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Farewell and Thank You!

Message from Karen Introcaso, Chair, Board of Directors

It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces Joleen Lafayette’s departure as Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa, effective November 1, 2021. Since 2001, Joleen has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization, and while we will miss her and her inspiring leadership, we wish her the best of luck in her new endeavors.  We want to thank Joleen for the nearly 21 years of dedicated service which involved many significant accomplishments, including:

  • She has devoted herself to the organization and has worked tirelessly to develop relationships and partnerships in the community that recognize the need for feeding the hungry in Contra Costa County.
  • She was instrumental in keeping LFCC open for the entire duration of the pandemic, seamlessly transitioning to serving nutritious hot meals in “to-go” containers and distributing food pantry items in pre-packed grocery bags.
  • She led the expansion of meal services during the pandemic to include weekend meals from two of our dining room locations (Martinez and Pittsburg) to meet the increased demand due to the impact COVID has had on people who have faced lost jobs, school closures and food insecurity. 
  • She championed the Professional Culinary Training program offering free culinary training to individuals in the community who are interested in starting a career in the culinary industry.
  • Joleen has been awarded recognition in appreciation of her service to the community:
    – East Bay Leadership Council Award in 2017 for “Outstanding Collaborative Project”
    – The California Council Adult Education Chapter Awards of Excellence
    – Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce Leadership Graduate 2019
    – Acknowledged in Celebrating Diablo Women 2017

The last month or so we’ve been conducting a search to find the new Executive Director. During this transition period, I would like to thank Pam Price-Bergquist who currently serves as a Board Director for stepping in as the Interim Executive Director to ensure we maintain a stable and effective organization.

Again, we cannot thank Joleen enough for the dedication, passion and enthusiasm she has given to Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa. She will be greatly missed by the staff, volunteers, Board members and partners alike. We look forward to following the success of her career and are hopeful and excited for the next chapter of Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa.

Karen Introcaso
Chair, Board of Directors

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