Leading with Heart
Leading with heart: Our Board of Directors
Second Harvest Heartland’s Board of Directors is a dedicated group that volunteers many hours to oversee and implement our mission of ending hunger through community partnerships. We asked members of the Board of Directions Executive Committee a few questions about their involvement with the Board, and their passion for hunger relief.
How did you get involved with Second Harvest Heartland?
“My passion for Second Harvest Heartland’s mission stems from my childhood, growing up on a farm in rural Minnesota. I believe we are uniquely positioned in this area of the nation to solve the hunger crisis and then help other parts of the country do the same,” said Jamie Rice, Senior Vice President and Health Plan Operations and Chief Technology Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
“My company did a pro bono assignment for Second Harvest Heartland in 2009. It was a fascinating introduction to a first-class hunger relief organization, and I joined the board shortly after that project,” Peter Lawyer, Senior Partner and Managing Director at Boston Consulting Group, said.
In your opinion, what is the impact of Second Harvest Heartland’s work in the community?
“Second Harvest Heartland is on the leading edge of new programs like food rescue, produce capture, and the critically important connection between food insecurity and health. Leadership from Second Harvest Heartland is dramatically improving the way we fight hunger in this community,” Tom Butterfield, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at TCF Bank, said.
“Second Harvest Heartland harnesses a lot of creative energy and thought leadership around ending hunger. They’re not only moving food, but they’ve moving the conversation along about hunger in general. They want to answer the question, ‘How can we transform the process to end hunger?’” William McDonald, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel and Secretary at Ceridian HCM, Inc., said.
Which of Second Harvest Heartland’s strategic priorities excites you most, and why?
“The innovative work that we are doing with farmers and fresh produce. With the use of information technology and by creating a distribution network, Second Harvest Heartland is saving millions of pounds of produce and getting it to thousands of families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get fresh food,” Chris Neugent, CEO and President of Post Consumer Brands, said.
“The direct connection we are making to health care, working with health care providers to ensure that nutritious, appropriately selected food is being provided to patients with health challenges. This could be one of the most important initiatives that Second Harvest Heartland has ever undertaken,” Sara Gavin, President of Weber Shandwick North America, said.
Leading with values first: Second Harvest Heartland staff
Leadership isn’t always about a big idea. Sometimes it’s the small deed or gracious action that reveals the heart and mind of a leader. Second Harvest Heartland staff brings those activities to light by nominating colleagues who put our Vision and Values into action. Here are just a few of the more than 250 Vision and Values stories that celebrate staff leadership during the past year:
Jess Swanson, Volunteer Services
Jess’s usual role is to manage volunteers. One day last summer, a couple came into Second Harvest Heartland West, and said, “We’re hungry.” Jess stopped everything to conduct quick research online and found three locations the couple could visit that day for food. Thanks to Jess, they had a meal that night and now know where to turn for help.
Willie Thomas, Production
Willie went out of his way to include a group of volunteers with special needs in a special project to pack rolled oats instead of their usual bag labeling activity. After careful instruction, the volunteers loved the more demanding project and even stayed late to finish up. Willie’s patience and clear guidance made the day extra special for our volunteers.
Erin Anderson, Hunger Programs
Erin is continually looking for ways to reach seniors in need of a CSFP food box each month. Recently, Erin sent out 600+ postcards to seniors who are registered for the program but have not picked up food boxes for a few months. Within three days we had calls flooding in from individuals who wanted to restart the program!
Learn about more ways we're leading with our values in the leadership section of our community report.