Our staff and board are passionate about what they do and have many years of experience in the health and nonprofit industries. If you see them, be sure to stop and say hello!
Beatriz Esqueda started with WOL as an active participant more than 4 years ago. As she became more involved with WOL as an office assistant; she got First Aid and CPR certifications with the American Red Cross and is also a certificated aerobics dance instructor. She is now Executive Assistant, responsible for payroll and day-to-day management of all WOL sites (instructors and participants).
Luz M. Gomez
Luz Gomez, MPH, RD, served as President of the Weigh of Life board since the organization’s founding in 2006. For more than 20 years, Luz has worked to improve health and nutrition in underserved communities and brings valuable leadership and connections with the West County community. Throughout her career, Luz has managed public health programs focused on preventing anemia, lead poisoning, obesity, and diabetes. For nine years Luz served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia. Currently, Luz works as the Community Engagement Manager at the Executive Office of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
Luz loves the fact that Weigh of Life has met a need in the community by providing an affordable and culturally sensitive environment to become healthy through exercise and good nutrition. She is constantly inspired by Weigh of Life participants and is looking forward to helping the organization become the go-to non-profit for fitness-related issues in the community.
When she’s not working to make the world a healthier place, she enjoys spending time with her extended family, hiking, traveling, and discovering fun things to do in the Bay Area. To stay healthy, she loves to hike and prepare nutritious meals at home with her family. As Luz says, “Once a nutritionist, always a nutritionist!”
Originally from Colombia, Luz currently lives in San Ramon with her husband. She also likes spending time with her young adult children.
Jan Schilling, FOUNDER
Founder Jan Schilling, MPH, RD, has worked to help build healthier families and communities for more than 50 years. After retiring from a career as a registered dietitian, Jan founded Weigh of Life after noticing an alarming and disproportional rate of overweight and obesity – and corresponding conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure – among low-income and ethnically diverse populations.
In addition to two masters degrees – one in public health and the other in nutrition – Jan completed a credential in Weight Management from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics in 2005.
Jan not only creates opportunities for others to improve their health, but she leads by example. She swims 2-3 times per week and does Zumba when she can. She also always makes sure to eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and diligently avoids fried foods.
Jan grew up in Nebraska, but has lived all the over the world. She spent two years in the Ivory Coast during her stint in the Peace Corps, and also worked for one year in Romania assessing nutrition across eight different orphanages. Before coming to California, Jan lived in Wisconsin for 25 years. She currently makes her home in El Cerrito. In her spare time, she likes to read, attend sorority meetings, and frequent Glide Church in San Francisco each Sunday..
Genoveva Garcia Calloway, TREASURER
Genoveva Calloway has served as Councilmember for the City of San Pablo for the last 12 years and will be sworn in for four more years in December 2014. Recently retired from a career in clinical social work, Genoveva previously served as Program Manager with Contra Costa County Mental Health. In her role, she managed and supervised clinical staff at multiple West County Adult Mental Health Clinics.
Genoveva has always been passionate about participating in community, especially when it comes to ending the obesity epidemic in local neighborhoods. Several years ago, she and the San Pablo City Council learned that San Pablo possessed the highest childhood obesity rate in the county and the third highest in California. Genoveva felt that was unacceptable and since then has provided leadership on the Council to work on initiatives that address the epidemic.
With her city council experience, Genoveva brings strengths in understanding and setting policies for the organization. With fluency in both Spanish and English and 40 years as a San Pablo resident, Genoveva also brings detailed knowledge of community players and a valuable network of like-minded individuals.
To stay healthy, Genoveva makes sure to eat balanced meals as much as possible. She enjoys going for walks, joining a Weigh of Life Zumba class, and doing water walking at the Plunge (Richmond’s indoor pool). She also likes to read, dance and travel to Calistoga for the mineral pools that “soak the stressors away.”
Margaret Jordan, President
Margaret Jordan, RN, PhD, is a retired nurse and clinical health psychologist. She worked with young doctors to help them learn effective patient communication skills and methods to partner with patients as they worked to adopt healthier lifestyles.
Margaret is passionate about serving on the Weigh of Life board because she believes that good health is important for living a happy and productive life. When necessary she fills in as an instructor for Weigh of Life’s nutrition classes and loves being a resource to help members learn skills that enable them to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families.
With a professional knowledge of how behavior change occurs and a history of working with city council and community groups to make Richmond a safer and more livable city, Margaret brings her highly informed activist background to Weigh of Life’s work. She enjoys helping to spread the word about Weigh of Life to parts of the community that are currently not taking advantage of the program.
To stay healthy, Margaret likes to cook healthy meals. She enjoys walking and hiking in the Bary Area with her husband and dog. An East Bay native, Margaret lived in Detroit for 35 years and is very happy to have returned home to Richmond.Margaret is active in the Richmond community as a Board Member of Weigh of Life and a trainer at Saffron Strand, a non-profit dedicated to getting homeless individuals back to work.
Becky Stephens, SECRETARY
Becky Stephens, MA, brings an extensive background in the health promotion industry to the Weigh of Life board. She spent a decade in Washington, DC, encouraging legislators to mandate healthy lunches in schools and worked on getting a label approved for a health claim on soyfoods. After moving to the Bay Area, Becky worked for Vitasoy, an international soyfoods company, where she managed the consumer hotline, advised on nutrition policy and public relation issues, and developed recipes and marketing materials. She has also worked for the Better Health Foundation.
Becky is excited to be part of the board because she strongly believes in the importance of give back to one’s community in ways that will enrich the lives of others. She believes enrichment comes from a healthy lifestyle that includes sound nutrition and physical activity, and looks forward to seeing the program grow and participants continuing to learn about healthy lifestyle choices.
With a Masters Degree in Health Promotion Management from American University, Becky is also certified through the American Council on Exercise as a personal trainer and specialist in fitness and nutrition.
In order to promote and teach healthy habits, Becky always makes sure that she knows what her family is eating. She also maintains her own garden to show her family how food is grown. A native Iowan, Becky has a true understanding of where our foods come from and an appreciation of local agriculture and its impact on our community and the environment. She enjoys cooking and is an avid label reader.
In her spare time, Becky loves to run half-marathons, garden, and spend time with her husband and 11 year-old twins. She and her family live in Kensington.