Gafill, Pezzini Named to CFMC Board of Directors

Gafill, Pezzini Named to CFMC Board of Directors

The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) is pleased to announce the addition of Kirk Gafill  and Joe Pezzini to their 2020 Board of Directors.

Kirk Gafill, a native of Big Sur, is President/CFO of Nepenthe/Phoenix Corporation, a family business. He worked his way up from dishwashing to the helm of Nepenthe restaurant, founded by his grandparents.

Kirk GafillI am honored to join the Board of Directors of CFMCO to learn more about the challenges communities throughout Monterey County face and to support the foundation’s mission to engage and address these needs through philanthropy and community support,” Gafill said.

Gafill graduated from University California, Los Angeles with honors with a degree in economics. He is president of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Monterey County Visitors and Convention Bureau and is Co-Race Director for the Big Sur River Run. Other board service has included the Big Sur Land Trust and the Carmel Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Joe Pezzini is from a third-generation Salinas farming family and CEO of Castroville-based Ocean Mist Farms. He is a Hartnell Community College alum, UC Davis graduate and has an MBA from the University of Santa Clara.  Pezzini began his career with the Ocean Mist Farms group of companies in 1983 as a farm manager for Boutonnet Farms. He became the Chief Operating Officer of Ocean Mist Farms in 2009 and was appointed to the CEO role in 2015.

“I am honored to join an organization that works to reach all corners of Monterey County, making it a stronger community,” Pezzini said.

Joe PezziniPezzini is a leading advocate for produce food safety and was instrumental in forming the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA). He has served on many industry boards including Central California Grower-Shipper Association and Foundation, California LGMA, Ag Against Hunger and Produce Marketing Association.

The new board members join Birt Johnson Jr. (Board Chair), Teri Belli (Vice Chair), Jan Vanderbilt (Treasurer), Maija West (Secretary), Betsy Buchalter Adler, José Luis Alvarado, Ph.D., Ida López Chan, Elsa Mendoza Jimenez, Nolan Kennedy, Giff Lehman, Fred Meurer, Erica Padilla- Chavez, Betsey Pearson, Michael Reid, Bill Sharpe, Loren Steck, and Abby Taylor-Silva.

Main photo: Richard Green Kirk Gafill, left, Joe Pezzini, right

2020 Community Foundation for Monterey County Board Members:

Birt Johnson, Jr. (Chair)
Community Volunteer; former General Manager AT&T

Teri Belli, CPA (Vice Chair)
Owner, tBelli Business Consulting and Advising

Jan Vanderbilt, CPA (Treasurer)
Owner, Vanderbilt Certified Public Accountants

Maija West (Secretary)
Law Office of Maija West

Betsy Buchalter Adler
Trustee and Program Officer, Claire Giannini Fund

José Luis Alvarado, Ph.D.
Dean of School of Education and Professor of Education, California State University, Monterey Bay

Ida López Chan
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank

Kirk Gafill
President/CFO, Nepenthe/Phoenix Corporation

Elsa Mendoza Jimenez
Director, Monterey County Health Department

Nolan Kennedy
Attorney at Law, Kennedy, Archer & Giffen

Giff Lehman
Founder, Integris Wealth Management

Fred Meurer
Owner, Meurer Municipal Consulting

Erica Padilla-Chavez
CEO, Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, Inc.

Betsey Pearson
Nonprofit Consultant, Retired President/CEO United Way

Joe Pezzini
CEO, Ocean Mist Farms

Michael Reid
Co-founder, Fund for Homeless Women

William F. Sharpe
Economist, STANCO 25 Professor of Finance, Emeritus at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business

Loren Steck
Consultant, Retired Psychologist

Abby Taylor-Silva
VP of Policy & Communications, Grower-Shipper Association

About the Community Foundation for Monterey County

75th Year LogoThe mission of the CFMC, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, is “to inspire philanthropy and be a catalyst for strengthening communities throughout Monterey County.” Thanks to generous individuals, families and businesses who have created charitable funds, the CFMC has granted more than $200 million to nonprofits working towards healthy, safe, vibrant communities. The CFMC also supports local nonprofit organizations by providing capacity building services and leadership development through the Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE). For more information visit, call 831.375.9712 or stay connected at or