Founder and CEO, Chief Dreamer
A not-so-promising career as a folk singer in Greenwich Village in the 60’s led to a series of not-so-fulfilling jobs in the 70’s and 80’s until a stint as a journalist took me to Colorado. Mountains and clean air replaced the streets of New York City. So, that didn’t last long. Back to the grind of the City I went looking for something meaningful.
Then on to Washington DC and I finally got it right. It took some time, but I found that ending senior hunger was the perfect calling. It’s been well over 20 years and I’m still at it. I still dream that one day the mission will be complete.
I was 30 years old, having dinner at a nice Italian restaurant when my friend, a homicide detective who obviously has a difficult job said to me, “anyone who doesn’t love their job is a fool.” Dinner tasted horrible that night. I knew what I had to do.
The next day, I put my resume online. It must have been fate that my phone rang and it was my soon to be mentor calling. She lit a fire inside of me. Not just about ending senior hunger. More about using my talent to change the world. She was selling the notion of working to improve the lives of others. I was buying.
No one’s life has improved more than mine. The passion I have for ending senior hunger springs me out of bed every morning, and the love this NFESH team shares keeps us all going. Hunger is a serious disease. The fact that so many of our seniors are going hungry is totally unacceptable. We are going to do something about it. We have to.
Life isn’t all work and no play though. I have the best wife, two great dogs and house we enjoy together. I have parents who are my role models, teachers and friends. I have a brother, in-laws and fantastic nieces and nephews. I have close friends to laugh with (and at). I have baseball, Washington DC sports and I have Syracuse University. I am lucky…and thankful. So now I give back. I work more than to pay the bills. I choose to work to improve the lives of others. Join me!
Executive Vice President, Chief Policy Wonk
I remember it as clearly as I remember yesterday. It was a typical, blisteringly hot and humid Mid-Atlantic afternoon. Or at least I thought it would be typical. But that was before I sat down, on the recommendation of a mutual friend, to chat with Enid Borden. It only took an instant for me to realize that there is no such thing as a typical day if it includes Enid Borden and if it involves solving a problem or thinking about the future.
By the time I left Enid’s office on July 7, 1989, we’d agreed to collaborate “on a trial basis” on a project that a major national corporation had brought to her, because they needed an innovative solution and they wanted some positive press around it. They knew Enid would have the ideas. She did, and she knew it too. But she also knew that she needed a partner in the endeavor who had a different, and complementary, skill set.
Our trial collaboration worked and now, 27 years later, we are still attacking big problems with big ideas– driven by Enid’s energetic leadership, uncanny wit, boundless vision, stubborn refusal to entertain the notion that any problem is intractable. Certainly not senior hunger, despite its explosive growth over the past few years.
So here I am at the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger, where no day (thankfully) is typical, and where I’ll be until the day I join the other seniors who have put in their last day at the office.
But it won’t be soon. There is work to be done. People are hungry.
Liz Doyle is a born and bred New Yorker who has over the years worked in business, publishing, politics and government, as well as the non-profit world. She cares nothing about titles and refuses to carry a business card, but always has a newspaper, magazine or book with her. When growing up in Brooklyn she never wanted to be president.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
My early career choices were governed by job security, raising a family and all that goes with it. For example, when people asked me why I chose to major in Foodservice Management for an undergraduate degree, I would answer, “Everyone has to eat!”
Later, I got a graduate degree in Finance so that I could get a nice “safe” job. As I’ve gotten older, the need for job security has been replaced by the need to make an impact. Hunger has always been a cause that I’ve wanted to tackle. That is what my work at Meals On Wheels and this Foundation has been all about.
Heather Renae Cosson
Square Foot Gardening Instructor
I have always been a social and opinionated person. I decided to embrace these personality traits and jump into public relations and communications. While earning my master’s degree, I realized that I didn’t want to spend my days working just for a paycheck. I wanted to work toward something greater. After meeting the team at NFESH, I was instantly drawn in to their passion and commitment to solving the problem of food insecurity among seniors. I had found my “something greater.” I joined the fight to end senior hunger.
At NFESH, I get to spend my days doing things I love while working to solve a national problem. In addition to telling the story of senior hunger and how we’re working to solve it, I get to travel the country to work with the wonderful organizations we partner with to find and implement solutions. My favorite part of this is teaching seniors to garden and seeing the joy it brings them to grow their own food.
When I’m not working, I spend my free time trying out new recipes, exploring museums and playing with my dog. I am also slightly addicted to coffee and Pinterest.
I am the founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch, a market research firm that provides thought leadership, analysis, and guidance about technologies and related services that enable boomers and seniors to remain longer in their home of choice.
I have been featured on Caring.com, MatureMarkets, SilverPlanet, Mobile Health News, and my blog entries are widely syndicated. I advise large organizations as well as non-profits and entrepreneurs about trends and opportunities in the age-related technology market. My segmentation of this emerging technology market and trends commentary has been presented in the Journal of Geriatric Care Management and ASA’s Aging Today Online — as well as quoted in Business Week, Forbes, Kiplinger, the Toronto Star, and the New York Times.. I have consulted to AARP and am a participating expert on the Think Tank for The Philips Center for Health and Well-Being.The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger shares my focus on doing as much as we can to improve the quality of life of older adults.