A Northern California native and a Spelman College alumna, Denise Blake is excited to serve Wholesome Wave Georgia as its President and CEO. 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.
Christine Becker joins Wholesome Wave Georgia as the Development Manager overseeing the organization’s special events, strategy implementation and cultivation for major donors, and grant writing. With a passion for food policy and social justice, Christine is honored to help pave the way for Georgia constituents, especially the marginalized, to receive access to local fresh food. Christine graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State University attaining her B.S. in Public Policy with a concentration in Economic Development and Urban Planning. She also holds a 12-month Certificate in Nonprofit Organizational Management for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Christine has extensive professional experiences in the areas of project management, donor management, public speaking, strategic planning, and community development. She has served as the Director of Development for Wellspring Living, an organization addressing the issues of sex trafficking in Atlanta, and also served as the Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for Love Made Claim, Inc., an organization aimed at breaking the cultural and social stigmas of the objectification of women and girls. Before pursuing her vocation in the nonprofit sector, Christine worked in retail and business banking for eight years. In her last position as the Director of Workplace Banking for Royal Bank of Canada, Christine developed and managed a process for mass acquisition of deposits for all 56 branches in the state of Georgia.
Food pun that best describes you? Lettuce be the change that we want to see in the world!
Lissette Badillo is Wholesome Wave Georgia's Programs Manager. 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 Manager. 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 Raus 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 and entertainment. She is responsible for all communications operations at Wholesome Wave Georgia and supports development functions. Emme holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree 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 mystery and wellness books and finding 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 Project Assistant. Reporting to the Programs Managers, she graduated from Kennesaw State University in December 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology. 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 of work she is usually at the gym working out or at home cuddling with her senior rescue Pug, Franklin the baby grandpa.
Food pun that best describes you? Life is Gouda!