Local Leaders Helping End Hunger

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December 12, 2016 By: Marie Pauley Category: SHH News

An opportunity to solve the hunger crisis, transforming the process to end hunger, and being on the leading edge of new programs in hunger relief are just a few reasons that members of our Board of Directors have shared about why they're involved with Second Harvest Heartland.

As one of the nation’s largest, most efficient and most innovative hunger relief organizations, Second Harvest Heartland creates new programs and initiatives that provide greater support and additional ways for people to access the food they need. We are constantly seeing new ideas and implementing new processes to ensure we fulfill the hunger relief needs of the entire Heartland region.

This work could not be done without the support of our donors, volunteers and partners and the direction and leadership of our Board of Directors. The board is responsible for the governance of the organization, setting policies and overall priorities.

“Our size means we operate like a business, with an intense focus on efficiency and the bottom line,” said Rob Zeaske, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland. “We are fortunate to have such strong, highly respected community business leaders helping us achieve our goals of leading through innovation to find creative solutions to connect the full resources of our community with our hungry neighbors.”

In early November and December, we welcomed a total of five new members to our board of directors. These five new board members join 16 current members, forming a robust board of directors with deep experience in food, health, logistics, technology and philanthropy that represents the area's impressive business community. Each member brings a passion for hunger relief and will dedicate many hours to help implement our mission of ending hunger through community partnerships.

Please join us in welcoming our new members and read more about our Board of Directors here


Calvin U. Allen, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning & Human Resources, HealthPartners
With Allen as senior vice president for strategic planning and human resources at HealthPartners, the company has experienced dramatic growth and employee satisfaction. He has extensive experience in management, business development and financial services and currently serves as a member of the Minneapolis CHRO Governing Body, the Human Resource Executive Committee (HREC), World Impact Executive Board and the National Association of Health Services Executives. Allen was honored by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 recipient and recognized twice as a Diversity in Business honoree. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University and Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Christina Hennington, Senior Vice President, Merchandising Transformation and Operations, Target Corporation
In her role, Hennington is responsible for the operating functions within merchandising including presentation, negotiations, business process, analytics and category management. Hennington has deep knowledge in merchandising and product management. She previously served on the Board of Governors for Cosmetic Executive Women, a nonprofit professional organization in NYC, and completed a two-year Henry Crown Fellowship through the Aspen Institute in 2015. Hennington earned her bachelors degree from Cornell University and her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  

James P. Lemke, President, Robinson Fresh, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.
As president of Robinson Fresh, Lemke has global oversight of the company’s fresh produce and temperature controlled supply chain activities. Lemke has been with C.H. Robinson since 1989, holding various management positions in corporation and product sourcing before being named president in 2015. He is the current chairman of the United Fresh Start Foundation, and a member of the Fresh Executive Committee for the Food Marketing Institute. Lemke is a passionate advocate for increasing children’s access to fruits and vegetables and recently announced Robinson Fresh’s campaign, Kids Speak Fresh. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota.

Jeff Putnam, Senior Vice President and Controller, UnitedHealth Group
Putnam is responsible for the UnitedHealth Group corporate accounting, financial planning and analysis, capital planning, corporate actuarial, and accounts payable functions. He has a strong background leading enterprise budgeting and forecasting, management reporting and analysis, accounts payable, and corporate procurement activities. Putnam serves on the board of Free Arts Minnesota, an organization that works with youth in challenging circumstances to support artistic and personal development through a unique combination of mentorship and arts learning. He earned an undergraduate degree in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Hunter J. Saklad, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Select Comfort Corporation
Saklad leads Select Comfort's information technology function by driving the transformation of core infrastructure and applications to support Sleep Number's customer-focused growth strategy. Prior to joining Select Comfort in 2004, he held finance-leadership roles at Ford Motor Company and Visteon. Saklad is the board chair of Think Small, a nonprofit intermediary organization serving the early childhood education community. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American civilization and public policy from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.


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