Board of Director Bios

George Ayoub, PhD

George Ayoub, PhD

Dr. George Ayoub is a health scientist with research in three areas: glaucoma, where he identified herbal medicines that help protect vision; cancer, where he has identified foods that stop the growth of cancer cells; and mental health, where he seeks to reduce symptoms of autism and mood disorders related to nutritional deficits. He is a popular professor at public and private universities, having taught 10,000 students over the past 25 years in biological, psychological and medical disciplines. He regularly speaks on contemporary issues regarding body, health and nutrition and is the author of 8 books on health and nutrition, including the health guides for community clinic patients: Yo Saludable and To Your Health, published in 2020.

Daniela Cadavid, DDS

Daniela Cadavid, DDS

Daniela Cadavid, D.D.S. is a local general dentist serving Santa Barbara and its surrounding cities. Dr. Cadavid completed her dental training at University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco in 2016, where she graduated with honors. Previously she worked as a dentist in her home country of Colombia, before she decided to move to the United States. She is fluent in English and Spanish, and has experience treating patients of all ages. Dr. Cadavid has also been an author on two scientific research articles published in the top peer-reviewed dental journals in the world. She is an active member in the Santa Barbara Women in Dentistry Group as well as local study clubs.

Dr. Cadavid lives in Goleta, with her husband, John Feusier, a local orthodontist, They both enjoy an active and healthful lifestyle that includes exercise, spending time in nature, and a whole food plant-based diet. Dr. Cadavid and her family transitioned to a whole food plant-based diet in 2015, and have loved every second of it. One of her favorite things is traveling, seeing different cities around the world, and exploring all the tasty plant options! She truly enjoys the freedom private practice has given her, and with that, she is able to devote time to Rooted, which ties perfectly into many of her passions: educating her patients and the local community, especially the LatinX community, on the importance of a plant-based diet and all the benefits that come along with it, individually, as a community, and globally.

Andrea Light

Andrea Light

Andrea is a community foundation professional working in finance and investments and, previously, donor services and operations at the Santa Barbara Foundation. She enjoys being in touch with the nonprofit community in Santa Barbara County, whose passion inspires her to come to work every day and take part in something bigger than herself. In addition to her foundation experience, Andrea has worked in institutional investments, television sales, and was a flight attendant. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and holds a BA in Anthropology from Cal State Los Angeles.
Although born and raised in California, Andrea has lived on the East Coast and married a Philadelphian. In 2017, she and her husband adopted a plant-based diet as a result of seeking out ways to improve their health. What was supposed to be a week-long experiment became a new way of life, which Andrea hopes to support through her volunteer work with Rooted Santa Barbara County and by educating her family and friends about the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet. In her free time, Andrea and her husband try to perfect their vegan pizza recipe.

Emma Malina

Emma Malina

Emma Malina is a whole food plant-based nutrition educator with a background in hospitality, entertainment, and real estate. Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at Cornell, Emma is also a Licensed Food for Life Instructor through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC, and a certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Emma is a founding steering committee member of Rooted Santa Barbara, a community-centered plant-based lifestyle initiative, and also runs her own health coaching practice & food skills training program through her business Basking in Goodness.

Raised in England, Emma is thrilled to be back in her birthplace of Santa Barbara, with her Swiss husband and daughter in tow, after successful careers on the East Coast. Emma trained hundreds of employees while running multiple successful restaurants and bars, worked for one of the centuries greatest and most prolific film directors, and sold over $200 million dollars of prime NYC real estate, where her focus, as an Eco-Broker, was in sustainable and LEED-certified developments. Now she has combined all of her interests and passions into one and empowers people around the globe and within her community to optimize their health and prevent chronic disease through cooking classes, coaching, online resources and one-on-one consultations. An avid bike rider, devout foodie and walker of Otis, the 90 pound plant-based chocolate Lab.

Leonie Mattison, EdD, MBA

Leonie Mattison, EdD, MBA

Leonie Mattison (Dr. Lee) is an award-winning Organizational and Talent Development Practitioner, Speaker, Founder of The Thread Movement, and Author of the Thread Collection which is empowering survivors around the globe to achieve intentional transformation. She holds a Doctorate degree from Argosy University, a Masters in Business Administration and is Six Sigma Green and Black Belt certified.

Having been raised in the Caribbean and lived and worked on both the east and West Coasts, she’s delighted to share her passion and feel honored to contribute her cultural lenses to HEAL- Healthy Eating and Active Living initiatives. As a stroke and trauma survivor, she’s eager to learn new ways of linking and leveraging faith and nutrition to motivate people to become CEOs of their health and wellness.

Beth Prinz, MD

Beth Prinz, MD

Dr. Beth Prinz is currently Lead Clinician at non-profit Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, Goleta – providing high-quality healthcare to all people regardless of ability to pay. She also serves as a founding steering committee member of plant-based initiative Rooted Santa Barbara. She volunteered for Doctors Without Walls, aka Santa Barbara Street Medicine, an outreach program providing free medical care to Santa Barbara’s most vulnerable living on the streets. Having been strongly influenced by the research and writings of Ornish, Greger and other MD leaders in the field of plant-based medicine, she discovered the benefits for her own health, and advocates this for her patients. She writes a regular column “Ask Dr. Beth” for OQ Magazine. Her articles focus on the health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. She previously lived and practiced in London UK as an HIV specialist. She completed residency training in Internal Medicine in New York City, earned her MD degree at VCU in Richmond Virginia, and graduated from UCSD with a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. She currently lives in Montecito CA. She enjoys spending time with her three children, practicing yoga, and trying out new plant-based recipes.

Beth Skidmore, MSACN

Beth Skidmore, MSACN

Beth Skidmore, MSACN is a whole food plant-based nutritionist and nonprofit fundraising professional with a masters degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition and certified in Plant Based Nutrition by the T. Colin Campbell Foundation/eCornell. She currently serves as board chair of community-centered plant-based lifestyle initiative Rooted Santa Barbara County and is a fundraising consultant specializing in plant-based nutrition, healthcare and arts organizations. Beth has been a mother of a plant-based family for ten years and founded a community-minded wellness and lifestyle resource, Plant Based Santa Barbara in 2017. She holds a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Global Peace and Security from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has additionally completed masters level coursework in public policy and administration; earned professional certificates in fundraising and marketing for nonprofits, grant-writing, and graphic design; and has served as a professional fundraiser for 20 years, helping to build community around shared missions and raise more than $30 million for local and national nonprofits.

Jenifer Gaffaney Swartzentruber MS, RDN, CDE

Jenifer Gaffaney Swartzentruber MS, RDN, CDE

Jenifer is a California native with a passion for helping community members boost their vitality and wellbeing through the shared journey of learning, accessing and increasing their intake of plant-based foods.

Jenifer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Pepperdine University and a Master of Science degree from California State University Northridge. She has extensive experience in developing curricula, personalized meal plans, medical nutrition therapy, maternal/child health, pediatrics and type 2 diabetes. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and CAPACITAR practitioner. She resided in Central America for years providing her with a bicultural experience and fluency in Spanish.

Jenifer was the Director of Diabetes Education and Outreach at the William Sansum Diabetes Center for over 9 years. During her tenure she developed a comprehensive diabetes education program and educational materials in English and Spanish that have been implemented both nationally and internationally. She enjoys spending time and being active outdoors and traveling with her husband and their young daughter.

Kristen Weiss, PhD

Kristen Weiss, PhD

Dr. Kristen Weiss is currently Communications Coordinator for the Long Term Ecological Research network. Previously, she was an early career fellow in Science Communication at the Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University, and a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Southern California. She taught courses focused on ecology, sustainability, and natural resource management. Kristen received her PPh.D.from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, where she studied marine governance using policy network analysis. Her goal is to continue communicating about significant environmental issues and better conservation and management strategies to protect our threatened ecosystems. She has been a vegetarian since age 13 and vegan for the last decade, and in her spare time writes about and volunteers with issues related to plant-based eating and veganism.