Address: 3320 Industrial Dr., Santa Rosa 94945; 707-523-7900; refb.org
Professional background: Film Business, specialty food, food banking
Education: B.A. fine arts, University of Arizona; Spanish literature, history and geography, University of Granada, Spain; MBA, University of Phoenix
Describe your organization.
The Redwood Empire Food Bank provides food to more than 78,000 people every month through its three hunger initiatives and a network of 166 charitable and faith-based organizations throughout Sonoma County. The REFB also helps smaller food banks and organizations in Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
[caption id="attachment_65022" align="alignleft" width="200"] David Goodman[/caption]
Eighteen years ago, I stepped into a food bank for the very first time. When asked why I was there, I replied that I wasn't there to feed hungry people. I said I was there to work hard, and if hungry people benefited, then it would be a job well done. The interviewer replied, "Good."
So many years later, I still embrace the idea of working hard, but I wouldn't answer the question in the same way. I have come to believe that it is a privilege to help people in need. I believe that in many ways we owe a debt of gratitude to many of the people who turn to us for help, as they are the people who care for our children, tend to our homes, serve us meals, work our land and help our parents age with dignity.
Finally, there is one belief that I hold above all others: People are in need for one of two reasons, decisions they have made or circumstances beyond their control. In either case, hunger cannot be the price they pay.
What is your role in the organization?
My role as executive director is to ensure that my colleagues have all the resources they need to "end hunger in our community."
What achievement are you most proud of?
[caption id="attachment_65023" align="alignright" width="256"] Redwood Empire Food Bank served more than 105,000 free meals at 47 sites this summer, ensuring that children like this young girl (pictured) ate nutritious meals, prepared fresh daily, five days a week.[/caption]
I am most proud of providing food assistance to what now amounts to millions of people over 18 years of hunger-relief work. However, a close second is to have created a workplace where colleagues thrive.
What is your biggest challenge today?
To remain relevant in the lives of the people we serve. There are two distinct constituencies that we serve: the supporters who want to see people helped and people in need of food assistance.
What the next major project either under way or on the horizon?
In the months to come, we will complete Our Blueprint to End Hunger campaign, which will result in a new food bank. [See "Food bank expects to open new building in January," May 7.] The next project -- or projects -- will be to realize the full potential of that facility.
What product or service would/or is helping you do your job more effectively?
Generosity, compassion, values and raith. These are the elements that enable us to do our work effectively
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?