The Food Council Nominating Committee selects and appoints nine representatives for one- and two-year long terms as Montgomery County Food Council Board Members. Board Members are responsible for:
- Safeguarding the Council’s mission and ensure the stability of the organization
- Developing and recommending the Council’s direction and objectives by developing strategic
priorities and long-term plans for Council approval
- Developing an annual budget and operating plans for presentation to the Council Members
- Monitoring performance of the organization and staff in relation to achievement of its
mission, goals, objectives, and budget
- Ensuring prudent management of the Council’s resources, and regularly reviewing the
Council’s services and programs for relevance to the organization’s goals and mission
and for effectiveness
- Selecting and supporting an Executive Director to whom responsibility for administration of the Council is delegated
- Regularly reviewing and evaluating the performance of the Executive Director on the basis of
job description and established performance standards and goals
- Providing advice and acting to support the Executive Director in accomplishing the Council’s
mission and goals and make objective judgments about the validity of management
reports on the finances and operations of the organization
Meet our current Food Council Board Members
Joseph Chirico, Treasurer
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Bank
Joseph Chirico is a senior vice president in for the Wells Fargo Regional Commercial Banking Office covering the Capital East Region. He is responsible for developing and managing complex commercial banking relationships in the District of Columbia and Suburban Maryland. Joe coordinates credit, treasury management and other financial services to middle-market companies with annual revenue from $20 million to more than $ 1 billion. He lives and works in Bethesda, Maryland. Joe assumed his current role in June of 2013 after 15 years of developing complex commercial middle market relationships in the DC metro area. Joe is active within the region, participating on a number of non- profit boards and business organizations. Prior to coming to the DC market, Joe worked for the Bank of New York. Joe graduated with a BA in International Relations from the College of William and Mary. He has an M.B.A. in Finance from the Monmouth University and matriculated from the ABA’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
Jeff Clark, Secretary
Conserve Program Director, National Restaurant Association
Jeff manages the National Restaurant Association’s sustainability projects and education efforts. He acts as an environmental liaison to the restaurant industry, helping businesses minimize their waste footprint and save money. He regularly speaks to audiences about environmental issues, including food waste in the restaurant industry, and works closely with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. Jeff is originally from Southern California but now lives in Bethesda, MD with his wife and young daughter. They have a large summer garden near Sykesville, MD, where they grow potatoes, squash, bush beans, and other produce. Jeff received his Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz and holds a Master of Public Policy from Duke University. He is a part-time surfer, a full-time foodie, and an amateur photographer.
Sharon Feuer Gruber, Board Chair
Co-Founder, Food Works Group
Sharon is a strategic food systems thinker who thrives when analyzing systems, evaluating programs, engaging stakeholders, and helping to conceive of effective partnerships. She co-founded Food Works Group, a food systems consultancy, in 2013 and serves as one of the principals. Sharon believes that almost all project goals can be accomplished in a way that contributes to a more effective, equitable, and efficient food system; she approaches all engagements through this framework. In addition to her role as council member and Board Chair of the Montgomery County Food Council, Sharon is a board member of the Wide Net Project, a non-profit organization that works to restore biodiversity in the Chesapeake Bay while simultaneously supporting hunger-relief in the mid-Atlantic region.
George Green, Vice-Chair
Vice President and General Counsel, Food Marketing Institute (Retired)
George is an attorney who has spent much of his career working on food related issues and non-profit governance. For more than twenty years he was General Counsel for the Food Marketing Institute, the national association for food retailers and wholesalers. In that role he was responsible for all the Institute’s legal affairs, including governance procedures, antitrust compliance, and employment matters as well as managing all of FMI’s regulatory activities. He has appeared before numerous congressional committees and regulatory bodies on a wide variety of issues impacting the food distribution industry. He helped form and served as counsel to the Food Marketing Institute Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that funds education and research on food safety, nutrition and health and wellness education. He also served as counsel to the Safe Quality Food Institute which audits food safety procedures of farms, food processing facilities and retailers around the world and certifies those that are in compliance with the most effective practices. George is a graduate of Senior Leadership Montgomery and a graduate of Queens College and Brooklyn Law School. He and his wife Glenda enjoy traveling, the outdoors and spending time with their five grandchildren.
CEO, KCM Consulting LLC
Kathy is the founder and CEO of KCM Consulting L.L.C providing a full range of Human Resources, Benefits, Retirement and Risk Management strategic advice, planning and services to add business value. Kathy has been a Human Resources, Benefits and Retirement professional for 40 years. She received her B.S. Degree in Labor Relations and Personnel from the University of Maryland, completed the Human Resources Executive Program at Stanford University and Georgetown’s Executive Leadership program at McDonough School of Business. Kathy was a board member of the Washington Technical Professional Association for 10 years and served as President of the association and for 5 years served on the Advisory Board of Principal Financial Group. Kathy has worked in private industry, not for profit and employee owned companies. Kathy grew up in South Jersey and during summer breaks from high school and college worked on the family owned strawberry and blueberry farms. Kathy and her family have lived for 40 years in Montgomery County.
Aizat Oladapo, Executive Committee Member
Program Manager, Community Action Agency
Aizat works with the Montgomery County Community Action Agency that provides direct services and administers partnerships that reduce poverty and promote low-income families’ self-sufficiency. She has been with the agency for over ten years and monitors nonprofits that serve the County’s vulnerable population. Aizat has a master’s in Psychology from University of Lagos and has worked in the nonprofit industry most of her working life, in the USA, in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. She coordinated the running of the food pantry, as a program Director at LINK of Hampton Roads VA and worked with the Bosnia Refugee population at the National Children’s Home (NCH) Family Center in London-UK. Aizat is an active member of the Islamic Center of Maryland, Social Services committee and the Muslim Community Center.
Noelle Ronald Heyman
President, Impresa Management Solutions
Noelle Ronald has more than 30 years of experience attending to – and advocating for – the needs of older people across the country. Her role as Chair for the Montgomery County Commission on Aging supported and encouraged her passion for advocacy on behalf of older County residents. Noelle’s hands-on work in private and group medical practices, hospital clinics and departments, and the health insurance industry provided in depth knowledge of the “business of health” and the importance of operational excellence, quality assurance and customer satisfaction. She focused on developing, implementing, and strengthening health care programs, analyzing health care legislation and drafting policy statements while serving in AARP’s national headquarters and on coalition building to identify and promote healthcare workforce solutions for the Center to Champion Nursing in America at AARP. After retiring from AARP she focused on addressing specific needs in her community. Certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, and by the Road Runners Association as a running coach, her skill and knowledge encourages and supports adults of various ages as they work toward their personal strength, balance and fitness goals. She has volunteered for Manna and created successful food drives for the organization. As President of Impresa Management Solutions, Noelle also consults with small health care companies to develop strategy and guide planning.
Former President, Walt Whitman Education Foundation
An active community volunteer, Ellen brings 20 years of corporate and nonprofit experience to the board. She served on the board of the Whitman High School Education Foundation for five years – three as president. She is currently working with Whitman students to raise their awareness about hunger in Montgomery County and inspire collaborative action. The bulk of her career was spent at American Express headquarters where she led teams focused on process improvement and new initiatives. Previously, she worked at the Grocery Manufacturers of America. She holds a BA from Bucknell University and an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. A firm believer in the power of collaboration, Ellen was drawn to the work of the Food Council.
Michael J. Wilson
Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions
Michael joined Maryland Hunger Solutions in July 2013 as Director. In this role, he is helping to lead Maryland’s premier hunger advocacy, education, and outreach organization as it works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, economic security, and well-being of low-income families in Maryland. Michael serves in a leadership role in many statewide coalitions and is a core advisor in the Governor’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger. For more than three decades, Michael has been a leading advocate for economic and social justice. He worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative and press assistant for the late U.S. Representative Charles Hayes (IL). He also served in numerous positions at the U.S. Department of Labor, culminating as Chief of Staff in the Employment Standards Administration where he coordinated legislative, regulatory, communications, and policy development. Michael also was an international officer and director at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union where he headed the legislative and political department and led the union’s efforts in food policy and worker advocacy. Michael served as a FRAC Board Member for more than a decade, as well as a Board Member for the Consumer Federation of America and Americans for Democratic Action, where he also served as National Director. He received the Community Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area in 2009, the Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Award in 1997 and 1999, and a Special Commendation from the Wage and Hour Division in 1997. Michael has a B.A. in communications arts and sciences from Michigan State University.