COFSAC Members

Our Council is comprised of 12 General Assembly Leadership appointed seats and 5 Governor appointed seats that correspond to specific food system stakeholder groups, and 6 members appointed by each of the associated state agencies as designated by our founding legislation.

Mandy Nuku

Feeding Colorado

Representative of statewide anti-hunger organization

Mandy Nuku currently serves as the Government Relations Director for Feeding Colorado.  Mandy joins Feeding Colorado to further our policy priorities: Protect and strengthen programs that fight hunger, support organizations that serve people facing hunger, reduce the number of people needing food assistance, and encourage a strong nonprofit sector. Mandy has a personal passion for accessible and inclusive wellness and nutrition access.

Mandy brings years of experience in the non-profit sector and in the government relations field with a strong focus on grassroots policy advocacy. Mandy has previously worked for many non-profit organizations including Nurse-Family Partnership & Child First, League of Women Voters of Boulder County, and the YMCA. Mandy has served as a contract lobbyist and grassroots advocacy coordinator on campaigns in Florida and South Carolina on issues ranging from nursing scope of practice to medical cannabis legislation. Mandy is passionate about elevating the voices of those closest to the work and those with lived experience as part of her advocacy and policy work.

As a first-generation college graduate, Mandy holds a Master’s degree in Politics & Public Policy from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Mandy, a lifelong Coloradoan, originally from Pueblo, loves spending time outdoors in our beautiful state with her husband and three children.

AJ Roche

Weld Food Bank

Representative of a Food Bank

A.J. currently serves as the President for the Board of Directors of the Weld Food Bank based in Greeley, CO, where he has been an active member since 2019. The Weld Food Bank distributes over 15 million pounds of food annually across all 4,000 square miles of Weld County. He has grown up in Greeley nearly his entire life and currently works as the Director of Preconstruction for Roche Constructors, Inc., a family-owned general contractor. He is also actively engaged in other local non-profits and a charter school board of governors. His dedication to supporting food access initiatives reflects his lifelong connection to Northern Colorado and his unwavering commitment to serving the needs of his community.

Angelika Sunie

Recipient of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Angelika Sunie (she/they), is a member of several initiatives and advocacy groups based in Southern Colorado. Having joined the food system in 2022, Angelika is relatively new to this work and carries a mother’s passion for nourishing food – specifically as it relates to future generations and school lunches. In her work as a member of the Pueblo Food Project, One Colorado Food Equity Coalition, and the Policy Council for the South Central Colorado Head Start, Angelika continues to focus on learning about institutional procurement, food systems change, and how to get healthier food into our schools permanently

Juli Babcock

Representative of specialty crop production and as a specialty crop producer

Joan Brucha

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Representing Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Joan Brucha is the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Unit Manager at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment with over 15 years of experience working statewide and nationally with childhood obesity initiatives. She led the Healthy Schools Program with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an initiative started by the Clinton Foundation and American Heart Association, and was Vice President of Professional Development Services at RMC Health. Joan holds a Master Degree in Public Health from the University of Northern Colorado. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to live music, attending Rockies and Nuggets games, and being physically active, especially running in Denver’s City Park.

Marci Cochran

Hunger-Free Colorado

Representative of a Federal Food Assistance program

In addition to her role as a Regional Food Coordinator with Hunger-Free Colorado, Marci Cochran wears multiple Food System hats in Pueblo – all related to her passions of an equitable Food System that meets people where they are, ensuring access to relevant, holistic nourishment for humans.

Chef Ann Foundation

Chef Ann Foundation

Representative of a local nonprofit community organization engaged in farm-to-school programs or local food systems

Chef Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, chef, educator and enduring advocate for better food for all children. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Ann has been a chef for more than 30 years, over 15 of those in school food programs. She currently serves as the Director of Food Services for the Boulder Valley School District. Known as the Renegade Lunch Lady, Ann has been honored by The National Resources Defense Council, selected as a Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, and awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY Cobleskill for her work on sustainable agriculture. In 2009, Ann founded the nonprofit Chef Ann Foundation to focus on solutions to the school food crisis with free and accessible tools, recipes and resources to support schools transitioning to scratch-cooked meals made with whole, healthy food.

Krista Garand

Colorado Department of Education

Representing Colorado Department of Education

Krista Garand recently joined the Colorado Department of Education Nutrition Unit as the Supervisor of Grants and Strategy. In this new role she provides oversight, project management and strategic direction for the following areas: farm to school and meal quality initiatives, including Local School Food Purchasing Program; Blueprint to End Hunger implementation grant; USDA Technology Innovation Grant; USDA Farm to School Grant; new programs and grant funding opportunities; quality improvement projects; and unit strategic plan. This work supports the mission of the unit to support the child nutrition community through innovation, training, and partnerships to ensure all youth have access to healthy meals.

Prior to this new role, Krista served as the Food Service Director with Durango School District 9-R for sixteen years where she championed farm to school work in the state of Colorado in order to support local agriculture and healthy school meal initiatives. Krista was an appointee to the Colorado Farm to School Task Force.

Amanda Laban

Colorado Department of Agriculture

Representing: Colorado Department of Agriculture

Al Goodman

Common Harvest Colorado

Representative of Food wholesalers or food retailers

Al Goodman (he/they) is the Operations and Markets Manager for East Denver Food Hub where they focus on aggregation, distribution, and his true love, farmers markets. He specializes in building meaningful relationships and partnerships with farmers, ranchers, and producers across Colorado and the broader food region. Al is always looking for new market channels, from small CSAs to large institutional buyers, to make profitability that much more viable for growers in the state.

Prior to moving to Colorado, Al worked in D.C.-area food systems for over five years, serving as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps School Garden Coordinator in District of Columbia Public Schools, managing farmers markets around the city with FRESHFARM, and helping low-income community members enroll in food assistance programs He also lived in Ireland where he worked extensively on small-scale regenerative farms and helped create a local purchasing program for a small restaurant group.

Tessa Hale

Good Food Institute

Representative of Institutional procurement, healthcare setting

Tessa Hale is the Healthy Beverage & Food Advisor at Boulder County Public Health where she supports community members in tackling the systems leading to dietary-related chronic disease through building farm to institution food systems and innovative policy campaigns. Tessa is especially interested working toward a sustainable, equitable, healthy, and just food system in Colorado. Her perspective on Colorado’s food and agricultural system is informed by her family’s roots as farmers in Kit Carson, Colorado, and her current work on increasing access to healthy foods for all Colorado residents. Tessa holds a Master of Science in Nutrition Education from American University.

Derrick Hoffman

Hoffman Farms

Representative of Agricultural production, sells ag products to public schools/school districts

Derrick Hoffman was born and raised in Loveland, Colorado. His family originally immigrated to Colorado in 1903 to work the sugar beet fields in Weld County. His grandfather grew up to farm, as well as his father. Derrick ended up farming with both of them until his Dad retired in 2002, from there Derrick embarked on a 22 year career in Education working in Information Technology. During this time, his wife Hanmei started an urban farm on their 3 acre property in north Greeley. With Derrick’s past experience, they have grown their small farm into a 100 acre operation of mixed vegetables that they sell directly to consumers, as well as to K-12 school districts and other institutional buyers. 2022 will be their 8th full season in operation.

Samantha O’Neill-Dunbar

Office of Economic Security

Colorado Department of Human Services

Nicholas Marquez

Hunger Free Colorado

Representative of Expertise in federal Food nutrition service programs

Nicholas Marquez was born and raised in Colorado, his passion and commitment towards community empowerment and achieving true racial, economic, and social justice stems from his and his family’s past and current struggles to living a dignified life. He currently works as a Community Organizer with Hunger Free Colorado. His focus is to engage Colorado’s most impacted communities in meaningful ways that builds trust and deep relationships which nourish community members as leaders in their communities while also bolstering their lived experiences as expertise to push for long-lasting systemic changes.

Liza Marron

San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition

Representative of Expertise in rural community and regional development, or community and economic development programs

Liza is the founding director of the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition in rural southern Colorado. The San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition works to foster an equitable local food system that restores the health of the people, community, economy and ecosystem. She has been a community organizer with a focus on social justice, wellness and prevention for many years.

Marron served as the Alamosa coordinator of LiveWell Colorado’s healthy eating active living initiative from 2007 to 2013 seated at Valley Wide Health Systems, Inc. She worked with local partners to sustain the LiveWell Colorado investment in the San Luis Valley and to maintain healthy eating active living momentum through the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition.

Ms. Marron has a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Her skill set includes coalition building, grant writing, governance, visioning and strategic planning, non-profit management, finance, and economic development.

The major projects of the Local Foods Coalition are the Valley Roots Food Hub aggregation and distribution enterprise complete with commercial kitchen for value-added production – now a member of Tap Root Cooperative seeking to capture the front range market for rural producers; the Rio Grande Farm Park an agricultural park with a farmer incubator whose farmers have formed the Rio Grande Farm Park Farmers Cooperative, Cooking Matters teaching families to cook healthy on a budget and the San Luis Valley Farm to School Task Force.

Marron lives in Saguache Colorado with her son, their horses, dogs, cat and chickens, her garden and her bicycle.

Dawn Thilmany McFadden

Colorado State University

Colorado State University Extension

Dawn Thilmany is a Professor of Agribusiness and Extension Economist with Colorado State University, serving in that role since 1997 and became the Associate Director for CSU’s Office of Community and Economic Development in 2019. She specializes in economic development related to local, organic and other value-added food market supply chains, as well as food market analysis and consumer behavior. Her work on agricultural diversification also includes work with agritourism in Colorado and the Western US. She is a past chair of the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council (COFSAC), supports the CSU Extension’s Food Systems and Community Development programs and has served on a number of advisory boards and project teams for the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Michele Meyer

Community Agriculture Alliance (CAA)

Representative of a food distributor or a food hub

Michele has worked at Community Agriculture Alliance (CAA) since 2010 and assumed the Executive Director role in 2018. She brings over 25 years of professional fund raising and marketing experience to the CAA. Michele previously worked for United Way, Hospice of Larimer County and has her own business as a personal trainer/yoga instructor, she is also a part time ski instructor.  Upon moving to the Yampa Valley in 2010, Michele owned and operated a small family farm with her three children active in 4-H.  Sharing the hard work of raising and growing food shaped her passion for local food.
Michele started the CAA local food program in 2014 and has guided its growth to a thriving local food market with an expanding impact in the community.  Michele chairs the NW Colorado Food Coalition, serves on the Yampa River Fund Board and Steamboat Springs Chamber Board.  She also serves on the Colorado Cattlemen’s Ag Land Trust Yampa Valley Advisory Committee.

With a diverse background, Michele comments, “One of the main reasons I moved to NW Colorado is the natural beauty of the Yampa Valley.  The scenic working landscapes, open spaces, and heritage of agriculture are critical to keeping the area unique and so special.”

Julie Moore

Colorado Beef Council

Representative of Food wholesalers or food retailers, direct market retailer

Julie Moore has been the Director of Nutrition & Education for the Colorado Beef Council since May 1997. A Nebraska native, Julie grew up on a diversified farming and ranching operation. After completing both a Food Science and a Human Nutrition degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Julie worked for JBS for three years in the beef processing facility in Grand Island, Nebraska. She attended Colorado State University and received a Master’s in Meat Science and then worked for one of the Burger King beef patty suppliers before coming to the Colorado Beef Council. During her tenure at the Colorado Beef council Julie has been a part of several AHA committees, the CDPHE Cardio-Vascular Disease & Stroke Task Force, a founding member of COPAN (predecessor of LiveWell Colorado) and founding appointee to the Colorado Farm to School Task Force. Julie lives in Aurora with her husband Rex and two sons William (20) and Ethan (16).

Vacant

Representative of Statewide healthy food systems org

Tamaan Osbourne-Roberts

Representing: Nutrition expert, licensed physician, or registered dietitian

Greg Thomason

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

Office of Economic Development and International Trade

Greg Thomason recently joined the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade as the Rural Opportunity Representative for Eastern Colorado. Prior to assuming his new role, Greg served as the Executive Director with Morgan County Economic Development Corporation where he established support for an agribusiness incubator and advanced initiatives in support of workforce housing,

He currently serves on the boards of directors with the Colorado Growth & Revitalization Fund, the Economic Development Council of Colorado; and the Northeast Colorado Association of Local Governments.

Larry Pollart

Northeastern Junior College

Representing: Academic specialist in economic systems, agriculture, or health care

Larry Pollart is a Professor in the Animal Science Department at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado where he teaches courses in Animal Science and Agriculture Mechanics.  Larry was born on a small family farm and ranch near Holly, Colorado, where he and his twelve siblings took an active part in raising crops and livestock.  He graduated with an Associate of Science Degree in Vocational Agriculture Education from Northeastern Junior College, and then graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Agriculture.  He taught Vocational Agriculture at the high school level in Nebraska, then received his Master’s from the University of Wyoming and began teaching at the post-secondary level.  He has been an educator for thirty-six years, and is passionate about teaching, Agriculture, and an occasional golf match.

Staff

Libby Christensen

Coordinator

Libby.Christensen@colostate.edu

Libby has over 10 years of experience working in food systems with a focus on the interconnectivity of rural and urban places through food and agriculture. She is passionate about identifying, expanding, and leveraging demand for agricultural and food products to improve the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of farmers and ranchers. Her experiences include establishing a local food label with Sacramento County Farm Bureau, working on a small scale pig farm in North Carolina, running a produce distribution company in the Salinas Valley, and teaching nutrition courses at Colorado State University. In Libby’s current position she manages all things food related including food safety training, value-added food business development, food preservation, and local food system efforts. When not working with Extension, she enjoys skiing, hiking and cooking with her husband and young son and daughter.

Council Seats and Terms

NameSeatTerm Expires
Al GoodmanRepresentative of Food wholesalers or food retailers10/31/2025
Mandy NukuRep. Statewide anti-hunger organization10/31/2025
Nicholas MarquezRep. Expertise in federal Food nutrition service programs10/31/2025
Michele MeyerRepresentative of a food distributor or a food hub10/31/2025
AJ RocheRepresentative of a Food Bank10/31/2026
Juli BabcockRepresentative of specialty crop production and as a specialty crop producer
Larry PollartAcademic specialist in economic systems, agriculture, or health care10/31/2026
VacantRep. Institutional procurement, educational setting10/31/2026
Chef Ann Foundation Representative of a local nonprofit community organization engaged in farm-to-school programs or local food systems10/31/2023
VacantRep. Statewide healthy food systems org10/31/2026
Julie MooreRep. Food wholesalers or food retailers, direct market retailer10/31/2024
Elizabeth MarronRep. Expertise in rural community and regional development, or community and economic development programs10/31/2024
Marci CochranRepresentative of a Federal Food Assistance program10/31/2024
Derrick HoffmanRep. Agricultural production, sells ag products to public schools/school districts10/31/2024
Tessa HaleRepresentative of Institutional procurement, healthcare setting 10/31/2024
Tamaan Osbourne-RobertsRep. Nutrition expert, licensed physician, or registered dietitian10/31/2024
Krista GarandRepresenting Colorado Department of Educationdesignated seat appointed by agency
Amanda LabanRepresenting: Colorado Department of Agriculture designated seat appointed by agency
Samantha O’Neill-DunbarRep. Colorado Department of Human Servicesdesignated seat appointed by agency
Dawn ThilmanyRep. Colorado State University Extensiondesignated seat appointed by agency
Greg ThomasonRep. Office of Economic Development and International Tradedesignated seat appointed by agency
Angelika SunieRecipient of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program10/31/2026
Joan Brucha Representing Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
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