When Tony Moraga returned to the US after finishing his studies in Barcelona, Spain, he knew immediately that he needed to live in an environment where communities thrive, so he moved to San Francisco. Over the years, he's worked at the nexus of LGBT community development and entrepreneurship, including LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the national non-profit StartOut. He now works as the Community Relations Officer at BBVA Compass where he organizes leadership opportunities for the bank in the community through lending, philanthropy and human capital. We recently sat down with Tony to talk about his involvement with Kitchen Table Advisors.
What brought you to Kitchen Table Advisors?
"Working in entrepreneurship and micro-enterprise development really allowed me to work with a myriad of businesses. When I was introduced to Kitchen Table Advisors, it really sparked my interest because the work is with individuals I have known all my life - farmers - but whom I never had the chance to work with in all my previous roles. I feel a deep connection to individuals who make food to nourish us."
What's your personal connection to sustainable food and farming?
"I grew up in Southern California in an area that, according to the USDA, is California's largest strawberry producer. I've always been surrounded by farming communities, and generations of my family have worked as farm laborers. My grandfather and father are both entrepreneurs who started and still run their own landscaping businesses. Also, I was raised on an avocado orchard. So, with all this combined, I feel that farming is in my blood."