A Message from our Executive Director
It is with excitement that I share some important news of transition on Fresh Approach’s horizon. With approval from the Fresh Approach Board of Directors (see message from Patrick Fabian, Fresh Approach Board President below), I will be changing roles at Fresh Approach, come summer of this year, to lead our expanded fund development efforts.
Fresh Approach was awarded a grant from the Stupski Foundation the beginning of this year to further develop our programs and to increase our fundraising capacity. This exciting two-year grant is intended to support Fresh Approach’s programs and to build our capacity to support the organization’s long-term sustainability. Aligning with Fresh Approach’s newly approved 3-year Strategic Plan, this opportunity positions Fresh Approach to take important steps forward in our organization’s development.
Over the next two years, this grant will enable Fresh Approach to design and implement a focused partner development and fundraising strategy, which will ultimately sustain and grow our mission-driven work: to create long-term changes in local food systems by connecting California communities with healthy food from California farmers and expanding knowledge of food and nutrition. At the end of two years, we plan to have established a diverse fundraising program to support Fresh Approach well into the future.
I recently proposed to the Fresh Approach board that I lead this new fundraising and innovative partner development effort. With the board’s support, I will be shifting roles at Fresh Approach to assume this new position at Fresh Approach. This key leadership position will play an instrumental role in shaping Fresh Approach’s future; a future I am very committed to being successful. With my strong fundraising track record, and skill at both fundraising and building strategic partnerships for Fresh Approach, I am confident in assuming this new role.
This change in roles presents an opportunity for Fresh Approach and for me personally. In an effort to have greater work life balance, I will be working in this new capacity 30 hours per week.
I am proud of how Fresh Approach has evolved and am excited about our future. In the two years I have been the Executive Director, we have nearly doubled both our budget and staff, enabling Fresh Approach to have an even greater impact on improving food access in the Bay Area, expanding knowledge of food and nutrition, and improving the livelihoods of California farmers.
Fresh Approach is beginning the process of recruiting a new Executive Director. I hope that you will help us by sharing the opportunity within your own networks. Please review and forward the job description here.
I will remain Fresh Approach’s Executive Director until my successor is hired, at which time I will transition to my new official role. This change is planned to take place around the end of June/July, and I am committed to making this a smooth transition. My plans to remain a key part of the team at Fresh Approach will further support our staff in this transition.
I have been fortunate, over the last two years, to steward a mission I am passionate about, and to lead Fresh Approach into an exciting new phase of program growth and leadership in the Bay Area food access movement. I look forward to continuing to work with you as partners and will remain in communication as this transition takes place.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Leah Smith, Executive Director
A Message from Patrick Fabian,
Fresh Approach’s Board President
In the eight years since Fresh Approach was founded, we have grown from a single small educational program to the dynamic multiple program organization we are today.
Our educational programs and the Freshest Cargo mobile farmers’ market are making fresh California grown produce accessible to previously underserved communities and creating new customers for our farmers. Under Leah’s leadership, Fresh Approach has become known in the community and beyond for its innovative work and for the information we have gathered in the process.
The Board of Directors fully supports her thoughtful proposal to change roles within the organization. We are especially pleased she will remain with the organization and support a smooth transition to a new Executive Director, while performing the crucial fundraising tasks necessary to sustain the mission of Fresh Approach. We are confident that this transition will keep Fresh Approach on a path to greater success and promote the organization’s strategic goals and programs. The Fresh Approach Board of Directors will be actively engaged in the search for the new Executive Director, ensuring strong leadership for Fresh Approach in the future.