We had the good fortune of connecting with Rick Nahmias and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rick, can you tell us about what you are most excited or proud of in terms of the business you’ve built?
The pride that every one of our employees and volunteer leaders takes from embarking in our work is pretty incredible. No coaching necessary. They all have a passion and ability to articulate that excitement, which impresses me to no end. The fact it is so front and center with them all, and that it regenerates as their work evolves and grows, allowing them to describe their journey, gives the work a human element and authenticity that inspires me and makes me proud on a daily basis. Considering the diverse age, socio-economic range and geography of the Food Forward community makes this even more interesting to me, as it shows the diversity we have built into our organizational culture and the strength that comes from that.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I never set out to start a non-profit. But when the vision of Food Forward started to crystalize in the first year or two, and I saw clearly what it could be – a unique, creative, welcoming and homegrown simple solution to fighting hunger and food waste, I threw myself in 150%. Each year has brought new lessons, challenges and victories, and I’ve loved the second family we’ve built along the way. Once I decided it was going to be my next career path, I remained open to being taught from anyone who had a lesson to teach me, and invited collaboration at every turn. Now we are the largest organization of our type in the region, possibly the country, and the joy I get from seeing the good Food Forward does feeds me personally in many ways. I have only gratitude for the journey – and for what’s yet to come.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We’d start out close to home, hitting Valley hot spots, from Mom’s Soul Food to Lusy’s Mediterranean and Tonga Hut for a tiki refresher. Then using bikes, yes bikes, we’d venture out to regions such as DTLA, Hollywood/Silverlake and Santa Monica/Venice. Our farmers market culture is top-notch, and the party scene of late night dancing and warehouse parties is pretty fun, gay straight or whatever your taste. We have a bar in our backyard, The Flying Pig, and my husband is a masterful mixologist, so returning here for a relaxed wind down with a crew of friends is part of many agendas.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would give a shout out to my leadership cohort which invited me in as a member when Food Forward was just 2 years old. They were all careerists and I was the newbie with a thousand questions about leading a very young NPO, trying to swim in crowded waters. They welcomed me, made me feel like one of them, and have remained friends and confidants over much of the last decade.

Website: https://foodforward.org/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foodforward/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/1904032/admin/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/foodforwardla
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foodforwardla/?ref=bookmarks
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/food-forward-los-angeles?osq=food+forward
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmB801oQTRJVuFy_zqvrSng