The new executive director of Loaves & Fishes is Tina Postel, who served for five years as CEO of the Billings, Mont., Family YMCA.
She will take over in May, replacing Beverly Howard, who is retiring as executive director after 28 years.
Since moving to the Charlotte area in 2015, Postel has worked with the United Way of Central Carolinas as part of its major gifts donor initiative.
Loaves & Fishes Board Chair Edie Livingstone said Postel proved to be the best choice because of her experience in nonprofit leadership and fundraising, both critical areas for an operation that relies on donations to survive.
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Postel has spent her career in various roles in the nonprofit sector. Prior to moving to Billings, she served as director of development for Rialto Square Theatre in the Chicago area. She holds a degree in psychology from the University of Iowa and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership for Non‐Profit Management from Lewis University in Illinois.
As executive director, Postel will oversee a network of 20 emergency food pantries, the largest in North Carolina. Last year, it provided nutritionally balanced groceries to over 71,000 in Mecklenburg County.
“I look forward to working with the Loaves & Fishes staff team, board and volunteers to continue the legacy of service Beverly has instilled,” Postel said in a statement. “The success of Loaves & Fishes speaks directly to the benevolence and dedication of the Charlotte community to help those in need.”
Howard announced in August she was leaving the agency, which is the city’s chief source of food for many low-income people. She is among a handful of key nonprofit leaders in the city who weathered the recent recession, when critical needs charities supplying food and shelter saw big jumps in clients and drops in donations. During that period, the city lost dozens of nonprofit leaders to retirement, firings, mergers or closures of the charities.
Loaves & Fishes not only survived, but expanded to include more pantries and broader programs to help the growing immigrant population and to help homeless people enrolled in shelter re-housing programs.
Among Howard’s accomplishments was growing the agency from six pantries in 1988 to a current total of 20. Among them are four pantries that have largely Hispanic clients, and some of the locations are run by Hispanic congregations.