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The SF Market elects new board president, board members

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The SF Market, San Francisco’s original wholesale produce market home to 26 merchant businesses, announces changes to its Board of Directors. A new Board President has been elected in addition to key role changes and the election of three new members.

“We are excited to welcome new voices and talent to our Board. In addition to their essential governance role, The SF Market Board contributes invaluable expertise and perspective to help advance our strategic priorities,” said Michael Janis, General Manager and Executive Director for The SF Market. “These volunteers are critical to our work providing the food infrastructure, programs, and relationships that help hundreds of farmers, Bay Area food businesses, and our communities thrive.”

After six years of stellar leadership, current Board President Eli Zigas has completed his term and is stepping down. Zigas skillfully navigated the Board through the uncertainties of the global pandemic. He has been instrumental in The SF Market’s growth, presiding over the development and execution of the organization’s second-ever strategic plan, and the attraction of more than $13 million in capital revenue to upgrade its physical infrastructure. His unwavering dedication has deepened The SF Market’s impact on the regional food and agriculture community.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last six years and have greatly valued the talent and dedication of my fellow Board members, The SF Market’s merchants, staff, and other volunteers. I look forward to The SF Market’s continued growth and vibrancy as it supports the region’s food system,” said Zigas.

With the departure of Zigas, Virginia Hines has been elected the new Board President. Hines brings a global perspective with more than two decades of experience as a business leader in Silicon Valley at companies such as Yahoo and Walmart.

“As a longstanding Board member and champion of The SF Market, I am honored to step into this role and continue to support and promote our merchant businesses,” said Hines. “I look forward to further catalyzing The SF Market’s role as a leader and partner to the Bay Area’s world-renowned food businesses, and the entire regional food and agriculture community.”

Current Board member Ashleigh Harris will assume the role of Board Secretary from departing Board member Stephany Thompson. Thompson, a Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager with Morgan Stanley, has brought unique perspective to The SF Market, having spent her early life in her family’s wholesale flower business.

She has brought that invaluable business-to-business knowledge and perspective to The SF Market’s decision-making and contributed tremendously as an officer of the Board. Harris herself is no stranger to The SF Market or the food space, having served on the Board and as Chair of The SF Market’s Marketing Committee since 2016. She is currently Chief Marketing Officer of High Fidelity, a San Francisco-based audio software technology company.

The SF Market is also excited to add three new members to the Board of Directors. Leslie Krasny brings an extensive background in food law, and has held legal and executive positions in the food industry for 35 years. She is currently the President of Krasny Law Office.

Kevin Barnett brings deep experience in institutional partnerships in the health care and community development space. He serves as the Executive Director of the Center to Advance Community Health and Equity (CACHE) at the Public Health Institute.

Larry Balestra is a SF Market merchant, and along with his wife Lisa, owns S&L Wholesale Produce. He brings produce industry expertise as a fourth-generation farmer operating out of Suisun Valley and is uniquely the only SF Market merchant that is also a grower.

“I am deeply grateful to Eli and Stephany for many years of strong leadership and impactful contributions to our Board. I look forward to working closely with Virginia, Ashleigh and the rest of our Board and Committee volunteers to sustain and grow The SF Market and our merchant businesses in the coming years,” says Janis.

More information about The SF Market Board of Directors can be found at: https://thesfmarket.org/the-sf-market-board-members

The SF Market LogoAbout the SF Market

The SF Market makes things grow–for farmers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, and communities. Home to 26 merchants in a single vibrant San Francisco marketplace, our diverse range of produce businesses supplies the widest, best-tasting selection of fresh produce available in Northern California. The SF Market is a platform for critical access and scale–providing the food infrastructure, programs, and relationships that help hundreds of farmers, Bay Area food businesses, and their communities thrive. The SF Market is San Francisco’s original–and only–wholesale produce market. As a pillar of the Bay Area’s food economy and a non-profit social enterprise, we create jobs for over 500 people and foster efficiency, diversity, and innovation. The market moves millions of pounds annually of fresh produce through the Bay Area, occupies 485,000 sq. ft. of food-focused warehouse and logistics space in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood, and has reinvestment plans to upgrade our facility designed to support new food businesses and an engaged community. The SF Market’s focus on growth extends to the entire food system–with programs directed toward healthy food access, food waste reduction, and much more. Learn more at www.thesfmarket.org.