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.

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Corey Bernstein, Pastry Instructor

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Jazman Edmond, Assistant Instructor

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

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.

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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, 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.

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Brittany Trower, Pastry Sous Chef

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.