About Us | Wholesome Wave

About Us

Our Story

Making Produce More Affordable

We are a national non-profit addressing complex problems with simple, innovative, effective solutions. Founded by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michel Nischan, Wholesome Wave makes healthy produce affordable for the people who need it most. We played a key role in triggering the first national, federally funded nutrition incentive program in history (FINI), resulting in $100 Million in the 2014 Farm Bill for nutrition incentives nationally. We work in 49 states and counting, and our programs touch over 500,000 people annually.

Our Team

Building a Better Food System, Together

Our energetic and skilled team is working to make our vision a reality: that poverty should never be an obstacle to affording fruits & vegetables.

Michel Nischan

CO-FOUNDER 

Michel Nischan is a four-time James Beard Award winning chef with over 35 years of leadership advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system. He is Founder and President of Wholesome Crave, a food company selling responsibly sourced, plant-forward soups to large-scale dining facilities. A portion of the gross sales from Wholesome Crave products will benefit Wholesome Wave, the non-profit food equity organization for which Michel serves as Co-Founder and non-executive Chairman. He is also Co-Founder of the James Beard Foundation's Chefs Action Network, as well as Founder and Partner with the late actor Paul Newman of the former Dressing Room Restaurant.

Michel Nischan

Joe Cahalan

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joe Cahalan worked for more than four decades at the Xerox Corporation, where he held the positions of Vice President of Communications and Social Responsibility and President of the Xerox Foundation. More recently, he was CEO at Concern Worldwide, a global leader in developing innovative solutions to meet the needs of people living in extreme poverty, and then worked as a consultant with Newman's Own Foundation. Over the last year, Joe served as a member of Wholesome Wave's Governing Board.

Jacqueline Grace

CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Jacqueline brings to Wholesome Wave more than 20 years of experience in the corporate and non-profit worlds, most recently from Girl Scouts of the USA, where she served as the Chief of Partnerships, overseeing corporate, foundation, and government funding and project management; from Relationships First, where she served as the first Executive Director and focused on establishing the organizational foundation, program development, and major giving; and, from Save the Children, where she led cause marketing efforts, structured strategic corporate partnerships, and crafted comprehensive marketing platforms as part of a global fundraising strategy.

Prior to her work at Save the Children, Jacqueline served in senior roles at Scholastic Inc., the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and education materials. Jacqueline developed, negotiated, and marketed strategic in-school print and digital (sponsored) partnerships, and served as the Creative Director of Instructor and Administrator magazines and Scholastic’s National Partnerships production studio.

Jacqueline was also the founder and President of LifeTime Media, a brand-centric publishing company whose authors include Billie Jean King, Gary Kasparov, and Chaplain of the US Senate, Barry C. Black.  LifeTime also produced branded books with organizations including The American Lung Association, Kraft Foods, Wenner Media, The New-York Historical Society among many others. 

Jacqueline performed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she played varsity basketball and rowed varsity lightweight crew. 

Jacqueline Grace - head shot_opt
Ann_McCarthy_Headshot

Ann McCarthy

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Ann McCarthy brings more than 20 years experience in both the for-profit and non-profit spaces to her role as Wholesome Wave’s Director of Marketing and Communications. She has held senior positions in development, marketing, and communications at various non-profit organizations focused on empowering underserved individuals and families. Most recently, she was Deputy Director at Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, where she partnered with the Executive Director and Board of Directors on managing day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and all fundraising and marketing initiatives.

Ann’s work in the for-profit arena included serving as Managing Director of The Southfield Center for Development—a multidisciplinary child development center—and founding Advocacy for Kids, a special education advocacy practice that supported over 200 parents of children with disabilities. In addition, she held a variety of marketing/publicity positions of increasing responsibility in the publishing industry, as such companies as John Wiley & Sons, Hachette Book Group, and International Creative Management.

Ann holds an MBA in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a BA in English from Rutgers College. She lives in Fairfield, CT, with her husband and two teenage boys. 

Julie Peters

DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIP MANAGEMENT

Julie brings to Wholesome Wave over 20 years of experience in economic development programs globally.  She brings extensive experience in program management, monitoring and evaluation, in addition to budgeting and financial management.  At TechnoServe, Inc. she served in many capacities including Managing Director for the company’s largest operation in Latin America, focused on agriculture and entrepreneurship.  In this role, she facilitated partnerships between corporate, nonprofit and government partners and coached project teams in planning, management and service delivery, including identification of market opportunities, client selection, and business planning. Subsequently, she served as Director of Knowledge Management and led the design and implementation of a three-year organization-wide learning and knowledge management strategy across cultures and continents, leveraging cost-effective cloud-based technology solutions.  Most recently, she served as Grants Director for an international research organization focused on identifying and promoting effective solutions to poverty worldwide.

Our Board of Directors 

Michel Nischan, Non-Executive Board Chair

Nick Goggans, CEO/Founder, PumpJack Dataworks

Mariel Pica, Chief of Staff, MatchaBar

Debbie Shore, Co-Founder, Share Our Strength

Advisory Committee

Ed Kelly, Co-Founder, The Kelly Gang

Will Harkey, Partner, Nantahala Capital

Junior Board

Jack Coyne, Independent Filmmaker

Max Fortgang, Co-Founder/Owner, MatchaBar

Avery Hairston, Marketing Consultant

Ruby Honerkamp, Senior Creative Services Manager, Away

Tara Purnell, Producer, Director of Culture, Wtrmln Water

Pearl Tam, Senior Director of Content and Commmunity, Brand Innovations, LLC.

Our Experts

Our team offers a range of skills and backgrounds to help get your program off the ground, build efficiencies, innovate, scale, and increase impact.

Kelley Ferguson

Partnerships Manager

Joined Wholesome Wave in: 2017

Currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, Kelley first came to Wholesome Wave as a contractor in May 2017 working as a Senior Program Coordinator for the AARP Foundation's Fresh Savings Program.  She manages a project in New York and Idaho and assists other projects as needed. Kelley has her BS in Advertising and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management. In her spare time, she is working to complete a second bachelors in Dietetics.  She has over 10 years of experience in nonprofits ranging from volunteer management, program management, and development.  A vegetarian for more than 25 years, Kelley enjoys running (and has completed four half marathons and coaches a 5k program annually!), being outside, and live music. 

 

 CONTACT

David Juros

David Juros

Partnerships Manager

Joined Wholesome Wave in: 2017

David Juros is responsible for the expansion of affordable, healthy food access within bricks-and-mortar retail locations for Wholesome Wave. Prior to joining Wholesome Wave, David worked at American Express and 2 brand marketing manufacturers where he managed relationships with larger retailers, supermarket chains, financial service companies and institutional food service companies. David also created a non-profit organization, based on the vision of his son Devin, called the Pleasantville Community Garden, which in 3 years has grown, gathered and donated over 40,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to area food sharing organizations in Westchester County, NY. The work David has done with Devin creating their organization inspired David to change careers to the food justice non-profit world so he can have a deeper and wider impact in helping ensure nutritional food for all. David holds a BSBA from the University of Richmond in Virginia and is on the Board of Hillside Food Outreach and on the Bedford2020 Food & Agriculture Task Force. 

 

 CONTACT

John McAndrew

Partnerships Manager

Joined Wholesome Wave in: 2018

Having held Marketing management roles at CPG companies and agencies including Pepsi, Snapple, and Kraft Foods, John understands the corporate landscape well. His varying roles working with retailers and building large scale marketing programs and partnerships complement Wholesome Wave’s mission of making fresh produce more accessible to those struggling with food insecurity.  A resident of Pleasantville, NY, he leads the Midnight Run mission for his Church, which serves homeless men and women in New York City.  John holds a BA from Drew University and an MBA from Baruch College, CUNY.

 

 CONTACT

 

Sandy Steigbigel

Sandy Steigbigel

Partnerships Manager

Joined Wholesome Wave in: 2016

Sandy is a Program Manager reporting to the VP of Programs. Prior to joining Wholesome Wave Sandy spent 15+ years in direct-to-consumer marketing. She managed brands in the beauty, banking, healthcare, supplements and CPG sectors to name a few. She is now sharing her talents to focus on meaningful non-profit work. Sandy holds a B.A. from The College of Wooster.

Sandy has been educating her family for years about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle with food as fuel. She vehemently believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live their best and healthiest life, beginning with fruits and vegetables on their tables.

 

CONTACT

 

Elyn Zimmerman

Partnerships Manager

Joined Wholesome Wave in: 2018

As a Nutritionist and Health Educator, Elyn has served in diverse community and clinical settings to help individuals from all walks of life in their pursuit of improved health and wellbeing. Dedicated to the promotion of food as medicine and universal food access, she nurtured a fruit and vegetable prescription incentive program at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Albany, NY. Privileged to having had an intimate look at the myriad factors that compromise health, Elyn is excited to contribute to Wholesome Wave's shared mission.

She holds a BS in Nutrition from Cornell University, and an MS in Community Health from SUNY Cortland. She is certified as a Master Community Health Education Specialist, and blogs on nutritional issues (and the conundrums of the being an eater in the current cultural environment.) 

 

 CONTACT

Culture & Values

Centered on Community, Focused on Change

 

At Wholesome Wave, our team is passionate and dedicated, working hard everyday to bring our mission to life and have some fun while doing so.

 

 
Innovation

 

 

 
Engaging Work Environment

 

 

 
Health & Wellness

 

 

 
Flexibility

 

 

 
Lunch & Learns

 

 

 
Potlucks

 

 

Join the Team

 

Want to help us transform the food system and ensure that all Americans, regardless of income, can afford fresh produce? Check out our job opportunities today.

 

JOB OPENINGS

Supporters

Wholesome Wave relies on a diverse portfolio of corporate, foundation, and government grants and individual gifts to make our work possible. Together, we are making produce more affordable so that public health, local economies, and our environments thrive. Thank you to the following partners for supporting our work this year.

 

BECOME A SUPPORTER

 

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