Meet Our Team

StaffBoard of Directors
Kenda Templeton – Deputy Director/Operations Manager:

Kenda is the Operations Manager of PUENTES providing support throughout the organization on various tasks.  Kenda moved from Chicago to the East Bay in 2000, and now her and her husband call Linden home.  She attended San Joaquin Delta College, UC Berkeley, and recently received a Dual Masters Degree in Food Studies & MBA from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.  Kenda enjoys tennis, fantasy football, and spending time with her husband and dogs.

Gene Bigler, Ph.D. – Director, Community Outreach & Development:

Dr. Gene E. Bigler is an international consultant, writer and lecturer. After retiring from the U.S. Department of State in 2005, he returned to the University of the Pacific to serve as University Professor-Practitioner of International Relations until 2012. He first became committed to supporting the struggle for a better quality of life in the community when he marched with Cesar Chavez as a student at Pacific in the mid-1960s. After earning an M.A. and Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins, his career alternated between academic, private sector and government approaches to understanding and achieving sustainability, almost equally divided between the U.S. and work abroad. As acting U.S. Chargé D’Affaires in Panama at the start of the new century, he welcomed Jeremy Terhune to the Peace Corps experience that inspired the formation of PUENTES. Several years later the two reconnected in Stockton, where Bigler joined the Board just in time to help start the Boggs Tract Community Farm and become the organization’s specialist in grant writing.

Susan Mora Loyko – Project Manager, School Garden:

Susan Mora Loyko is a retired City of Stockton employee whose most recent assignments included 8 years as the Stormwater Outreach Coordinator and 5 years as the Recycling Coordinator. She is active in the Social Justice Ministry of her parish. Among her greatest joys is her 12 year collaboration with Stockton’s annual Earth Day Festival, the Valley’s premiere environmental education event. She is a graduate of Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She is married to Bill, with five children and three most wonderful grandsons.

Shayne Zurilgen – Education Director:

Shayne Zurilgen was born and raised in Stockton.  He worked as a middle school science teacher for 15 years while also running a small landscape design business.  For the last five years he has been a staff member with PUENTES at the Boggs Tract Community Farm.  In 2014 Shayne partnered in starting Flyway Farm in Davis where he raises chickens, goats, hogs, ducks and rabbits.  He thinks every family should have two chickens in the yard to turn kitchen scraps into fresh eggs.


Jennifer Wood – Social Media Guru:

Jen had an opportunity to do some weeding when the farm first broke ground and immediately fell in love with the idea of a community garden! A Chico State alum who lived & worked overseas in both Guam & Japan and called Stockton home for 13 years.  She enjoys road trips, yoga, wine tasting and promoting the farm on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


Javier Gardea – Urban Forestry Coordinator:

Javier was born and raised on a farm in the San Joaquin Delta outside of Stockton, CA. He attended Edison High School than graduated from UC Davis, with a Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies. Upon completing college he was part of the Central Valley Partnership Immigrant Health Leaders Fellowship as well as the Great Valley Center IDEAL Leadership Program. Professionally he has worked as a community organizer and educator. He is the director of a Mesoamerican traditional dance group based out of McKinley Community Center in South Stockton. Currently he is a board member with Native Directions, Inc. a culturally rooted Treatment facility for native men. His interests include art, music, history, traditional medicine and crafts.

Jessica Bryant – Healthy Retail Manager

Jessica coordinates PUENTES Healthy Retail program. She organizes all local pop-up farm stands for PUENTES including school sites, providing all produce needed for their student run markets.

Jessica grew up in Stockton but spent every weekend she could with her Grandparents on their cattle ranch; Learning what hard work was by joining in the fun of working the cattle.  She likes to spend her free time with her son near the water fishing and hiking.
George Dale – Beekeeper

George is the owner of Honeydale Beekeeping and beekeeper for PUENTES. He has been working professionally as a beekeeper since 2009 specializing in honey bee swarm removals, beekeeping lessons, classroom presentations, and bee and honey sales. In late 2011 Dale got married and moved to Stockton with his new family leaving my old business behind in the bay area. For 2 years he worked for other beekeepers in the area learning more skills and how to keep bees more effectively, while starting over from nothing building my bees and getting everything ready for a new business.


Patricia Miller – Director of Special Projects:

Patricia migrated from San Francisco in 1989 and after commuting for an additional year to Alameda, realized she could build a life in Stockton. She was intrigued by what she saw, agriculture everywhere! She knew, she loved to cook and eat! So, naturally wanted to learn to grow food. It has been at 25-year journey on creating food systems for sustainability and food entrepreneurship for my community to thrive.

Building Boggs Tract Community Farm from the ground up; addressing hunger; creating policy, infrastructure for sustained growth; dialogue around social media and strategic marketing, economic development is something Patricia has enjoyed. After almost nine years, she still enjoys being part of the team.

Board of Directors
Rob Shanahan, MBA – President:

Rob is the Board Chair of PUENTES.  Originally from Baltimore, MD, Rob received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA and went on to earn an MBA with a focus in entrepreneurship from University of the Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business, where he first got involved with PUENTES!  Co-author of PUENTES’ award winning business plan Rob focuses on partnership development and fundraising for the organization, as well as helping set strategic direction and other work as needed.  Rob works for Blue Shield of California doing business process improvement in the Product & Marketing Department as well as organizing community service work through the Shield Cares program.  He loves to travel and enjoys camping and backpacking with his wife Ella.

Elizabeth Harman, MBA – Secretary:

Liz is a grant writer for PUENTES. Currently she is a healthcare analyst, following experience in Telecommunications operations management, facilitating therapy groups and generating social media for nonprofits. She moved from Oregon for her MBA at the University of Pacific in Stockton after receiving an undergraduate degree in Social Science, Psychology and Criminology from the University of Oregon. She enjoys playing violin, spending time with animals and traveling with her fiancee.

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Nosherwan Jan, MBA – Treasurer:

Nosherwan is a Stockton native and now resides in Sacramento, California. Nosherwan recently graduated from UC Davis MBA program with a concentration in Finance and Accounting. He currently works for State Street Bank as a Senior Associate/Supervisor in the hedge fund unit, managing an array of hedge funds. He also acts as a point of contact for operational activities and client inquiries. Previously, Nosherwan worked for CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the US, as a Compensation Review Analyst. Nosherwan received his B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and B.A. in Psychology from U.C. Davis. Nosherwan is fluent in four different languages other than English, including Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, and Spanish. During his downtime, Nosherwan enjoys traveling to different parts of the country and abroad, allowing him to experience new foods and cultures.

Jeremy Terhune – Founder / At-Large Director:

Jeremy is the Founder of PUENTES.  He has over 13 years of experience in sustainable community development, non-profit management, community organizing, environmental advocacy, and sustainable agriculture systems development.  Jeremy is a former Peace Corps volunteer, and lived and worked in Panama for over 4 years.  He has a B.A. in Humanities from California State University, Chico, and his passion is sustainable community development. He has advocated for wildlife and wild places in San Joaquin County as a community organizer for Defenders of Wildlife for over 6 years. During his tenure with Defenders, Jeremy founded the watershed group Friends of the Lower Calaveras River and secured a 3 acre native grass restoration project on the Calaveras River and place watershed signs throughout San Joaquin County.

Jeremy is a member of the Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee, a former founding member of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Environmental Justice Advisory Group, the Alternate Conservation Representative for the San Joaquin Multiple Species Habitat Technical Advisory Committee, and Coordinator of the San Joaquin State of Our Rivers Symposium. Jeremy is also a member of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation and the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.  Jeremy met his beautiful wife in Panama and is the father of two wonderful children. He loves taking his family hiking and backpacking, and plays the drums in a local blues band.

Claire Audette-Bauman – At-Large Director:

Claire Audette-Bauman has been at Intel for 7 years and has worked across an array of supply chain and operations disciplines including product planning, inventory optimization, and customer business operations. Most recently, Claire was the Business Operations Manager for the US Sales Biz Consumption team, supporting a 150+ team of sales professionals across North America providing operations strategy, market analytics and insights to help teams deliver sales in Intel strategic growth areas.

Sheila James – At-Large Director:

Sheila currently serves as the Public Health Advisor for Region IX Office of the Regional Health Administrator.  In this role she implements and supports initiatives to improve the health of all populations at risk for health disparities; promotes evidence-based health and disease prevention practices, and supports Region IX stakeholders in creating well-networked communities of practice throughout the Region, with particular focus in the Central Valley of California.

A native New Yorker, Sheila began her professional career in radio and television broadcasting, and is one of the few women in the U.S. to hold an FCC 1st Class License. After careers as a Broadcast Engineer and Civil Litigation Paralegal, Sheila entered the field of public health in 1995 by leading Community Engagement and Resource Development for Oakland Healthy Start, an infant mortality prevention project in Oakland.

Isela Robles – At-Large Director:


Chris Eley – Technical Advisor, Legal

James Webb, Ph.D. – Technical Advisor, Finance

James is a faculty member and administrator at the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.  At Berkeley, James is the Executive Director of the Center for Financial Reporting and Management, and teaches financial and managerial accounting.  In addition to a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, James has master’s degrees in accounting, higher education administration, and divinity.  James is also a CPA with eight years of experience in public and industry accounting.


Sacha Joseph-Mathews, Ph.D. – Technical Advisor, Marketing