Notes From Our CEO

Dear Manna supporter,

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
This was a favorite saying of my undergraduate professor, Dr. Margaret Ammons.  She was educating her students to be classroom teachers, but I have found her guidance to be true in the not-for-profit sector.  If social enterprises lack a plan for how they will fulfill their missions, they can easily fall into a trap of delivering immediate services but not focused on approaches to solve long-standing issues.
Last year Manna Food Center committed itself to a fresh look at its work and mission, by embarking on a strategic planning process.  We listened to stakeholders like you, analyzed trends, and debated the way forward.  I am very pleased to report that on September 27, 2016, our Board of Directors endorsed a 2017 – 2020 plan.  For the next three years, Manna Food Center will focus on pursuing its mission through participant-centered and data driven program delivery, community leadership and advocacy, and a values-based business model that supports the people who make our work possible.  Our team is now focused on creating an implementation approach.
To make sure we match organizational structure to the challenges and opportunities ahead, we also reconfigured our leadership team.  In the photo above you’ll see some familiar faces but new titles.  Angela Whitmal, with more than 11 years of service to Manna, is now our Senior Director of Administration and Client Services.  Jenna Umbriac, R.D., is directing our new Programs and Policies team.  Our logistics work is directed by Edwin Drijas. Stephanie Hubbard has expanded her portfolio as Director of Development and Communications.  Additionally, Manna’s Board has named me Chief Executive Officer, with the honor of leading the entire Manna team.
On the horizon this year, as we strive for a hunger free MoCo is the opening, on November 12, of our second choice pantry in partnership with Silver Spring United Methodist Church; retooling our fleet of trucks-including a Manna Mobile Market visiting neighborhoods beginning June 2018; and developing a Capacity Building Campaign to secure additional funding  for expansion of our space and facilities.
Another saying of Dr. Ammons’ was “some teachers have 20 years’ experience or some have the same experience 20 times.”  Our new strategic plan is a demonstration of Manna’s commitment to progress, continuous improvement, and to striving until, in the words of our vision statement, “Our community is a place where all people at all times have access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food in order to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to making Montgomery County, Maryland, a place where all live in dignity.”

Jackie DeCarlo
Chief Executive Officer