Melissa Kogut became Executive Director of Chefs Collaborative, a national organization of chefs working to transform our food system, in August, 2007. Under Melissa’s leadership, Chefs Collaborative has grown from a network of 5,000 to 12,000 chefs and food professionals; launched the annual Chefs Collaborative Summit in 2009, bringing together the leading thinkers about our food system and galvanizing chefs to share best practices; and wrote The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook, published by Taunton Press and featured in The New York Times, on CBS This Morning, and in Martha Stewart Magazine (among many outlets). In May 2010, Chefs Collaborative was honored to be invited to deliver a panel to Environmental Protection Agency staff and dignitaries for a series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the agency. Melissa has a background in nonprofit management and community organizing.
Prior to her position with Chefs Collaborative, she served for 11 years as executive director of NARAL Massachusetts, a statewide organization that advocates for women’s reproductive health. In 2006, Melissa received the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, which recognizes and honors outstanding women leaders. Melissa has several years experience working in the restaurant industry and a longstanding interest in food and the environment.
Alisha joined Chefs Collaborative in December 2012 as the Program and Marketing Director. Alisha comes to Chefs from Oakland, California, where she worked with the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) to scale and lead their national climate science programs. Alisha helped ACE grow from a small start-up to a national leader in science education – educating more than 1 million high school students about climate science and solutions in less than two years. In addition, she worked with ACE to raise $1.2 million for national programs.
Alisha is thrilled to be working at the nexus of food and sustainability, and is a “lifer” when it comes to advancing more sustainable practices. Previously, Alisha worked with the National Wildlife Federation, the Breakthrough Institute, and MASSPIRG. Alisha graduated with a B.A. in Geoscience and Environmental Studies from Hamilton College. Outside of the office, Alisha loves to romp with her mini australian shepherd, explore new restaurants, and hike New England.