Southeast Texas Food Bank appoints interim president/CEO

Published 12:13 am Saturday, January 9, 2021

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To carry the organization through a transition period following the departure of former President/CEO Dan Maher for another Feeding America food bank position in Virginia, the Southeast Texas Food Bank has temporarily elevated Director of Development Jimmy Sparks to the role of interim president/CEO.

Sparks will also continue to retain his duties in leading the organization’s fundraising efforts.

Sparks has led the Food Bank’s fundraising efforts for more than three years. In addition to helping attract funding to support the Food Bank’s basic annual revenue requirements in excess of $4 million, Sparks has also been responsible for managing several extraordinary dimensions of fundraising necessary to help the Food Bank navigate a series of challenges, including Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, COVID-19 and several natural disasters in 2020.

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Following upon service in the Army and an undergraduate degree from Lamar University and a Masters’ degree in Public Administration from Texas Tech, Sparks’ professional experience includes service as executive director of the Hill Country University Center in Fredericksburg, Texas from 2005 – 2011 and fundraising roles with the Oak Bend Medical Center in Richmond, Texas and LifeShare Blood Centers throughout Southeast Texas.

“As our Search Committee continues to review and interview promising candidates for the President/CEO role, we are fortunate to have Mr. Sparks step in to lead the organization in an interim capacity,” said Jeff Oliverio, Southeast Texas Food Bank Board Chair.

“His knowledge of the organization and experience within it allows us to have short-term continuity in our operations as we consider the possible candidates best suited to providing the long-term leadership capability and strategic vision we know will be instrumental for the Food Bank to provide even stronger community impact in the future.”

The Southeast Texas Food Bank works with 90 partner non-profit agencies and more than 50 school partners to address food insecurity and related issues in eight counties of Southeast Texas.

During 2020, the Food Bank distributed enough food to provide more than 8.9 million meals to Southeast Texans and operated a handful of complementary support programs for children, seniors and underserved populations against the backdrop of responding to COVID-19 and natural disaster impacts across the region.