Our Team

James Burke

James Burke, Kitchen Assistant

James is a friendly and dedicated member of the Sunflower team who performs a wide-range of support tasks. James is responsible and helpful to everyone.

Picture Coming Soon

Corey Bernstein, Pastry Instructor

Corey graduated from L’academie De Cuisine’s pastry arts program in 2010. For 5 years she and her family ran their own bakery called Me & 3. She has also worked at 8407 Kitchen Bar and Chef Geoff’s in Tyson’s Corner. Corey has been at Sunflower for 2 years and loves helping the students with their training.
chefbernstein@sunflowerbakery.org

Wilton Dolinger

Wilton Dolinger, Pastry Sous Chef

Jazman Edmond

Jazman Edmond, Assistant Instructor

Jazman Edmond completed her training at Sunflower Bakery in 2014. Initially, she was employed providing customer service at Cafe Sunflower. Over the years, with her calm, encouraging demeanor and strong work ethic, she has worked her way up to Assistant Instructor, working with the Cafe’s students and employees. She is an excellent role model and mentor.

Liz Hutter

Liz Hutter, General Manager

Chef Liz, our former executive pastry chef, created all aspects of our production operations. Under Liz’s leadership, our innovative pastry arts employment-training program was developed and implemented. In summer of 2017 Liz assumed her current role as General Manager. She manages the kitchen and training program, preparing and supporting students through employment.
liz@sunflowerbakery.org

Jessica Messer

Jessica Messer, Director of Programs

Jessica joined our team as our Director of Programs in October 2018. She has almost 20 years of experience providing supports to individuals with differing abilities. Jessica provides student outreach and recruitment, evaluates existing programs and curricula, and develops relationships with potential employer partners to help secure and ensure successful, competitive employment for Sunflower graduates.
jessica@sunflowerbakery.org

Sara Portman Milner

Sara Portman Milner, LCSW-C, Co-founder and Director of Student Services

Sara works collaboratively with our staff to develop and implement our innovative bakery and café employment training programs at Sunflower Bakery and Cafe Sunflower. In addition, she shepherds students and their families from initial inquiry throughout the training program. Sara has 45+ years of experience in the disability field.
sara@sunflowerbakery.org.

Janis Neville

Janis Neville, Customer Service and Operations Coordinator

Janis became our Customer Service and Operations Coordinator in January 2017. She assists customers in placing orders, manages our deliveries and purchases bakery supplies. With 10 years of web development experience, she serves as our resident IT specialist, regularly updating our website and ensuring that our online shopping is current with new and holiday products.
janis@sunflowerbakery.org.

Joey Nowicki

Joey Nowicki, Café Manager

Joey Nowicki became our Café Manager in December 2016 with seven years of front-of-house operations and managerial experience. We are excited for our staff members to learn from and work with such a knowledgeable professional. Joey has a great interest in developing our staff members’ marketable and transferable skills and abilities to help ensure their success in the workplace.

Douglas Olinger

Douglas Olinger, Café Assistant Manager

Douglas completed the full Pastry Arts Employment Training at Sunflower Bakery. As a result of his internship at the Café, he joined the staff there to expand his skills working with customers.

Picture Coming Soon

Archna Pancholi, Bookkeeper

Marion Pitcher, Pastry Arts Director

Chef Marion brings more than 20 years of experience as a pastry chef in the DC area to her position directing the pastry arts component of our training program.  Her calm and supportive demeanor and knowledge of the field help us to continue to enhance and innovate learning in our bakery.
marion@sunflowerbakery.org.

Daphna Raskas

Daphna Raskas, Ph.D., Executive Director

Daphna is responsible for organizational development, administration, fundraising and Board governance. She works collaboratively with staff to develop program direction. Daphna has over 20 years of experience working with and consulting to nonprofits and family businesses.
daphna@sunflowerbakery.org.

Laurie Wexler

Laurie Wexler, Co-founder, Advisor

Laurie co-founded Sunflower in 2009 and became executive director. She now serves as a board member and chair of our building expansion. Laurie implemented the organization’s financial, public relations, governance and development processes as well as provided programming direction and collaboration. In 2015, she spearheaded Cafe Sunflower. Laurie has spent 28 years in non-profit program delivery and management.
laurie@sunflowerbakery.org.