Regional Food Bank Celebrates Leadership Council Class II Graduates

Young Professionals Helped Fight Hunger and Feed Hope in Oklahoma

(OKLAHOMA CITY) – June 19, 2017 – The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is celebrating the graduation of its second Leadership Council class. The Leadership Council is a collaborative initiative that connects young professionals passionate about fighting hunger in Oklahoma. These dedicated individuals volunteered their time and talents to raise awareness about the issue of hunger and increase the visibility of the Regional Food Bank and its mission of “Fighting Hunger…Feeding Hope.”

“It has been an incredible, eye opening experience to serve on the Leadership Council over the last three years,” said Collins Peck, Leadership Council chair and vice president of Smith & Pickel Construction.  “The Regional Food Bank staff does an excellent job of engaging young professionals to educate us on hunger and food insecurity right in our own backyards. Most importantly, the program shows us so many ways to take action and join the fight against hunger in Oklahoma.”

Over the course of a year, the Leadership Council volunteered their time at the Regional Food Bank; advocated at the State Capitol on behalf of the Regional Food Bank during our annual Hunger Action Day in February; and raised for more than $41,000 for the Regional Food Bank.

The Leadership Council was co-chaired by Susan Graham from Paycom.  This week, the following individuals have graduated the Leadership Council:

  • Rachel Benbrook, Oklahoma State University Foundation
  • Jeffrey Cartmell, Lytle Soule & Curlee
  • Kelli Clark, Mayne Pharma
  • Cassondra Eaton, Devon Energy
  • Kevin Edwards, Vertical Energy 
  • Erin Fong, Midfirst Bank
  • Anthony Garcia, Tinker Federal Credit Union
  • Alyson Gilbert, Continental Resources
  • Asa Highsmith, Common Works
  • Alison Hooks, Public Strategies
  • Jenny Koetter, Oklahoma Caring Foundation
  • Vanessa Lemons, Delaware Resource Group
  • Katie Long, Loaves & Fishes Food & Resource Center
  • Austin Marshall, Oklahoma Health Care Authority
  • Ashley Rahill, Echols and Associates
  • Emily Roberson, Carlisle Food Service Products
  • Jess Wedel, Presbyterian Health Foundation
  • Michelle Whitlow, Chesapeake Energy
  • Elizabeth Wilson, Jasco
  • Lyndi Zavy, Option One

“The Leadership Council inspires me,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.  “Their partnership with the Regional Food Bank is critical to ensuring that we have the resources to help our neighbors who are wondering where their next meal will come from. They are the future of the Regional Food Bank.”

After graduation, the Leadership Class II members will further their engagement with the Regional Food Bank through volunteerism, serving on committees and more.  The next Leadership Council class will be announced in July.

Together, we can solve hunger.  For more information about the Leadership Council, contact Kendra Loper at or 405-600-3172.

The Regional Food Bank is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. Last fiscal year, the nonprofit distributed 52 million pounds of food and products through a network of more than 1,300 charitable feeding programs and schools in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. For more information, or to make a donation, visit or call 405-600-3136.

About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest private, domestic hunger relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of Food Banks.  The nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 126,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 653 million pounds of food to feed Oklahoma’s hungry.  For more information, visit; find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at