Lorenz Capalad

November 30, 2015

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CFOs Give Back at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey

HILLSIDE, NJ – A group of approximately 15 CFOs, mostly from tax-exempt organizations, gathered at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey where they sorted and repacked food for distribution to more than 900,000 hungry people in New Jersey. What made this volunteer endeavor particularly poignant was that it was held on November 24, two days before Thanksgiving.

Bob Barry, Chief Financial Officer of the Community FoodBank of NJ, led a tour of the facility explaining all that goes into running such an expansive operation, and then hosted an impressive dinner prepared by a culinary team that is part of the Community Kitchen, the FoodBank’s Food Service Training Academy.

Leading a lively two-hour discussion of “The CFO as Chief Service Officer – Balancing Internal and External Customers, Partners, and Other Beneficiaries in Tax Exempt Organizations,” was Cheryl Marks Young, Chief Financial Officer of Easter Seals New Jersey. “We are not just number crunchers,” said Ms. Marks Young. “We are executives who serve others.”

All that goes into becoming a charity of choice was discussed, with Mr. Barry giving specific examples from the Community FoodBank. He explained that Kathleen DiChiara who started the organization by feeding the hungry out of the trunk of her car in 1975 instilled in the staff the fact that no is not an option.

The dinner participants concurred how important it is to keep the focus on those each organization helps.  “We all have shareholders in not-for-profits – that’s the people we serve. We have to be there to help our respective organizations remain financially viable so we can continue serving those who are impacted by our mission,” explained Mr. Barry. In-depth coverage of this discussion will be published in the next issue of CFO Studio magazine.


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