Founder and Director
Patty is a Certified Natural Chef with a Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition. She was founder and director of the Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition Center, the first certified organic cooking school and nutrition center in the country. Patty is a frequent guest speaker in public and private schools and has participated in TV and radio interviews across America promoting health. She is also the co-author of the popular healthy eating book, “More Vegetables, Please”.
In the summer of 2009, she was inspired to move in a new direction and founded Shine The Light On America’s Kids, the name was later changed to DirectionFive Health, a non-profit organization motivated by Patty’s desire to focus on the health needs of America’s youth. In 2010, she personally travelled to 41 states across America, going to schools, Boys and Girls clubs and community centers interviewing kids from all walks of life about their health.
Each child was presented with 25 unique questions regarding their health. University researchers compiled the results and the findings led Patty and her team to develop five targeted health programs which are designed to educate kids and provide them with a path to better overall health. One of the outcomes of this effort has led to the renaming of the organization to DirectionFive Health. Patty firmly believes that if children are included as part of the process, they can become part of the solution.
Patty currently resides in Sonoma County, California. She is a mother of three (four if you count her son-in-law) and grandmother to two.
To learn more about Patty, visit her at www.pattyjames.com
Haley Whitley, a native Oregonian, currently resides in Marin County. With a professional background in teaching and non-profit program development, Haley is on track to begin a Masters program in Holistic Nutrition from Hawthorn University.
Her appetite for whole foods and interest in nutrition began as a young child, thanks to her organic-gardening, health-conscious parents from Eugene, and has blossomed in the past several years. After graduating from Seattle University in 2006 with a degree in Psychology, Haley moved to Costa Rica and founded a non-profit community education center. She and her colleague began by teaching English to locals, developing community outreach programs, and starting the town’s first ever weekly farmers’ market. She was also able to sample the local dishes, cultivate native plants, and learn to cook with a variety of abundant and fresh ingredients. Through this lifestyle, Haley learned that the path to optimum wellness begins with a healthy diet and staying active.
Now living in California, with these lessons as a foundation, Haley is taking advantage of the plentiful resources and building on those fundamental experiences. Working with DirectionFive, she is able to bring her passions for teaching and nutrition together. She is excited to participate in this extraordinary and innovative program and continue to touch the lives of hundreds of children in a positive way.
Cyrelle McDonald attended Bauman Holistic Nutrition College, receiving her Natural Chefs Certification.
She has been working in Petaluma for the last five years as a personal chef, enjoy preparing delicious and nutritious food for others.
In 2009 Cyrelle began volunteering in various Petaluma schools offering weekly hands-on cooking programs with students and now teaches several after school enrichment programs. Cyrelle feels that her calling in life is to be able to give back to kids and the community.
She loves helping kids to appreciate the benefits of whole, fresh food and is thrilled to have joined the DirectionFive team!
Olivia Camilleri was raised in the countryside of Sebastopol, California. Healthy food and plenty of activity have always been a huge part of her life.
Olivia earned her degree in Product Development from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. After graduation she moved to New York City where she was the executive assistant at a large fashion licensing company and volunteered with underprivileged youth in the Bronx and Queens in her spare time. Working with kids has always been a passion of hers.
Olivia has two children, 7 and 4 years old. She received her nutrition and culinary teaching certifications shortly after having her second child. Because Olivia is a Mom she truly understands how important it is to prepare nutritious and delicious foods for kids and how kitchen skills and nutrition education is a basic life skill. She is proud to be able to teach her own kids as well as all the D5 kids this powerful information! She also understands that teaching all this in such a fun way is what the kids keep coming back for!