CitySeed Welcomes Four New Members to the Board of Directors

CitySeed today announced the addition of four new members to their board. Luis Chavez-Brumell, Ashley Moore, Jennifer Quaye Hudson and Tabitha Sookdeo were all sworn in as board members at the start of 2023.

“We are thrilled to welcome Luis, Jennifer, Ashley and Tabitha to CitySeed’s Board of Directors. Together, they bring personal, professional and lived experiences that will deepen our organization’s impact,” said Cortney Renton, Executive Director of CitySeed. “Each of our new board members inspires us with their leadership in areas that are deeply connected to CitySeed’s mission.”

“As our organization is poised for tremendous growth in 2023, having such connected and active board members will be a huge asset to our team and our organization,” said Christine Kim, CitySeed’s Board Chair. “We are proud that our organization has attracted this caliber of leaders to come on board and to support, advise, and work alongside us.”

Meet the Incoming Board Members:

Luis Chavez-Brumell- Deputy Director New Haven Free Public Library

Luis is a New Haven native who believes in the power of access to improve people’s understanding of the world and their own lives. Luis has worked at the intersection of humanities, community/civic engagement, storytelling, and education including positions in higher education, a PBS documentary film, and public-school educator. Luis has worked at the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) since 2016 where he has served as Manager of Young Minds and Family Learning, Wilson Library Branch Manager, and Deputy Director.

“My career reflects a belief that sharing stories and making resources available and accessible to all increases our understanding of the world for the better and improves lives.” Chavez-Brumell said. “Working on the board at CitySeed will allow me to further my commitment in providing the opportunities that are needed to enhance the New Haven Community.”  

Ashley Moore- Associate at Wiggin and Dana

Ashley is a Business Immigration Associate at Wiggin and Dana LLP where she works with companies at every stage to address both short-term global talent needs and long-term sustainable immigration sponsorship policies and practices. She has a particular interest in helping businesses navigate complex challenges at the intersection of immigration, employment law, corporate structuring, and other regulatory areas. Ashley received her Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law, where she started her legal career in immigration working with a nonprofit immigration law firm as a clinic student and spending a summer in Italy as a Global Law Fellow working with refugees. In addition to her practice, Ashley is involved with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Co-Chairs the Connecticut Chapter’s Customs and Border Protection Committee. A strong supporter of food with a mission, Ashley discovered CitySeed shortly after moving to Connecticut through its Sanctuary Kitchen program and local farmers markets. Ashley is passionate about immigrants’ rights, sharing culture through food, and community empowerment.

“I am honored to serve in a leadership role for an organization that I admire so much.” said Moore, of her new role as a CitySeed Board Member. “I share CitySeed’s mission that all people of New Haven deserve access to an equitable food system and believe strongly in CitySeed’s dual approach of both access and empowerment. I look forward to contributing to the New Haven community through my work on CitySeed’s board.”

Jennifer Quaye Hudson- Executive Director of the A Better Way Foundation

Jennifer is a New Haven native, is an educator and advocate, and has spent nearly a decade building relationships to advocate on behalf of Connecticut’s most marginalized communities. Her career is grounded in her earliest experiences providing direct services to black and brown students and families. With these providing a critical equity and justice lens to her work, she has ensured that her advocacy work is done in partnership with rather than on marginalized communities. 

“I’m thrilled to be supporting such an organization working to advance racial equity, economic justice, and other important policies and practices that support the elimination of unequal access to food.” said Quaye Hudson, Executive Director of the A Better Way Foundation. “I am excited to join the board and know that we’ll be able to achieve great things together.” 

Tabitha Sookdeo- Director of Community Engagement at Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS)

Tabitha is a formerly undocumented immigrant originally from Guyana in South America, who grew up in Sint Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean. 

She has worked in the immigration field for over a decade. Tabitha has expertise in anti-racist community organizing, public-interest lobbying, and nonprofit fundraising. In addition to managing community engagement initiatives at IRIS, she is a joint-degree student with the Yale School of the Environment and Vermont Law School. Her scholarship focuses on the legal protections for migrants displaced by climate change. 

“IRIS deeply values our partnership with CitySeed’s Sanctuary Kitchen. Said Sookdeo, Director of Community Engagement at Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS). I’ve seen the program make lasting impacts in the immigrant community, especially through improving refugee women’s mental health and access to entrepreneurship. 

Our 4 new board members join existing members, Lisa Bassani, Associate Director of Development at the Yale School of the Environment, Alexandra Daum, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Chris Heitmann, Urban Planning and Community Development Consultant, Ritika Jain,  MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management (Board Fellow), Veena Kapadia, Business Development Associate at Fair Haven Community Health Care and Co-Founder of Flore Foundation, Christine Kim, co-Founder of aapiNHV and Food and Social Justice Activist, Emma Kravet, Beth Israel Lahey Health, Polly LaBarre, Author and Co-Founder of the Management Lab, Nicole “Nikki” Najam, Chief Employment Counsel at the Hubbell Incorporated and Onyeka “Ony” Obiocha Executive Director at CTNext.

Read more about our board and team members here