It is with gratitude, but also sadness that the Board of Directors announces that Mary Lucero, CEO of the Emergency Food Bank (EFB) of Stockton and San Joaquin County plans to move back to Utah in April to be near her aging parents who have both had serious health challenges recently.
“I’m not happy about leaving the Food Bank at such a pivotal time, but I am comforted knowing that a very solid foundation has been put in place for the next CEO. I have never been part of a community like Stockton and surrounding San Joaquin County. Never have I experienced a community more invested in helping its own. I am absolutely convinced that answers to national social issues such as homelessness, food insecurity, poverty, and educational disparity will be found in Stockton, CA. It has not only been a tremendous honor and learning opportunity for me personally, but also a very humbling experience. Any organization I work for in the future will only benefit from my time at the Emergency Food Bank,” stated Lucero.
“Mary brought leadership, vision and financial achievement to the Emergency Food Bank that is much appreciated by the Board of Directors, staff and myself personally,” said Board Chair, Steve Morales.” “Her skills and personality are rare to find and we sincerely support her decision and wish her and her family well.”
Lucero did amazing things. By the time Lucero accepted the CEO appointment she knew she had all the necessary ingredients for success. These included a passionate Board of Directors willing to do the hard work, a devoted staff, long standing community support, and finally, a critical mission to provide emergency food assistance to thousands of San Joaquin County residents.
In just a little less than a year, where is the agency now you might be asking? The agency served 28,042 more San Joaquin community members during 2019 (127,042) compared to 2018, community donations are up by 57%, organizational expenses are under by almost 7%, and the agency’s largest and most popular fundraiser, The Run & Walk Against Hunger raised a record $140,000 that will be used to address the significant increase in needed emergency food assistance during the summer months when funding historically decreases. “In no way is the hard work done, but the agency is on very solid footing,” Lucero stated.
“The Board of Directors are actively exploring a CEO replacement but we know it will be difficult to match Mary’s ability to analyze an organization, put together solid action plans, and then work with the Board to achieve them. Mary truly is a unique leader and will be sorely missed. There’s comfort in knowing that the EFB has a passionate and experienced staff that continues to handle all the day-to-day tasks. We appreciate their dedication as well,” said Morales.