, and an MS in Public Administration from Golden Gate University. She has worked at Defense

          Language Institute for since 1999 and is currently a school Dean.


          Karen Haralson, MA CNC

          Karen is the director and operations coordinator for NG. She is a certified Nutrition Consultant and Educator. She holds a Masters of Humanities and

          Leadership from New College of California, program Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community, with a concentration in Holistic Nutrition. She is a

          graduate of Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts in Santa Cruz, CA. Karen has a passion for nutrition and health and is dedicated to

          educating clients and the public in improving the health and well being of the individual and our food systems. Karen manages and coordinates all

          aspects of NG program preparation and implementation, including scheduling with staff and school, generating proposals, procuring funding, designing

          budgets, developing and evaluating curriculum, training staff, networking with community and national agencies.

Johna Martin-Simon

Johna graduated with a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a Minor in Women’s Studies from San Jose State. Previous to that she spent four years in the school of Journalism at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduating, Johna went on to a career in Human Resources in a variety of industries. Most notably, Johna moved to Watertown, New York to open a Technical Support Call Center (a Hilary Clinton project for economic development) as the Senior Human Resources Manager. During her 20-year Human Resources career, Johna was distinguished in creating community programs benefiting women and children in crisis. Currently Johna volunteers with local non-profits offering marketing and community outreach services.

Eileen O'Connor, RN FNP

Eileen is a Registered Nurse and Family Nurse Practitioner who attended College of San Mateo and University of California, Davis. She has extensive, broad-based clinical and administrative experience in a variety of health care delivery systems and settings. Eileen is an effective senior health care leader with proven ability in application of performance measurement and quality improvement strategies; development of nation-wide cohesive work teams, education/training of corporate and local staff in program goals and objectives, implementation of report production units, system migration and compliance/audit rigor. She has worked in Colorado, Maryland, and several locations in California and now lives in Aptos, Ca. Having become very interested in healthy eating and cooking, she is pleased to work with an organization like NG that would allows her to give back doing something she values and enjoys - cooking, eating and sharing.

Jamie Smith

Jamie is a certified Chef de Cuisine, a member of the American Culinary Federation, a certified Food Safety manager/instructor, a School Nutrition Specialist, and a graduate of USDA's Food Safety University.  He has served as the Chef de Cuisine of the University of California Santa Cruz and the Food Service Director for the Santa Cruz City Schools. His currrent project is Foodsmith, creating nutrient-rich meals for families and working adults.

 Yeyen Gunawan

Yeyen was the co-owner of the award-winning La Vie Organic Cafe in Santa Cruz. She is now the proud owner of La Vie Pure Food Collective, a farmers market business serving Monterey to San Mateo counties. In 2011 she co-founded Inner Fit Science providing wellness education to health gyms in Northern California. In the same year she becomes an exclusive marketing representative for Javara US distributing indigenous organic, gluten free foods from Indonesia where she was born and raised.

Jan McCormack, BS, CRIM, CPIM, CNE

Jan brings her business expertise to NG; she has over 28 years experience in Silicon Valley – in various manufacturing industries in the area of Information Technologies: systems analysis, process re-engineering, management consulting, systems definitions & implementations, and a variety of project management roles. In addition, she was on the board of directors of the National Brain Tumor Foundation / Society from 1992 until 2009. Jan NE course from Bauman College, and is interested in combining a growing interest and passion in nutrition with her previous for-profit and non-profit experience.




Bob Zufall

Bob is the co-founder and managing principal of BZASEARCH headquartered in Scotts Valley, California. He has more than 25 years of experience in Human Resource Management, Consulting, and Executive Search.  He is currently a Commercial Real Estate and Development Agent and Project Manager at Appenrodt Associates in Santa Cruz County, California.

In addition Bob has been active in the restaurant business in Santa Cruz; is past president of both the Santa Cruz Lions Club and the Kuumbwa Jazz Center; and is a partner in Sweet Science Productions (a sports and music promotions organization as well as a member of Cornerstone International, an international search organization.

Laurie Zerga

Laurie, a Strategic Business Advisor and founder of Chef-K®, provides culinary education that is the link to a longer healthier life.  Through Chef-K she’s trained almost 20,000 children and families over 15 years nationally.  Her primary clients are organizations that support youth and families in schools, Boys & Girls clubs, and military youth programs.  Chef-K material has been reviewed and included in resource libraries from USDA, SNAP-Ed, California Healthy Kids and After School Resource Centers, as well as other U.S. states and agencies.  She is pleased to be on the board of Nourishing Generations, a 501C3 non-profit organization.






Our Board Members

Our Advisory Committee

Call us:

Karen Haralson: (831) 419 - 0759

                     Mail us: 

                     P.O. Box 95 Felton, CA. 95018

© 2020 Nourishing Generations