A Northern California native and a Spelman College alumna, Denise Blake is excited to serve Wholesome Wave Georgia as its Executive Director. Denise has held key positions in nonprofit, corporate and governmental organizations. Her areas of specialty include program administration and evaluation, curriculum design and training, and resource development. At the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, she served as Education and Training Coordinator, where she was responsible for designing training curricula for adult learners. She also led important research on the philosophy of nonviolent social change. At the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Denise managed the Foundation’s educational scholarship, internship and fellowship programs. Denise then served as Associate Director for the FaithFactor program at the Interdenominational Theological Center and later was Senior Project Director for The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections Media Outreach Initiative. She’s managed the charitable foundation for former Atlanta Falcons’ defensive tackle Rod Coleman, providing support to youth in foster care, and served as Project Director for the Twenty-First Century Foundation’s Black Men and Boys Media Outreach Campaign. In 2013 Denise became the Executive Director of WINGS for kids – Atlanta, where she oversaw delivery of WINGS’ award-winning social-emotional learning afterschool program. Most recently, Denise served the United Negro College Fund’s Atlanta office as Senior Development Director.
Food pun that best describes you? All in good thyme.
Ashley Smith earned her Bachelor’s Degree in dance and accounting from The College at Brockport, State University of New York. She joined the Wholesome Wave Georgia team in 2016 as its first Director of Finance and Operations. Ashley is responsible for oversight of all the financial, accounting, and administrative tasks of the organization. She is an active partner with the Executive Director and Finance Committee in driving strategic and operational plans to ensure the organization's financial success. Outside of work, you can find Ashley around East Atlanta swinging with her boys at their neighborhood playground, dancing the night away in Atlanta's Five Rhythms Studios, and rummaging through hidden treasures at local thrift shops.
Food pun that best describes you? Keep calm and curry on
Alisha Thym is a native of northeastern North Carolina with a passion for engaging communities in ways that optimize access to resources that create opportunities for education, inspiration, and even the playing field for under-served populations. She is proud to serve Wholesome Wave Georgia as its Director of Programs having worked in the community outreach and nonprofit sector for over 13 years. Alisha received a BS in Criminal Justice concentrating in Pre-Law from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina and an MA in Business Leadership from Shorter University in Georgia. Her strong sense of devotion to the nonprofit community developed when she arrived in Atlanta, overwhelmed with sadness for its large populations of homeless and displaced youth. Struck by the need to do something, it has been her mission to give back as often as she can, with as much positivity and light as she can, while encouraging others to do the same. Alisha lives in Atlanta with her wife and three pups, Prince, Parker, and Lucy and when she is not saving the world, you can find her in the kitchen prepping brunch, cooking brunch, or laughing around the table with friends brunching.
Food pun that best describes you? I'm kind of a big dill.
Lissette Badillo is Wholesome Wave Georgia's Programs Coordinator. She brings a background in business administration with a focus on international management along with a Master’s degree in Public Health. Lissette has always been in awe of our increasing “connectedness” and the creativity and innovation that can come from the collaboration between people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Lissette is also a Certified Health Education Specialist and has successfully worked with community partners to assist individuals in identifying their personal health practices that place them at risk for developing chronic diseases. She is excited to combine her experiences to advocate for access to locally grown food, as well as empower and introduce individuals to foods they may have never had on their kitchen plate. She believes both access and guidance play key roles in the embrace and adoption of new healthy habits. During her spare time, Lissette can be found cooking, hiking, relaxing in a hammock, and spending quality time with her family.
Food pun that best describes you? I yam who I yam.
Alysa Moore joins Wholesome Wave Georgia's team as Programs Coordinator. She brings a passion for sustainable agriculture, food, and program efficiency to the team. Previously, she served as the Operations Manager for Captain Planet Foundation's Project Learning Garden, coordinating day-to-day activities and optimizing the program’s scalability through the power of Salesforce. While pursuing her Masters of Public Health at Emory University, Alysa focused on the intersection of spatial environment and food systems, seeking to understand the myriad ways that removing barriers to fresh, local foods can improve people’s health and quality of life. Before shifting her focus to eukaryotes, she studied at Auburn University, performing microbiology research investigating biological alternatives to chemical pesticides, all the while focusing her studies on sustainability. She also served as a Certified Application Counselor with Bama Covered during the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, assisting Alabamians in signing up for health insurance. She lives in Southwest Atlanta with her wife Sarah and their pups. In her free time, Alysa enjoys cooking, reading, hiking, and enjoying Atlanta's food and sports scenes.
Food pun that best describes you? I won't settle for medi-OKRA-ty!
An Atlanta writer and marketer, Emme is proud to join Wholesome Wave Georgia as Communications and Development Associate. She was drawn in by our mission to empower local farmers and provide healthy and affordable food choices for all. Before working with us, Emme served a variety of nonprofits and local businesses specializing in artisan food, alternative and holistic health, and art & entertainment. She is responsible for all communications operations at Wholesome Wave Georgia and assists with development implementation. Emme holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Writing with a Minor in Creative Writing from The Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. In her free time, she enjoys reading historical fiction and finding most of life's answers in Brat Pack movies.
Food pun that best describes you? I love impressionism and cereal art.
Christina Stephens joins Wholesome Wave Georgia as Administrative Assistant Intern. She is expecting to graduate in December 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology from Kennesaw State University. Reaching out and helpings others is her passion, so she is ecstatic to have the opportunity to be working for an organization that directly contributes to the betterment of society. Outside of school, she enjoys working out at the gym or cuddling with her senior rescue Pug, Franklin the baby grandpa.
Food pun that best describes you? Life is Gouda!
Lucas Tesina joins Wholesome Wave Georgia as a Programs Team Intern. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nutrition at Georgia State University. His goal is to improve the health of others through diet intervention as a Registered Dietitian. Learning about the body and how to optimize its function and performance has always been a passion of his. He hopes to make good use of his nutritional knowledge and how it relates to food-related illness during his time with WWG. When not consumed by the rigors and demands of his scholarly endeavors, Lucas enjoys going to the gym, playing tennis, and diving into a good book.
Food pun that best describes you? I’m so egg-cited … and I just can’t hide it!