Organization: Manzanita Capital Collective
Mariela is the product of her Venezuelan birthplace, El Salvadoran roots, and Bay Area upbringing. She has spent her career cultivating local economies and resilient food systems, while catalyzing new models of investment and economic opportunity that center and uplift Black, Indigenous and POC entrepreneurs, farmers, land stewards, and community-based organizations. She is a co-founder of Manzanita Capital Collective, a collective working to shift power and capital to BIPOC-led food, agriculture, and land projects to advance racial & economic justice. Prior to Manzanita, Mariela was the Interim Executive Director of Mandela Partners, an Oakland based non-profit organization that works to increase access to healthy food, good jobs, and ownership opportunities. At Mandela Partners, Mariela spent more than a decade seeding and growing economic development projects – including a food hub, restaurant, and food hall, wealth building initiatives, entrepreneurship programming, and non-extractive capital products. Mariela has a wide breadth of experience in community rooted economic development, integrated capital, financial planning, collaborative stewardship, and much more.
Mariela is the chair of the Equitable Food Oriented Development Collaborative’s Community Investment Committee, a member of The People's Land Fund, on the Olamina Fund Community Advisory Committee, and on California Farmlink's Board of Directors. She also proudly serves as the Board Treasurer for Somos Famila, a Bay Area based LGBTQ+ Latinx non-profit."