Alameda Food Bank names new director
The Alameda Food Bank has named a former volunteer and retired Coast Guard officer as its new executive director. Hank Leeper will take the reins on May 2.
Leeper, an 11-year resident of Alameda who has management and operations experience that spans both the military and private industry, was selected unanimously by the food bank’s 13-member board of directors. He replaces Paul Russell, who left the food bank in March for a new position after six years on the job.
Leeper was one of 85 applicants for the position, board president Neil Rubenstein said.
“In the end, after an intensive month-long search and interviews with a dozen candidates, we realized the applicant best suited to fill our needs was right here in our own backyard,” Rubenstein said.
Leeper served in the Coast Guard for two decades and spent another six years as a project manager for Lockheed Martin’s Deepwater program. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Rhode Island and a master of business administration from Webster University in St. Louis, MO.
In addition to the food bank, he has also been active in other non-profits, including Special Olympics and Rebuilding Together. Leeper also holds National Incident Management System certifications for disaster preparedness from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Leeper will oversee one other paid staff member and more than a 100 volunteers – and a client load that swelled as the country’s economy went bust. Last year the food bank distributed more than a million pounds of food and served 5,600 Alameda residents.
The food bank’s office and distribution center is on Thau Way and it also operates a warehouse on Alameda Point. The food bank, which has operated since 1977 and is open six days a week, serves Alameda residents exclusively with the aid of both government and private grants and donations from businesses and individuals.