AS THE WORLD continues to find its way back financially and emotionally from a pandemic, Northern Illinois Food Bank continues to do its work to ensure that everyone in this state has the food they need to thrive. And they now have added four new leaders to help with its most precious of missions.
Former Mondelez International Financial Executive David Brearton, CogniTek CEO/CTO and MG Fuels Founder/ CEO Michael Gurin, IDEO Executive Director Justin Massa, and YouTech Founder and CEO Wilbur You recently joined the distinguished board of directors at the 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that serves our neighbors in 13 counties with 250,000 meals a day.
“We’re excited to welcome David, Justin, Michael, and Wilbur into the Food Bank Family.” said Julie Yurko, President and CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank. “Their incredible energy and insights into growing successful businesses will be invaluable for the Food Bank as we begin executing our new strategic plan. We look forward to their leadership and knowledge.”
And while their professional backgrounds may vary, all four executives find themselves personally invested in the food bank, perhaps now more than ever before. For example, Mr. Bearton is a Lake Forest resident and longtime donor of the Food Bank. Mr. Gurin regularly volunteers at the Food Bank’s Mobile Markets in Highwood and lives in Glenview with his wife, Shelley. And while Mr. Massa once called New Orleans home, he now resides in Chicago and has worked as a consultant with Northern Illinois Food Bank’s My Pantry Express program since 2020. Rounding out the new team of leaders is Mr. You, a resident of Naperville and a major player in the support of the Food Bank’s direct-to-neighbor marketing strategy.
Each Northern Illinois Food Bank board member serves four-year terms and provide strategic counsel on the Food Bank’s mission and other directives to the Food Bank’s Executive Team.
These recent additions to the Northern Illinois Food Bank board will certainly assist in the continuation of food donations and funding from some of the state’s most well-known manufacturers, local and corporate grocers, area farmers, corporations, foundations, and individuals who donate food and funding.
Even so, their work is far from done. Every week, the Northern Illinois Food Bank works with nearly 1,000 volunteers to help them evaluate, repack, and distribute food. With distribution centers located in Geneva, Park City, Rockford and Joliet, the Northern Illinois Food Bank also proudly partners with more than 900 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior feeding programs to provide nutritious food and resources.
And the need in communities across Northern Illinois isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, Ms. Yurko believes that it might take two full years ‘before the demand for food assistance returns to our pre-pandemic levels.’