About Us

Lead Staff

Lead Staff

Richard LeBerRichard LeBer

President and CEO

Richard LeBer has been president and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank since February 2016.

Since his arrival, he has led the food bank to new records in sourcing and distribution of food to the Southwest Florida community it serves: Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. He has raised the profile of the Harry Chapin Food Bank in the community to reflect its status as the lead organization providing hunger relief, and most recently, hurricane relief.

LeBer and the Harry Chapin Food Bank board of directors have revised the mission and vision of the food bank to reflect clear, simple goals:

Mission: To lead our community in the fight to end hunger.

Vision: That nobody has to go hungry in our community.

In addition, LeBer has spearheaded the search for and renovation of a new, expanded leased space in Naples that will allow for the food bank’s growth and expansion of services to the Collier County area. The new Collier County Center is open and features larger office, warehouse and community space.

 LeBer has a long career of community involvement, transformation and impact, with deep experience in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, particularly food banking, fundraising, board leadership, strategy and operations. LeBer has held numerous leadership positions, including interim executive director of the Florida Association of Food Banks, vice president at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and CEO of National Linen Service.

LeBer is past chairman of the board of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and former board member of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. LeBer is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the University of Waterloo in Canada. LeBer is married and has two grown children.


Email: rleber@harrychapinfoodbank.org

  

Eric HeitzemanEric Hitzeman

Director of Operations

Eric started with the Harry Chapin Food Bank in May of 2015. Prior to coming to Florida he spent 22 years with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona based in Tucson. Over those years Eric held various positions retiring as the Vice President of Operations, which he held this position for 13 years. Prior to his career at the food bank Eric work 12 years in the food manufacturing industry in Illinois. He was a Processed Meat Supervisor overseeing the production of such items as bacon, pork sausage, luncheon meats and hot dogs. Eric earned a degree in Transportation/Logistics from Daley College in Chicago Illinois and brings 30 plus years’ worth of experience in the food industry and warehousing.


Phone: 239-334-7007 ext. 133

Email: ehitzeman@harrychapinfoodbank.org

Default avitarKari Lefort

Director of Programs

Kari moved from Massachusetts to Southwest Florida to accept a position with the Harry Chapin Food Bank in August 2014. She has worked with non-profit organizations including Horizons for Homeless Children, Advocates Inc, and Catholic Charities for the past 15 years.  Kari received a BA in Social Work from Evangel University in Missouri and an MSW from Florida State University.

Phone: 239-334-7007 ext. 129

Email: klefort@harrychapinfoodbank.org

Dave NajarDave Najar

Chief Financial Officer

Dave is responsible for activities in finance, human resources, and information technology including the implementation of the Feeding America ERP system. Prior to joining HCFB, he worked at Hewlett Packard, Unisys, and Walt Disney, among others, in several management and financial assignments, spanning Asia, Europe, and South America. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Phone: 239-334-7007 ext. 142

Email: davenajar@harrychapinfoodbank.org

Miriam PereiraMiriam Pereira

Director of Development

Miriam joined the Harry Chapin Food Bank in November 2011. Prior to working at the food bank, she spent almost 20 years as a print journalist, 17 of them as a reporter and editor at The News-Press. Working on stories about Southwest Florida’s neediest residents, especially those served by the Harry Chapin Food Bank, inspired Miriam to change careers and enter the non-profit world. Miriam has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida International University in Miami, her hometown. She has graduated with her MBA in business administration from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Phone: 239-334-7007 ext. 127

Email: mpereira@harrychapinfoodbank.org

Marta Hodson Marta Hodson

Special Events Manager

Marta has worked in volunteer programs and administration at other non-profit organizations. She was assistant to the director of the Edison Festival of Light in Fort Myers, where she coordinated volunteer duties and community sponsorships for several annual events. She joined Harry Chapin in 2004.

Phone: 239-334-7007 ext. 132

Email: martahodson@harrychapinfoodbank.org

Carolyn JonesCarolyn Jones

Partner Relations Manager

Non-profit professional with over 12 years experience in the not-for-profit sector 6 of those years have been working in hunger relief. She has worked for City Harvest as the Senior Manager of Agency Relations and for the Food Bank For New York City as the Community Programs Specialist. Was a key member of the Feeding America/Starr Foundation Grant Committee which disseminated $20 million dollars to emergency feeding programs in New York City. Carolyn is passionate about helping people overcome homelessness and hunger. She moved to Fort Myers 2 months ago with her 7 year old daughter.

Phone: 239-334-7007 ext. 129

Email: cjones@harrychapinfoodbank.org

Chris RobinsonChris Robinson

Food Resourcing Manager

Chris came to the Harry Chapin Food Bank as part of the V.I.S.T.A. program (Volunteers In Service To America) in November of 2008. He was assigned to the Fresh Foods Rescue Project. His responsibilities include fostering relationships with local farmers, growers, and packers in an effort to secure donations of fresh fruits and vegetables for people in need. In the first two years of the project, more than 4.3 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables were distributed to Southwest Floridians in need. Today, Chris works under the director of operations. He manages all food purchasing and food sourcing.

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he moved to Cape Coral in 2008 to escape the cold winters. Chris remains a die-hard Buckeye fan, and he enjoys golfing, fishing, playing soccer, and spending time with his family.

Phone: 239-334-7007 ext. 137

Email: chrisrobinson@harrychapinfoodbank.org

*Special Thanks to Harmon's Photography

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