After serving over three decades in leadership roles in city, county and state government Al
Lerma worked to launch the Mitote Food Park during the pandemic, a new innovative concept
in outdoor dining that combines authentic Mexican food trucks with original cocktails and local
brews that has fast become a vibrant destination for both locals and tourists alike. The food
park hosts a weekly food distribution by the Redwood Empire Food Bank and a monthly low-
cost pet vaccination clinic by Compassion Without Borders all for Roseland area families.
Prior to that he served as the Director of Business Development & Innovation at the Sonoma
County Economic Development Board where he oversaw agency program operations including
funding for Sonoma County Tourism and visitor centers in supporting countywide tourism and
He led the annual Sonoma Restaurant Week with marketing and promotion campaigns to boost
the profile of the local restaurant industry and promoted Sonoma County as one of the top
culinary destinations in the state and on the west coast.
After the October 2017 wildfires he led the agency’s response and recovery efforts that
resulted in a short-term recovery plan and a five-year Strategic Sonoma Economic Development
Action Plan that resulted in the EDB winning both state and national economic development
awards for their promotional campaign to support local businesses in postfire recovery efforts
titled “All You Need Is Local”.
He holds a Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.) in Public Finance from the O’Neil School of Public
and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and a B.A. with majors in Economics and Journalism both
from the Indiana University.