EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT TEAM

Noreen Springstead

Executive Director

Noreen has been working for WhyHunger since 1992. Noreen’s vision guides the organization’s marketing strategies and she has established successful philanthropic partnerships with diverse companies such as Hard Rock International, CBS Radio Group, ASCAP, The Orchard, RightsFlow, Duncan Channon Advertising, Shore Fire Media, and others. As part of WhyHunger’s signature program Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, she has built long-term relationships with notable artists, their management and record labels resulting in millions of dollars in aid to WhyHunger and the community based members of our Grassroots Action Network. Prior to directing WhyHunger’s marketing efforts, Noreen used her expertise in program services to develop, support and replicate grassroots solutions focused on self-reliance and empowerment. Noreen is a graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in Political Science and recently completed an Executive Education Certification Program given by the Harvard Kennedy School.

Bill Ayres

Co-founder and Ambassador

Bill co-founded WhyHunger in 1975 with the late singer Harry Chapin.Since its founding, Bill has developed and implemented meaningful and innovative hunger and poverty programs and has led local initiatives to promote ideas and policies that have made significant impacts upon the communities that they serve, including the creation of the New York Hunger Hotline in New York City and the Center for Food Action in New Jersey. He has led local initiatives to promote ideas and policies that have made significant impacts upon the communities that they serve. Under Bill’s direction, WhyHunger has served as a founding member of the National Association of Hunger Organizations (NAHO) and the National Jobs for All Coalition. He is also a member of the board of advisors of Long Island Cares, Long Island’s food bank. Bill has been a broadcaster on commercial radio and TV for the past 40 years and currently hosts two weekly Sunday night radio shows on WPLJ 95.5 FM in New York. Through his work in communications, Bill has developed extensive contacts in the world of media. He is the co-author with Pete Fornatale of the book All You Need is Love (Simon & Schuster) and writes and records music. Bill is married to Life Coach Jeannine Ayres. They have two daughters Michelle and Suzanne and one granddaughter Jaida Lynn.

Alison Meares Cohen

Senior Director of Programs

For the past twenty-five years, Alison has worked with grassroots-led organizations in rural and urban farming communities in the United States and throughout the world. Since 2009, she has been stewarding WhyHunger’s programmatic strategies which center on providing support to grassroots organizations in the U.S. and social movements globally who are working toward addressing the root causes of hunger and the deep inequities of poverty at the intersection of agriculture and food systems, racism, health and climate change. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Alison worked with Heifer International organizing and accompanying farming communities throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions to build and advocate for sustainable food systems. Alison was born and raised in the rural mountainous region of Western North Carolina but has been living, gardening and riding bikes in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two daughters for the past 16 years. Her studies as an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina were in English literature and French. As a graduate student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University her studies centered on gender, farming systems and popular education. Alison’s work has led her to believe that grassroots-led social movements are the most effective means for dismantling inequitable systems and erecting new socially just ones.

Debbie Grunbaum

Senior Director of Communications

Debbie develops and implements organizational strategies to increase WhyHunger’s visibility and advance its programmatic initiatives and impact. Overseeing the organization’s marketing, public relations, creative direction and brand strategy, Debbie brings expertise in media relations, organizational messaging and event planning to WhyHunger. Prior to joining WhyHunger in spring 2011, Debbie served as the Director of Communications and Development for the Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation, a community based human service non-profit, where she shaped strategic communications and fundraising initiatives for the organization. Previously, Debbie implemented publicity campaigns for dozens of for-profit and non-profit clients at G.S. Schwartz & Company, a mid-sized Manhattan based public relations firm. She has worked with top-tier media outlets, planned large scale fundraising events and secured millions in private funds. Debbie is a strong believer in the power of storytelling and is a mentor in the Big Brother’s Big Sister’s Program and a New York Cares volunteer.

Joy Curtin

Senior Director of Finance

As Sr. Director of Finance & Administration, Joy oversees the development and implementation of WhyHunger’s financial management strategy, operations and human resource policies with an emphasis on ensuring sound fiscal management and operational efficiency rooted in social justice. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Joy was Deputy Chief Financial Officer at Media Development Investment Fund, a mission-driven investment fund for independent news businesses in countries with a history of media oppression. She also served as Chief Financial Officer and Sr. Vice President for Administration at the National Academy Foundation which aimed to sustain a national network of career academies in public high schools across the U.S. Joy holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration- Public Accounting (Summa Cum Laude) from Baruch College where she was valedictorian, and a National Diploma in Accounting (Honors) from the London Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Society of Arts. She is married and has two children.

Staff

Saulo Araujo

Director, Global Movements Program

Saulo works to advance initiatives of food sovereignty and agroecology by identifying resources and network opportunities that will strengthen the work of grassroots organizations and social movements. Originally from Brazil, Saulo brings years of experience working with urban and rural families in the United States and abroad. Prior to WhyHunger, he worked as the Latin America Program Coordinator for Grassroots International, and served as consultant to international funders, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. He has a bachelors of science degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco state, Brazil and a M.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. Saulo is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, and has served as board member and advisor for many organizations, including The Food Project, New England Grassroots Environmental Fund and Justice at Work.

Suzanne Babb

Community Partnerships Manager, Nourish Network for the Right to Food

Suzanne supports the capacity building of community based food access organizations through shared learning around the intersection of hunger, health and poverty. Through participation in local and national level strategic partnerships, Suzanne helps to create space and facilitate dialogue around the systemic inequities that cause hunger and poverty. Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada Suzanne has many years of experience working on community development projects within the English-speaking Black community of Montreal on issues of education, employment and health. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Suzanne was the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Get Healthy Harlem website at the Harlem Health Promotion Center. Suzanne is a member of Black Urban Growers, an organization of volunteers committed to building community support for urban and rural growers and nurturing collective Black leadership, and an urban farmer at La Finca del Sur Urban Farm, a Black and Latina women led farm, in the South Bronx. She holds a BS from Concordia University and an MPH from Columbia University.

Sharon Damelio

Director of Development

Sharon directs the development program at WhyHunger, working with a talented team to host innovative events, lead a robust major gifts program and secure support from foundations, individuals and corporations. Sharon is committed to finding new and creative ways to expand WhyHunger’s capacity to support even more of the groundbreaking grassroots work that is transforming the U.S. and the world. Before joining the team at WhyHunger, Sharon worked as the Development Director at Central Outreach & Advocacy Center, an Atlanta nonprofit that provides job training and supportive services to those who are homeless and advocates for policy changes that improve the lives of those living in poverty. Previously, Sharon worked as Assistant Web Editor at Fine Cooking magazine and she now blogs about food at ThreeManyCooks.com. Sharon recently co-authored the cookbook and memoir Three Many Cooks: One Mom, Two Daughters, and Their Shared Stories of Food, Faith, and Family. Sharon holds a B.A. in English and Classics from Williams College and a Master of Divinity from Yale.

Betty Fermin

Program Assistant, Nourish Network for the Right to Food

Betty assists in responding to the WhyHunger Hotline telephone calls from individuals in need of emergency food resources, individuals looking to donate or wanting volunteer opportunities, and people wanting to start their own emergency feeding program. Additionally, she assists with the ongoing update and expansion of Nourish Network database records to improve resources that assist grassroots groups in providing better services to their clients with an emphasis on hunger and poverty issues. Betty manages and writes short articles for the WhyHunger newsletter, Nourishing Change. She also communicates and conducts outreach to agencies nationwide that provide emergency food services, assistance with government programs, and other agencies that provide services to help individuals move towards self-reliance. She also assists the Nourish team with various projects and administrative duties as needed. Betty is from the smallest state, Rhode Island and did a semester abroad in Chile in her junior year at Pace University, where she holds a B.B.A.

Sue Leventhal

Donor Relations & Volunteer Coordinator

Sue has been spearheading WhyHunger’s annual Hungerthon, WhyHunger Chapin Awards and other events for the past 29 years. Prior to her time at WhyHunger, Sue worked as the outreach coordinator for the NY State Consumer Protection Board’s NYC office, as a legal assistant at Kronish Lieb Shainswit Weiner & Hellman where she served as right hand to attorney Adam Walinsky’s The Police Corp Project. As a freelance event producer and fundraiser she produced 22 years of concerts in conjunction with Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary) to benefit NYC public schools. In conjunction with WFAN, Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund and the CJ Foundation for SIDS she produced a series of radiothons to help children with cancer – and their families as well as research money for cancer and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She also produced fundraising events for Children of War, Mark Green for US Senate, Les Aspin for US Senate, Richard Kessel for Nassau County Executive, PS 41, PS 64, PS 290, Michael Moore’s Michigan Voice and Flint Voice newspapers; and more. Sue served as stage and house manager for Wagner College’s summer equity theatre program. Sue also managed performing artist David Buskin and his band Modern Man. Sue owns “Proud To Present” a small catering company.

Calondra McArthur

Communications Manager

Calondra works directly under WhyHunger’s Senior Director of Communications and supports the organization’s external relations, internal messaging and cause-marketing partnerships. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Calondra gained experience in marketing, communications and event planning as a Communications Associate for NYC Department of Small Business Services and as the Special Events and Communications Coordinator for The Greater Cleveland Foodbank, where she pitched and secured media coverage, coordinated promotions, managed fundraising events and established a young professionals group. She is eager to continue her growth with WhyHunger as an advocate for food justice while managing the organization’s social media platforms, newsletter, and other channels. Calondra holds a B.S. In Business Administration from Xavier University, has a professional sports marketing background, and as a native Clevelander, is programmed to root for the Cleveland Browns.

Patricia Rojas

WhyHunger Hotline and Database Manager, Nourish Network for the Right to Food

Patricia responds to telephone calls from individuals and groups in need of emergency food resources and connects them with local emergency feeding program. Additionally, she works with callers interested in donating food, seeking volunteer opportunities or looking for assistance in starting their own emergency feeding program. Patricia helps develop resources to assist grassroots groups in providing better services to their clients with an emphasis on hunger and poverty issues. She also recruits and trains all of the Nourish Interns and volunteers throughout the year. Previously, Patricia worked for YAI where she trained adults with developmental disabilities at volunteer opportunities. She has a B.A. from Barnard College and a M.S from The New School. She also is a volunteer guide at the Central Park Zoo.

Corbin Laedlein

Global Linkages Program Coordinator, Global Movements Program

Corbin works to support movements for food sovereignty and agroecology by developing stronger connections between international and U.S.-based grassroots organizations through exchanges and social movement-building processes. Corbin comes to WhyHunger with experience working with sustainable agriculture, youth development, and community organizing projects. Corbin was introduced to the concepts of food justice and food sovereignty as staff member at Added Value, where he coordinated their Youth Empowerment Program at the Red Hook Community Farm, and as an Emerson Hunger Fellow at the Congressional Hunger Center. Corbin grew up in the neighborhoods of Red Hook and Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY and holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Rutgers University and an MSc in Comparative Social Policy from Oxford University.

Hillary Zuckerberg

Director of Artists Against Hunger & Poverty

Hillary develops unique ways for artists, the music community and celebrities to support the movement to end hunger and poverty. Since starting at WhyHunger in 2008, Hillary has increased exposure and raised significant funds for the organization and its grassroots partners by opening up the program to new artists including moe., Papa Roach, Brandi Carlile, Tom Morello and more. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Hillary spent 15 years in the music industry managing bands, promoting concerts and living out her life’s dream of producing music at venues big and small. Hillary graduated from SUNY Fredonia with a degree in Communications/Media Management and a minor in Music. She is an avid Yankees fan and a mom to her own rock star, Alexa.

Board of Directors

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ADVISORY BOARD

Seth Saltzman –Chair

Senior Vice President, ASCAP

David Miller –Vice Chair

Regional Vice President Joe’s Crab Shack, Ignite Restaurant Group

Stephen J. Beninati –Treasurer

First Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Financial Advisor, RBC Wealth Management

Alan C. Handell-Secretary

President, NY Prints LLC

Andrew Bauer

Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Caren Berlin

CEO and co-founder, Gold N Fish Marketing Group

Jen Chapin

Musician/Songwriter/Performer

Tom Chapin

Musician/Songwriter/Performer/President, Sundance Music, Inc

Joe D’Urso

Musician/Songwriter/Performer/Owner, Rockland Bergen Music Festival

David Edelstein

managing director, eyeball a creative design agency

Scott Haugenes

Head of Sales, estrellaTV

Paul C. Kurland

Partner, Cohen, Rabin, Stine, Schumann, LLP

Ken Lesnik

Managing Director, Performing Arts – Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement

Loretta Muñoz

Assistant Vice President of Pop/Rock Creative and Special Projects, ASCAP

Bich Ha Pham

Senior Vice President, Anat Gerstein

Janet Poppendieck

Author/Professor Emerita, Hunter College

Charles J. Sanders

Attorney/Special Counsel, Songwriters’ Guild of America, Inc., StarClub, Inc.

Judy Tint

Attorney in Private Practice

Karen Washington

Farmer/Community Organizer/Activist/Co-Owner Rise&Root Farm

Bob Wolk

Director/ Sage Educational Enterprises

Michael Wildes

Managing Partner, Wildes & Weinberg, P.C.

Robin Batteau

Musician/Lyricist/Performer

Diane Blagman

Senior Director of Government Affairs, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Frank Brunckhorst

Chair, Boar’s Head Provisions Company, Frank Brunckhorst Co., LLC

David Buskin

Musician/Lyricist/Performer/Playwright

Hon. Walter Carrington

Retired U.S. Foreign Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Senegal and Nigeria

Stephen Chapin

Musician/Lyricist/Performer

Hon. Thomas Downey

Chairman, Downey McGrath Group; former member US House of Representatives (D NY)

Michael Francesa

Radio Talk Show Host/Television Commentator, WFAN/Fox Sports 1

Hon. Patrick Leahy

Member, U.S. Senate (D VT)

Jane Finn Levine

Co-Founder and Co-Director, Kids Can Make a Difference (KIDS)

Laurence Levine

Co-Founder and Co-Director, Kids Can Make a Difference (KIDS)

Brian McMorrow

Senior Project Manager, Abonmarche

Hon. Jerrold Nadler

Congressman of the Tenth Congressional District of New York/Member, U.S. House of Representatives (D NY)

John Poelker

Owner, Apple Transportation, Inc.

Patrick Sullivan

CEO, Source3

Hon. Shirley R. Watkins

Deputy under Secretary of Agriculture (1993-1995); Author