Former Conagra executive Jill Rahman is Food Depository’s new COO; food justice advocate Monica Moss and finance executive Marc Paulhus will lead board of directorsThe Greater Chicago Food Depository is thrilled to announce the appointment of new leaders to top posts for the organization. As of June 15, Jill Rahman, a longtime food industry executive with a strong commitment to social justice, is the Food Depository’s new chief operating officer. Effective July 1, Monica Moss, a food justice advocate who serves in ministry at Trinity United Church of Christ, will begin her tenure as chair of the board of directors. And Marc Paulhus, president of Citizens Asset Finance, will serve as the Food Depository’s new vice chair of the board. This infusion of leadership, along with other recent board appointments, will help guide the Food Depository during the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis, said Kate Maehr, the Food Depository’s executive director and CEO. “We’re so grateful to have leaders of this caliber join us in the mission to end hunger, particularly as the need for food assistance continues to surge,” Maehr said. “We welcome their expertise, passion and insights to move us forward.” Rahman most recently served as president of international for Conagra Brands, where she oversaw sales of brands such as Healthy Choice, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn, and Hunt’s, among others. Over the past two decades, she has also held leadership positions at Newell Rubbermaid and Kraft Foods.
On her move to the Food Depository, Rahman said she was guided by the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The time is always right to do what is right.”“It is what I remember my mother telling me many, many times,” Rahman said. “Later, I learned that quote is attributed to Dr. King. What I hope to do here is to support Kate’s leadership vision, support the Food Depository mission and play my role in developing great teams.” Prior to her appointment, Rahman was also a longtime volunteer on the board of directors at Kelly Hall, one of the Food Depository’s partners serving the West Humboldt Park neighborhood. Moss has served on the Food Depository’s board of directors since 2017. Recently, she was instrumental in Trinity United launching pop-up food distributions in partnership with the Food Depository as an emergency response to the pandemic. Moss has also previously held the positions as chair of the board of directors for Illinois Action for Children and co-chair of the National First Ladies Health Initiative. “I believe the Greater Chicago Food Depository is more critical and necessary now than ever before,” Moss said. “The impact of a global pandemic has demonstrated the dexterity, strengths and relevancy of this organization as a model of local and national leadership. As chair of the board of directors, I am committed to advancing the mission and guiding principles of the Food Depository during times of unprecedented challenge and need.” Paulhus, who has served on the board of directors since 2014, will remain chair of the finance committee. A Rhode Island native, he also served as president of Citizens Bank Rhode Island from 2014 to 2017. His impressive career as a finance executive grew from the humble roots of a working family affected by occasional food insecurity – an experience that has shaped his views on the need for federal food assistance to help our neighbors in need. Last December, he wrote a powerful opinion piece detailing his experience with and support of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that was published in the Chicago Tribune. “While being vice chair of the board is a great honor and privilege, right now I also feel an incredible sense of responsibility and urgency during this time of significant increase in need,” Paulhus said. “This mission is personal to me, rooted in my experience as a direct beneficiary of the food stamp program as a child.” The Food Depository is also thrilled to welcome new members of the board of directors who were appointed earlier this year:
- Kelly Richmond Pope, DePaul University
- Lee “Rosy” Rosenberg
- Roberto Uchoa, McKinsey & Company
- Jennifer Vachon, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
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