Who We Are

 

the board

Gabe G. Galletti
Board Chair
Mr. Gabriel G. Galletti graduated from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in History and from the University of Virginia School of Law with a J.D.  Since then, he has been practicing law in New York City, starting as a defense lawyer, then as a judicial clerk, and now as a plaintiffs’ lawyer.  He currently represents classes of individuals aggrieved by violations of the securities, antitrust, and New York rent laws. Mr. Galletti enjoys playing piano, traveling to exotic locales, and eating at New York City’s wonderfully diverse, ever-changing panoply of restaurants.

Belinda Chiu, Ed.D.
Board Member
Dr. Belinda Chiu graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Political Philosophy, the Fletcher School of Diplomacy with a masters in International Educational Entrepreneurship and Conflict Resolution, and Teachers College, Columbia University with a doctorate in International Educational Development. A mindfulness-based coach and strategist, she currently works in highly selective undergraduate and graduate, professional and leadership development, and career coaching.

Molly McCracken
Board Member
Ms. Molly McCracken is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Kuna Yala, Panama) and a former Outreach Specialist working with artists at the National Museum of the American Indian. Currently, Ms. McCracken spends her time being creative and making huge messes – in the name of art, science and food – with her three kids (and the moral support of her husband). She joined the board of Zomppa in 2012.

Lawrence Mur’ray
Board Member
Mr. Lawrence Mur’ray is the Director of the Undergraduate Business program at the Kenan-Flager Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Mr. Mur’ray holds a bachelors and MPA from the University of Arizona.

Katherine Tsai
Board Member & Writer
Ms. Katherine Tsai grew up in California. She attended Duke University School of Law and worked at an international law firm in Manhattan for two years. Ms. Tsai is currently clerking for a judge in Austin, Texas.

the staff

 

Leanne Simon. Executive Director

Ms. Leanne Simon graduated from NC Central University with a double major in Spanish and Family and Consumer Sciences, concentration in Child Development, and a minor in English writing with a focus on creative nonfiction and journalism. Prior to her formal educational training, she worked in daycare centers and as an in-home nanny for many years. One of her core beliefs is the radical notion that children are people. With a long history working in social justice, Ms. Simon created and continues to present a curriculum to educate children from pre-K through the 6th grade about farmworker issues through Student Action with Farmworkers. Her approach to education is collaborative and experiential, and hinges on the belief that all people can learn from one another, regardless of age or background. Also currently serving as the night manager at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Ms. Simon plans to pursue further graduate degrees in Human Development and Peace and Conflict Studies, focusing on the interrelationships between Food Access, Conflict, and Migration.

Vivacious and motivated, with moxie to spare, Ms. Simon is a dynamo in the classroom and the kitchen. As the mother of two young boys, her boundless energy is well suited to their active family life that includes bicycling, nature walks, and preparing healthy meals together. At the end of the day, she unwinds by practicing yoga and watching documentary films.

DSC00318Amira Alexander. Education Director

Amira is a North Carolina State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Sciences and a minor in Extension Education. While there, she researched the effects of marketing strategies on low income children and spent time abroad in Costa Rica exploring food security and sustainability. She plans to improve the community by becoming a Family and Consumer Science agent and helping people help themselves. She exhibits that rare ability to bridge nutrition and “foodiness” with social/cultural awareness and (most importantly) to do it all with children.

A New York girl with southern charm, Amira loves to read, craft and watch sports, specifically basketball, soccer and tennis. One of these days she might even start playing some of those sports again. She’s a musical fanatic, her favorite being The Phantom of the Opera. She has also had a lucrative career in the arts, starring as Lucy in an elementary school production of “I Love Lucy” and an enthusiastic dancer in a high school production of “Hello Dolly.”