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The SF Market expands leadership

The SF Market, home to 26 of San Francisco’s merchant businesses, has named Virginia Hines as its new board president and added three new board members.

“We are excited to welcome new voices and talent to our board," said Michael Janis, general manager and executive director for The SF Market. "In addition to their essential governance role, The SF Market board contributes invaluable expertise and perspective to help advance our strategic priorities. 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 navigated the board through the global pandemic and 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.

The market said his unwavering dedication has deepened its 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, Hines has been elected the new board president. She 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 also added 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 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,” said Janis.

Photo: Virginia Hines

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