Tiffany DiTullio leads Blue Zones Project®– Monterey County as the Executive Director. She is a Chief Administrative Officer at Salinas Valley Health, with her oversight specific to community well-being; Blue Zones Project is a natural fit. Tiffany’s focus is engaging community members, creating opportunity for collaboration, and supporting her team in accelerating all of the good work already in motion throughout Monterey County.
Prior to Blue Zones Project, Tiffany has been an advocate for well-being in her role at Salinas Valley Health for 14 years. Overseeing community outreach in areas specific to prevention and wellness programming, Tiffany has had the pleasure of working with local businesses on worksite wellness, launching the Farmers’ Market and Fresh Produce Rx Program at Salinas Valley Health, and working closely with volunteers.Read More
Tiffany earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis on Human Resources and Psychology from California State University, Chico. Tiffany insists her greatest education was working with her father, Mike, who was an entrepreneur in Carmel and Monterey for over 30 years.
She is an avid volunteer in the community, working with and having held leadership roles with organizations such as the Rotary Club of Salinas, Salinas Valley Half Marathon, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, IMPOWER, National Charity League, and numerous others.
Tiffany lives in Salinas with her husband, Reno, and has two amazing kids. She enjoys hiking, running, paddle boarding, and spending time with her family.
Her purpose: Utilizing her gifts of building relationships, making connections, bringing out potential in others, and adding humor. She is here to empower others for the benefit of helping people see and live their best life and to find their purpose, to make change in their community.
My Power 9
Family First! Tiffany believes the “gift of time” is the best gift one can receive and give.Return to Our Community
Clarissa Delgado is the Project Manager for Blue Zones Project® – Monterey County. She engages the team in the development of various projects and process methodologies.
Prior to Blue Zones Project, she worked as a Project Manager for one of Kaiser Permanente’s Population Care Management Departments in Los Angeles. In this role, she thoroughly enjoyed sharing the Plant Slant principle while encouraging healthcare staff and patients to take on a 21-day plant-based challenge.Read More
She received her master’s in Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta and has worked in a variety of sectors including environmental nonprofits, big energy data, and population health. She brings to the team her skills in community outreach, data analytics, ad problem-solving.
Clarissa’s purpose: With gifts of seeing the big picture, adding humor, discovering resources, and shaping environments—she is here to put the pieces together for the benefit of helping others succeed and improve their lives towards good health and happiness.
Outside of work, Clarissa enjoys being active outdoors, watching movies, and downshifting with her loved ones.
My Power 9
Downshift. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” – Ralph Waldo EmersonReturn to Our Community
SR. POLICY LEAD
Kendra Howell is one of the Sr. Policy Leads for Blue Zones Project® – Monterey County, responsible for collaborating with policy partners to establish, implement, and communicate policy priorities and projects in the areas of Tobacco Policy and the Built Environment (e.g., Complete Streets and community development conducive to walking, biking, and transit).
Kendra has over 30 years of experience representing two high-profile organizations and promoting their missions and messages internally and throughout the community. Still currently with Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Kendra also continues to manage Government Affairs projects. Prior to joining SVMHS, Kendra worked for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Community Affairs, Marketing, and Special Events. Kendra holds a Master of Public Policy degree from CSUMB/Panetta Institute.
Kendra always sees the possibility in things, and she finds inspiration in the possibility to transform the well-being of our community through the Blue Zones Project.
My Power 9
My favorite Power 9® is Downshift, particularly enjoying time with my friends and family to travel to places near and far. My motto is “Work, travel, save, and repeat.” Through travel, you can meet life, and yourself, head-on along the road.Return to Our Community
SR. POLICY LEAD
Genevieve LeBlanc is the Senior Food Policy Lead for the Blue Zones Project® – Monterey County. She is responsible for the overall effectiveness in generating and accelerating positive changes in the food environment. As part of her role, she collaborates with food systems stakeholders to pursue policies, programs, and projects that improve healthy food access and availability. She also engages grocery stores to support them in adding healthier food and changing their environment to promote healthier options. She works towards creating consistent implementation of food environment projects county-wide. She also sits on the Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HEDI) task force with colleagues from different Blue Zones Project communities across the country.
Genevieve earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a master’s degree in Gender, Development, and Globalization from the London School of Economics. She wrote her dissertation on food sovereignty.Read More
As a recent graduate, she worked in international development for Oxfam in Peru and for the International Fund for Agricultural Development in North East Brazil, where she lived for more than 2 years. In Quebec City, she was part of the initial team of six people tasked with manifesting a $42M philanthropic project intended to transition the oldest monastery in Canada and the U.S. into a nonprofit wellness center. She also lectured on responsible management at Laval University in Quebec. In early 2018, Genevieve moved to California and worked as the Community Engagement Manager for Driscoll’s.
Genevieve lives in Carmel Valley with her partner and is a passionate gardener and cook. In 2020, she created a neighborhood garden accessible to all by transforming the front yard into a place where neighbors gather, children learn, and people harvest food. She is part of the community emergency response team (CERT) in Carmel Valley. She loves to hike, backpack, trail run, and backcountry ski. She is fluent in four languages.
My Power 9
I really enjoy Moving Naturally and Plant Slant. One way I combine both is through tending to my garden where I grow most of my vegetables during summer months, and then transform them into delicious plant-based dishes. I also love to hike with my family and friends across Monterey County.Return to Our Community
ORGANIZATION LEAD FOR SCHOOLS
Griselda Reyes is a proud Salinas native, born and raised in the Salinas Valley. As a young adult, she discovered a passion for helping others in the realm of community health. She received a bachelor’s degree from CSUMB in Collaborative Health & Human Services with a concentration in Community Health, and previously worked in the public health setting providing health education and case management for both the public and private sector, throughout Monterey County.
Griselda is the Senior Organization Lead for Schools. Her role is to build and develop strong relationships with schools and community partners throughout Monterey County. She helps support schools by implementing evidence-based best practices to become a designated Blue Zones Project Approved™ school, in support of overall community well-being.
My Power 9
My favorite Power 9® is Loved Ones First! Family is everything to me. I have a loving and supportive husband of 20+ years. We are proud parents of two children and recently have become grandparents to a beautiful baby girl. I love spending quality time with my family any chance I get.Return to Our Community
Sr. Marketing Manager
Cindy Ruiz Plascencia
Cindy Ruiz Plascencia joins the Blue Zones Project®– Monterey County team as the Senior Marketing Manager. Her focus is strategizing marketing campaigns to raise awareness of BZP and participation within the community.
Cindy was born in Mexico and raised in Monterey County. She went off to study Marketing and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration — Marketing from California State University, Sacramento and her Master of Science in Marketing from the University of Manchester, England.Read More
Her expertise extends to integrated, digital, and social media marketing, content writing, and translating. With over 9 years of professional experience in marketing and advertising, Cindy aims to raise awareness of important matters, seek representation for the Hispanic community, and provide a positive influence with her marketing skills.
Her purpose: Utilizing her gifts of building relationships, seeing possibilities, moving naturally, and translating things. She is here to explore the way for the benefit of encouraging and influencing others to continue to grow personally and professionally.
My Power 9
Cindy’s favorite Power 9® is moving naturally, as she loves traveling, and enjoys hiking and running. She also loves trying different foods wherever she goes, specifically plant-based dishes (Plant Slant is her second-favorite Power 9), and downshifting with family and friends.Return to Our Community
ORGANIZATION LEAD FOR SCHOOLS
Larisa Sheparovich joined the team in May 2023 as the Schools and Worksites Lead for the Peninsula Cities. In this role, Larisa works to help make healthy choices easier at school campuses and worksites.
Before working at the Blue Zones Project, Larisa was an elementary school teacher in San Luis Obispo and in Salinas. Larisa always had a passion for teaching students about nutrition, mental health, socio-emotional skills, and the importance of moving naturally. The students were always asking questions and wanted to learn more about how to live happy, healthy lives. Joining the Blue Zones Project was an easy choice.
Larisa received her Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where she studied Psychology and Neuroscience. Larisa has always been interested in the mind-body connection.
My Power 9
My favorite Power 9 is “Loved Ones First.” In my free time, you can find me playing cards with family or going on a walk with friends (and my dog, Bruiser). Spending quality time with my loved ones helps me feel grounded and allows me to remember my purpose.Return to Our Community
ORGANIZATION LEAD, WORKSITES
Maribel Roque joins the Blue Zones Project® as the Organization Lead for Worksites and Restaurants. In her role, she works with local businesses to help implement best practices for a healthier, more productive, and happier environment for their workforce, and to make healthier choices easier and more accessible in our community.
Maribel has over 15 years of experience working in media as a Marketing & Sales Consultant in Monterey County, which allowed her to cultivate and grow strong relationships with local businesses and organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Marketing. Throughout her professional career, she has served on various boards and committees, and as a volunteer to many local organizations.Read More
Maribel holds strong roots to the Salinas Valley, as she was born and raised in Salinas; that is why being part of an initiative that is working towards helping transform the well-being of her community has a deeper meaning to her. She is a proud mother to her son, who is currently attending college, and is a loving owner to a French bulldog named Zeke.
My Power 9
My Power 9®: Move Naturally and Downshift. I love that I am minutes away from enjoying a walk at the beach or hike at one of our many beautiful trails. The fresh air and beautiful scenery allow me to downshift, and clear my mind, reset, and feel at peace.Return to Our Community
FOOD ENVIRONMENT LEAD
Antonio Vargas joined Blue Zones Project – Salinas as the Food Environment Lead in June 2022. His focus involves working with restaurants and grocery stores in Salinas to add healthier food options and creating healthier food environments.
Antonio was born in Salinas and raised in Gonzales. After graduating from Gonzales High School, he went off to study Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Health Promotion at Arizona State University.
The focus of his studies involved health promotion planning, community health, the social determinants of health, the built environment, and food insecurity. This led him to view his own community with a new lens and come to the realization that he wanted to help use his newfound education and 8 years of experience as a Chef to create positive and lasting change in Monterey County.
In his free time, Antonio enjoys spending time with family, cooking, listening to music, and basketball.
My Power 9
My favorite Power 9 is Loved Ones First.Return to Our Community
SR. EVENTS & OFFICE SPECIALIST
Mackenzie Fisher joins the Blue Zones Project – Monterey County team as our Sr. Events & Office Specialist. As the daughter of two local entrepreneurs, she grew up in the hospitality industry, so event planning and office management is a natural fit. She has spent the last few years working in mental health, providing access to marginalized groups across the country, but is thrilled to be back and supporting her own community. She happily manages the day-to-day function of all three of our local offices and supports the team and community with events across the county.
Mackenzie was born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula and attended Santa Catalina High School, before moving to Washington State where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Spanish Language, and Education from the University of Puget Sound. During this time, she spent 7 months abroad in Granada, Spain studying the language and culture. It was here that her passion for slow-living, natural health, and movement came to fruition. She is an avid herbalist and studies naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and acupuncture when she is not working, cooking, or exercising with her dog.
My Power 9
For me, moving naturally and downshifting work hand in hand and I have found there is no better place to downshift than walking along the ocean with my partner and our puppy. You will find us walking/running/tidepooling along Asilomar or hiking the trails in Pacific Grove, Carmel, and Big Sur.Return to Our Community
Community Program Manager
Tanja Roos joined Blue Zones Project®– Monterey County as the Community Program Manager supporting the expansion into the Peninsula Cities region. Having grown up on the Monterey Peninsula, with more than 17 years of experience working on behalf of health and well-being in the county, Tanja has a deeply rooted commitment to helping our local communities thrive. In her role, Tanja supports her team in cultivating partnerships with local nonprofits, businesses, community leaders, stakeholder committees, municipalities, grocery stores, restaurants, and schools by utilizing evidence-based practices that improve overall well-being. Tanja also collaboratively works to develop policies that will positively impact the built environment, reduce tobacco use, and increase access to healthy food.Read More
Tanja earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Sustainable Development from The University of California — Berkeley and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco’s School of Management in Nonprofit Administration. Tanja’s early career was dedicated to co-creating MEarth, a grassroots nonprofit that provides high-impact youth and family programming in Monterey County, focused on ecological stewardship, hands-on science, healthy food choices, and community action. She then went on to help develop transformational programs for global audiences at Esalen Institute in Big Sur. There, she supported the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts through her work on the scholarship committee and by helping coordinate a multi-year healing and reconciliation process with local Indigenous leadership.
Tanja strongly believes that her academic and professional pursuits have largely been informed by her upbringing. Growing up a daughter of an immigrant in a multicultural & multiethnic household, Tanja was fortunate to travel abroad often, which she sees as foundational in shaping her holistic and inclusive worldview. Tanja was honored to receive the ‘Visionary Leadership’ award from the Democratic Women of Monterey County in 2012 and was named one of the “25 For the Next 25 Years,” by Monterey County Weekly in 2013. Deeply dedicated to leaving the world a better place than how she found it, Tanja works hard to ensure that her efforts are in service to the greatest good for ALL.
Tanja lives on a mini-homestead replete with a vegetable and flower garden, a vermicompost system, a chicken coop with laying hens, a beehive, and her beloved rescue cat and new puppy. She enjoys going on adventures in wild places, tending her soil, getting lost in a good book, cooking homegrown meals, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
My Power 9
So much in our modern lives is designed to keep us busy and distracted from what actually matters. For me, taking the time to consciously Downshift — whether it is working in my garden, cooking a nourishing meal, hiking with friends, reading a book, or watching the sunset — has become central to my overall health and well-being. Downshifting helps me lead a more integrated and intentional life.Return to Our Community
Lidia Wilding joins the Blue Zones Project Monterey County team as the Engagement Lead for the Peninsula Cities. Her focus is building relationships and engaging the community through planning, coordinating, and promoting of local events for individuals and organizations.
Lidia has a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from The Art Institute of California – San Francisco. With over a decade of event planning and management experience, Lidia is excited to be a part of the health and wellness transformation of the community where she was raised.
Prior to Blue Zones Project, Lidia worked in the nonprofit sector for 20 years and has worked for prominent organizations such as Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Francisco Zoo, Monterey Jazz Festival, and SPCA Monterey County.
Lidia lives in Salinas with her loving husband, amazing daughter, and fur baby Luca. She enjoys gardening, spending time outdoors with her family, and socializing with friends.
My Power 9
Loved Ones First! My family is my everything and my primary purpose in life.Return to Our Community
FOOD RETAIL LEAD
Specifically, Dalila will be working in collaboration with Monterey South County’s Restaurants and Grocery Stores to make strategic changes that foster a healthier food environment for the community. In addition, Dalila will work with local stakeholders to implement equity driven food policy.
After graduating from Alisal High School, Dalila went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Community, and Culture from the University of California, Los Angeles. She then obtained a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
In her graduate program, she conducted research with low-income Californian families on their knowledge and use of Safety Net programs and their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her capstone project focused on creating evidence-based content for the Berkeley School of Public Health website on the racism embedded in foods systems and its consequences on health outcomes. As an immigrant Latina, she is passionate about eliminating the systemic barriers that low income and minority populations face when it comes to accessing nutritious food.
In her free time, Dalila enjoys spending time with family and loved ones, strength training, hiking, listening to crime podcasts, and catching up on shows.
My Power 9
Family first, always.Return to Our Community
Paola Delgado was born and raised in Salinas, California. She graduated from Salinas High School and received her bachelor’s degree in communications studies, from California State University, Fullerton and her master’s degree in film, Television and Media Studies, from California State University, Los Angeles. She is really passionate about her community and wants to help make a difference.
Paola joins the Blue Zones Project – Monterey County team as the Engagement Lead for Salinas. Her Focus is assisting in the planning and coordination of local events, as well as establishing marketing plans and strategizing how to increase engagement and participation within the community.
My Power 9
My favorite Power 9 principle is Family First! During the holidays I remember my parents taking us to Mexico and driving 3 days to get to our location. In that time, I was too young to understand why we would go to Mexico or why we would skip days from school to go. Now, that I am older I want to go back to Mexico for the holidays every year. The connection and the memories our family has shared over the years is something that is very special to me and that I hold near and dear to my heart. Being able to go to Mexico to see my entire family has been a blessing and I can’t wait to continue building memories with them.Return to Our Community