Staff and Board of Directors

Administrative Assistant Trixxie Land has filled the part-time position since May of 2020. Prior to this position, she worked mostly in the medical field with 15 years as a unit clerk coordinating many aspects of all functions of a floor in a hospital. She also worked as a patient services representative in a clinic and a doctor office. Then she spent five years managing the Old Globe Theater's costume and prop rentals.

Daryush Bastani started gleaning in 2017 soon after retiring from Verizon Wireless as an area manager. He said he grew up on a farm and has always been active in growing food both on the farm and now, in his home garden. Gleaning extends that involvement with fresh food. “All my life, I have wanted to make an impact on other people's lives,” he said. Consequently, he also volunteers for San Diego County Canyon Land and many Jewish Family Services programs including providing rides to elderly, delivering food to the home-bound and providing translation service to refugees. “I find Senior Gleaners a worthy organization not only by providing much needed service to the community but also preventing waste of perfectly good food,” he said.

Margaret Burton has been a gleaner volunteer since 2015 and serves as leader and delivery driver of the Clairemont picking crew. She joined the board in 2020 and became board vice president in 2021. She represents Senior Gleaners at outreach events and coordinates the manufacturing of Senior Gleaner shirts, hats and jackets as a fund-raiser. Margaret has recruited more sponsors than any other volunteer during the annual fund-raising PICK ME event and has requested donations to Gleaners rather than birthday gifts. She said collecting fruit for people who need it “keeps her motivated.” She also sews memory bears for Vitas Hospice.

Cheri Gabler began gleaning in 2015, currently serving as the leader for the East County picking crew. She joined the board in 2018 and became board secretary in 2021. After retiring from a 30-year career in education, she sought volunteer opportunities that would make a positive difference in her local community. Senior Gleaners has done just that, she said. In addition, she volunteers weekly for the San Diego Food Bank.

Christine Gambino joined the board in late 2020 after learning about gleaners as a member of another non-profit group. She holds a BA in psychology and an MA in applied developmental psychology with a focus in graduate school on nonprofit evaluation. Professional experience involves serving as the first Chief Data Officer for San Diego County from 2018 to 2020, the US Census Bureau (at national headquarters), and Queen's College in New York City. She spent a year working with seniors for a study on coping and depression among people with visual impairments. She now works part-time to be able to volunteer in the community and chose Senior Gleaners to support a thriving community on three fronts at once: getting healthy food to people in need, helping the environment by saving food waste from landfills and providing volunteers a safe and fun experience.

John Hewitt III, Ed.D. began serving the board remotely in 2021. A resident of Jackson, MS, he said he was attracted to the mission of Senior Gleaners and wanted to expand his volunteer experiences to the board level. Since 2001, he has been an officer in the U.S. Army. He has been employed the past six years as a senior civilian with an organization providing executive direction, advice and support for the Dept. of the Army in various locations. He has volunteered for many organizations focused on housing, youth, and food/clothing distribution. He holds a doctorate degree in Education, three master’s degrees in International Relations, Management & Leadership and Project Management plus a BA in Physical Education (Health).

Dr. Wendy Hileman joined the board in 2017, serving as the board secretary and most recently, as a board member. Wendy brings her business expertise to the board. Wendy is the CEO of another local non-profit, has served on several boards, and been a volunteer for a variety of organizations. Wendy is interested in eliminating food insecurities and increasing better access to affordable fresh produce.

Jack Hoskin joined Gleaners in 2017 as a weekly grocery van driver and substitute driver soon after retiring as a small business owner. The business experience made him a natural to fill the position of treasurer in early 2018. Duties include all bill payment, budget preparation, bookkeeping and payroll duties. He said he gets great satisfaction from using his business experience to help those in need.

Chris Mara was instrumental in forming a picking crew in Chula Vista in early 2019 and serves as its crew leader. She joined the board in 2020. She worked at various insurance companies for 45 years and retired five years ago “when it was not fun anymore,” she said. She keeps busy by also volunteering at the Living Coast, Meals on Wheels, Chula Vista Garden Club and the RSVP Advisory Committee. She said her work with Senior Gleaners is satisfying because it makes a positive impact on food insecurity.

Steve Wismar has been a volunteer with Senior Gleaners since March of 2021. He retired in 2019 as an attorney specializing in personal injury and disability law. A long-time member of his Poway Temple's Social Justice Committee, he chaired the group from 1999-2003. He also served on the Temple's board where he was elected to Vice President for two years before selection as board president from 2006 to 2009. The Social Justice Committee supported organizations such as Interfaith in Escondido and Saint Clare's Homes for abused women. “I view the Senior Gleaners mission as bringing sustenance, support and hope to those in our community who are struggling in these challenging times to survive, heal and move forward,” he said.

Monte Turner joined Gleaners in 2014, has been a board member since 2015 and has served as board president for three years prior to returning to that role in 2021. He and wife Barbara, who was board president in 2020, moved to S. California to be near grandchildren after retiring in 2012 as an Oregon state agency communications manager. He also volunteers for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and fosters cats for Rescue House. He said he is motivated to be a part of Senior Gleaners to help counteract some of the negative aspects of today’s culture and society.