Announcing MANNA’s New CEO: Claire Neal

MANNA FoodBank is proud to welcome Claire Neal, who will be joining us on Monday, January 31st as our 6th leader in almost four decades of MANNA’s existence. We are also very pleased that Hannah Randall, our current CEO has graciously agreed to stay on for a number of weeks to help onboard Claire in order to ensure a seamless transition.

“It is with tremendous excitement that we welcome Claire Neal as the new CEO of MANNA FoodBank,” said Jim Mathews, president of MANNA’s Board of Directors, and a member of the CEO search committee. “The committee appointed by the board to identify a new leader conducted a deliberate, inclusive national search for an individual with the experience and strategic vision to guide MANNA in the coming years.”

Claire is returning to North Carolina, her home state, in time of great change for MANNA and the people we serve, and brings deep experience in health equity, food services, and a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes through collaboration focused on supporting people’s basic needs to live a better life.

Claire has a doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, and has more than 18 years of experience in the design, development, and delivery of innovative health programs at regional and national organizations. She has helmed several health equity-focused nonprofits, most recently as the CEO of Lifelong: Health for All in Seattle, Washington, as the Executive Director of the Triangle Global Health Consortium in Research Triangle, NC, and as the Vice President of Global Strategy for LIVESTRONG Foundation in Austin, Texas.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead an organization so well-loved and supported by the community,” said Claire Neal. “I look forward to continuing MANNA’s long history of bringing people together to meet the needs of those experiencing hunger and food insecurity.”

Claire will be joining MANNA in a time of significant organizational work across our 16-county region. As MANNA—with your incredible help—we continue to stretch every resource to meet the daily need for food for more than 100,000 Western North Carolinians each month. Together, we will also continue our focus on the strategic work towards addressing the health impacts of food insecurity, equity in accessing resources, and continuing to sustain and build the vital partnerships that help bridge the food gap of thousands of families across the mountains.

“I couldn’t be happier to be returning to my home state of North Carolina, and I am excited to begin listening, learning and working closely with our community to end hunger in Western North Carolina,” said Claire.

Our Board President, Jim Mathews, eloquently added, “We found in Claire someone with not only the skills to navigate the many challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Mathews, “but also the personal grace that has always been a hallmark of MANNA’s leadership.”

As Hannah departs and Claire joins us, we know that one of MANNA’s greatest strengths lies in the fact that our vital work has never been about one person, but rather about the thousands of incredible, like-minded collaborative partners, volunteers, and supporters—like you—who come together to accomplish our life-changing mission.

Moving forward, we know that you will join us in welcoming Claire and celebrating Hannah as she transitions into an exciting new chapter in her life.