I serve as the President and CEO of a large hunger-relief organization. You can read my journey to here, where my heart serves, below. But first, I’d like to encourage you:
Lean In Superhero
You know we all have superpowers, right? Gifts given to you by God, to you alone, to fulfill a specific purpose.
As Diana Prince says: “We can’t help the way we’re born. We can’t help what we are, only what life we choose to make for ourselves. A wise warrior learns from her mistakes. It’s not about what you deserve. It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.”
She also says “What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you’d think.”
People often ask about the reason for my love of Wonder Woman. It’s quite simple, really. She stands for justice. She has a story and she fights for love. Plus, she wears boots and killer bracelets. And a cape.
That’s the kind of faith I want.
A warrior. Full armor of God.
Friends, no one is YOU, and that, my dear, is your superpower.
You’re going to have somewhere to serve this week. You may be a CEO. It might look like a classroom or a cubicle, a corporate meeting, a church, or a kitchen full of too many Cheerios on the floor.
Wherever God has called you this season, be all in. Be His Chief Executive Office wherever you are.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” – 2 Timothy 1:7.
Put your cape on,
How I got here:
CEO of Golden Harvest Food Bank
In 1991 I was a senior in college and most of my friends were spending spring break in places like Panama City Beach or Key West, Florida. I chose to take a semester-long course titled “Racism and Poverty in America” and spent my week in inner city Washington D.C. with leader and advocate .Mitch Snyder What I experienced that week, serving the homeless, has never left me and it truly changed the trajectory of my life and my career.
After completing an undergraduate degree in English Education, I went on to finish a master’s degree in Community Agency Counseling. During my time in graduate school I ran a pilot program for a local campus outreach, organizing English as a Second Language program in rural communities.
My heart was hopelessly attached to the vulnerable and I knew I wanted a career in advocating for the marginalized.
Over the last 25 years, I have founded, led and implemented innovative social entrepreneurship programs for cancer patients, the oppressively poor in Haiti and Mexico, and those right here in our community who are tangled in the foster care system or are seeking a “hand-up” through employment. I have led small, dedicated teams during the formative days of the Lydia Project, growing to manage and support hundreds of volunteers both locally and nationally, I supervised both paid staff and volunteers, uniting them with donors in moving missions forward.
It was with great humility and expectation of how God could use my story and experiences to further the mission and vision of Golden Harvest Food Bank that I submitted my application to lead organization in late 2019. From day one it felt like coming home. This team, this mission, and this work are very close to my heart.
Something seemed to fall into place, and I knew God had placed me here at Golden Harvest for such a time as this. It felt holy and if I’m honest, a bit overwhelming.
At first I was hesitant. But at every step of the process, I felt His presence and push to continue. I was still humbled and amazed to learn that the committee had unanimously voted to place their confidence in me to lead the Food Bank and to carry its mission into the future.
I humbly accepted this role and began leading Golden Harvest in late December 2019. The pandemic began 6 weeks later.
This photo is me with my predecessors. To my left is Mike Firmin, the founder: the man who followed the call to feed the poor. This call began with a handful of volunteers in a borrowed space in downtown Augusta, Georgia. Golden Harvest now distributes more than 12 million meals annually with more than 300 partner agencies and programs in 25 counties in Georgia and South Carolina, spanning 11,000 square miles.
To my right is Travis McNeal, our previous leader, who was trained under Mike and brought enormous changes of his own to this organization. Together they dreamed up The Master’s Table Soup Kitchen from conception to construction. This sacred space now serves hundreds of meals a day, 365 days a year to our Augusta neighbors. At the door of our soup kitchen, no questions are asked, and a full-time staff supported by 600 volunteers a month welcome the area’s hungry to not only enjoy a hot meal, but to experience the love of Jesus.
I am the third leader in our 40-year history, and am continually in awe of what God accomplishes through our team, board of directors, community partners, and committed donors.
Every volunteer, every employee and every meal matters. I hope you’ll join us in caring for our neighbors and to end hunger in our communities for every child, family and senior. You can use the links below to learn more, and sign up for our newsletter HERE.