What is the most important project you’ve overseen in your time as CEO at Care and Share?
From 2012 to 2015 we started the Within Reach initiative and we significantly increased the amount of food going out to our Partner Agencies during that time with a big emphasis on produce. The reason it really stands out for me is that the team told me they couldn’t do it – they said we didn’t have room in the Distribution Center in Colorado Springs. We started our direct-retail partnerships to help with that capacity challenge. The numbers that I had at that time said that we were only reaching 60% of the people who needed food. It just didn’t seem right. So we set a goal for each of the five years and the incredible thing is we beat the goals every year!
I believe that this is America—we have enough food, and we can figure this out. And now we’re at the point where we don’t have to keep looking for those big wins; we need to find those populations that aren’t getting food from us. But we wouldn’t be at this stage if we hadn’t made that leap back then.
Many of the things I did during my time were foundational. We weren’t financially secure when I started, and now we are. We had some team members that maybe didn’t belong on the team, now we have all great team members. Things that set us up for success so that we could focus on our agencies and their needs and on people and what they need now. I’m really proud of the fact that I set the foundation.
What has changed about Care and Share in your time as CEO?
We weren’t the strong organization that we are today. We didn’t have a strong food procurement team and now we do. We’ve added Mobile Markets, the Sunny Side Markets and soon another Distribution Center in Alamosa. There have been a lot of changes over the years. We’ve responded to a lot of emergencies, fires. During the pandemic we really ramped up. We have become more of an emergency response organization. When we think about the work we do, it goes beyond our day-to-day operations. We must be ready for whatever comes.
What will you miss most about leading Care and Share?
That’s the easy question. The people. I’m so fond of everybody that we have on staff. I just think we have amazing people. The President and I do a final interview of anyone who comes onboard these days and I know who everybody is and they’re all quality people.
What are you most excited for in your retirement?
Traveling! And I’m going to learn how to play bridge, and I’m going to get a dog. I’m going to Ireland with my husband this spring and we plan to get a dog after we return. Somebody gave me a link to the prison program in Canon City where the prisoners are training dogs and I thought that would be a good way to get a dog.