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Esperanza Pallana Executive Director

Esperanza is a culture change leader working with people, data, strategy, capital and storytelling. Her passions are community centered economic development, equitable and sustainable food systems and racial justice. She has worked with nonprofits for over 20 years with an emphasis in leadership, systemic change, and policy advocacy. Through these years, she has worked to support social justice entrepreneurs and movement leaders to access capital to build economic power and political leadership. Esperanza has led strategic program development and implementation, place-based initiatives; and served as a key influencer on a state and national platform while building strategic relationships with agencies and private sector organizations. As Executive Director, Esperanza is committed to community-controlled capital structures, narrative shift and emboldening transformative systemic change.

In her leadership roles she has cultivated political leadership in food policy initiatives, and fostered partnerships among a broad network of individuals, organizations, and businesses in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, Esperanza is a Fellow with the Castanea Fellowship. Castanea is a cohort-based leadership training for food system professionals focused on leadership and change theory to reform the impacts of racism and bias within the food system.