Jennifer Nation, the former director of programs for Girl Scouts San Diego, has been named the new executive director of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center.
“After an extensive search process, we are confident that we’ve hired an executive director who has the vision, leadership skills, and experience to help Olivewood Gardens write the next chapter in its development as a community-based nonprofit,” Cathe Burnham, chair of the Olivewood Gardens board of directors, said via a press release.
Nation, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in non-profit management, spent ten years at the Girl Scouts San Diego, developing partnerships and capacity building programs. She also led strategic planning efforts, staff development and risk management oversight.
“I’m eager to work with the dedicated staff, volunteers, interns, supporters, teachers, schools, and families of the Olivewood community to empower kids and families by connecting them to nutrition and environmental education,” Nation said.
The Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, known for its Cooking for Salud program, serves nearly 2,000 children and 2,500 adults each year, and organizes over 9,000 annual visits to its educational gardens and teaching kitchen, the nonprofit said. The Salud graduates, also known as the Kitchenistas, are featured in the documentary film “The Kitchenistas of National City,” which streams on KPBS and other public television stations across the country. With the help of over 390 volunteers and a staff of 12, Olivewood has been recognized as a Public Health Champion by San Diego County’s Live Well San Diego Campaign.