"A good vision calls people to act on the courage of their own convictions evoked by the invitation to be part of something bigger than themselves." Vincent Amanor-Boadu, PhD Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University
Anita Allison: Born ~ Anita Yen-Ni Hom, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I have lived in nineteen different homes since leaving the one I grew up in, and have lived on three different continents and two different coastlines (east & west.) In other words, I am good at adapting!
I am a mom.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Design from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now, Philadelphia University.)
Upon graduating, I was blessed with a very fortunate opportunity in the form of a career in Banking at Fidelity Bank in Philadelphia ~ now a diluted part of Well's Fargo...and boy did we have fun! I learned a lot too, which proved to be a great bonus!
This led to another unexpected job opportunity, this time in the City of London, England just before I turned twenty-five. I loved life in London. So I essentially stayed until I moved to Dubai, seven years later. (There was a two year period during this time that represented my first steep, uphill climb towards my first big audacious goal...this making of a dream-come-true, would later be the foundation for which I started my next climb with creating and launching green2go.)
My international banking career exposed me to the world of international trade finance and financial institutions where I travelled mainly between NY, London, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
Just before I moved to Dubai, I married Bobby Allison in America in Cape May, N.J. We had ALOT of fun with ALOT of people...it turned out to be the wedding party that lasted three months! Both my kids were born in the United Arab Emirates...by the Persian Gulf. I lived there for eight years.
I worked for a French Bank in London and Dubai ~ Banque Paribas, at the time, now part of what was BNP. Another incredible experience to say the least.
Now I am in southern California, which is really very nice indeed. I have lived here, in nearly perfect weather, since early October 2001.
Since coming back to America, feeling still en route, I have been a Realtor in Orange County and an active volunteer at our wonderful elementary school. Just before we left Dubai I started a project I first realized when I was about fourteen...I began working on writing a book. I self-published here in Cali through iUniverse, under the title: riding the wave inside out. It could have been edited for many more months to any number of years...I just wanted to wrap it up and move on, which I have!
I have been working on green2go since Thanksgiving of 2007, when our story begins.
The following year our home burned down to the ground in a wild fire in mid-November 2008, along with over a hundred other homes. The fire and the rebuilding have been quite an amazing experience. Our new home was built as green as possible by a group of angels. Rebuilding took almost exactly two years...three more places I have called home...This is it, another beginning!
Joulia Kallah: I am a Greek woman born in Peru, where I lived until I was two years-old, when my parents packed us along with their other prized possessions and shipped us to Ecuador. We lived there until I was four, and then my mother took my two sisters and I back to her homeland, Greece. The journey didn’t quite end there, but in Southern California where we landed when I was eight and where I have lived ever since.
Today I am the mother of two wonderful girls (Alexia and Sophia)... and I am married to a wonderful man (Tony Kallah) who started his life in Lebanon and ended up in Southern California as well. Hence, I am a true Californian ~ a citizen of the world!
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic design from California State University of Long Beach.
I believe that life prepares you for dreams that sometimes you are not aware of. My career started as a bookkeeper for an R&D kitchen, where I ended up assisting in food recipe development.
I then fell back into my intended profession and worked for a design firm in Newport Beach, California for ten years. There I designed commercial menus for major upscale hotels in Southern California, working closely with their executive chefs.
When I became a mother, looking for flexibility led me to start work as a Real Estate agent.
It was the hectic pace of life that brought me to green2go. As a mom I wanted to find guiltless fast food that my children could have when I was unable to cook.
Life took an interesting turn once again, and during my days in the PTA I was introduced to Anita with whom the idea for a natural and organic fast food restaurant developed.
A PCOS diagnosis and my husband’s heart attack at 38 became yet two more reasons to develop this dream. Healthy food is the fuel for a healthy life, and now it is not a choice, but a necessity for me and my family.
Today my dreams have expanded and thanks to green2go I am also committed to community and school gardens through give2grow (my new baby). It is my hope that children discover the value of fresh produce and the power of growing them themselves.
I grew up with a mother and a grandmother who cooked not only to feed us, but to show us love and the wonders of food. It is to them that I owe my love for food. Thanks to my mother’s amazing dishes and her lessons with a ladle, I feel the need to instill the same love of good food in my children.
Through this life's journey I have had the constant love and support of my best friend Mache. We have sailed through life hand-in-hand. We have donned aprons and cooked together for many years. We have always shared dreams and sorrows. And for this I thank her also.
And last but not least, our amazing partner, award winning chef, and highly acclaimed farmer ~ Adam Navidi. Here he is at his one of a kind aquaponic farm in Brea, Ca.
Adam was born in 1973 in Orange County, California. At an early age, Adam recognized that his ability to cook spontaneously came naturally. He started cooking at home with his mother preparing dinners for family and friends. At age 15, he enrolled in cooking classes and took his first job at a popular restaurant chain in Yorba Linda as a prep and pantry cook.
At age 17 Navidi left his home in California to move to Vail, Colorado, where he worked in a small family French Bistro alongside the Chef/Owner, and spent his days off snowboarding. During his three years in Colorado, he cooked in two additional restaurants in Vail and Beaver Creek.
Adam then moved to Bend, Oregon where he became the first National Snowboard Patroller in Oregon; the third in the United States. He spent his days on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, and his evenings tossing hand-made pizzas for a local pizzeria. At age 21, Adam decided to get serious about cooking; he took a prep cook/apprenticeship job at the first five star country club restaurant in Bend, The Broken Top Country Club. He apprenticed under Chef Gary Slattery, the former Executive Sous Chef of the Mansion on Turtle Creek and the Hotel Bel Air. There he developed a passion for fine cuisine, and received rigorous training in all levels of a professional kitchen.
He next travelled to Washington where he studied at the Culinary Institute and did stints at some of the most prestigious restaurants in Seattle. He later accepted a position as kitchen manager at the hip seafood restaurant, Watersedge on Lake Washington, where he spent his mornings handpicking fresh fish and exotic produce from Pikes Market.
With a better understanding of cooking with fresh products, he moved back to Oregon where he became Head Chef of Widgi Creek Country Club during golf season, and Production Chef at Bend Golf and Country Club during the off season.
Missing home, family, and friends, Adam moved back to California where he accepted a position as Head Chef of a catering company in Corona del Mar. After spending three and a half years of building the company into mega proportions, Adam decided to leave. He traveled to the hottest culinary spot in the country, Napa Valley. There he trained at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone with the late great Chef Jean Louis Palladin of the Watergate Hotel, Palladin in New York, and Napa in Las Vegas. It was here that Adam was nicknamed “The Artichoke” by Jean Louis because he was the only student who could turn a perfect artichoke. This is also where Adam discovered that no matter what effort it takes to achieve, the importance of cooking with the seasons and using only the freshest ingredients defines his culinary style.
With Adam’s new foresight and experience, he returned to Orange County, eager to take catering cuisine to the next level. He started Chef Adam Navidi Catering Company, with the idea that he would deliver “Quality Cuisine for Quality of Life” and a sustainable experience with sustainable foods. Looking for additional challenges to fulfill himself as a notable Chef, Adam accepted the opportunity as Fine Dining Chef of “the Californian” restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa. Within six months, Adam’s determination earned the Three diamond restaurant its fourth diamond, making it the first four diamond restaurant in Huntington Beach and positioning the restaurant among the best in Orange County. With a signature restaurant and elite catering company, his innovative cuisine has received numerous awards and accolades in Orange County.
Achievements and Accolades:
“Golden Rooster” Award Culinary Masters Event 200
#1 of 6 Best Chefs” in Best of OC Magazine
Top Ten Chef in Orange County ~ OC Metro
Named “Chef of the Year 2005” by the California Milk Advisory Board
Certified in the Culinary Arts with over 20 years experience
Lead Chef of the Orange County Culinary Olympics
Food/Entertainment Editor for Newport Coast Location 3 Magazine
Contributing Editor to Great Taste Magazine and OC Life
A short list of those he’s entertained in the art of dining:
Two United States Presidents - Senior and Junior George Bush
The President of Mozambique, Africa
Senator and Astronaut John Glen