A Team Experienced in
Catalyzing Collective Action

Leadership

STAFF

Ellie Lucas
Chief Executive Officer 

elucas@hungerimpactpartners.org

Hunger Impact Partners’ founder, Ellie Lucas served as the Chief Campaign Officer of Hunger-Free Minnesota. This four-year campaign was the first-of-its-kind, cross-sector, all-out statewide effort to help close Minnesota’s 100-million meal gap between 2011 and 2014. Based on a collective impact model, the campaign set out to add 60 million meals and reached 70 million, with a cumulative investment of more than $9.7 million and countless hours in communities across Minnesota. Through its eight targeted initiatives, 431 projects were competitively funded and as many as 3,000 people were engaged, ranging from executives with Minnesota’s Fortune 500s to research experts to volunteers on the frontlines of hunger relief.

Fundamentally, Ellie’s entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen and creativity in solving problems have made her an effective champion, both in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.  She has 25 years of experience in senior management positions, where she honed expertise in public affairs, corporate relations and strategic marketing. Before joining Hunger-Free Minnesota, she was an equity partner in a technology startup, forging strategic partnerships and designing customized joint marketing programs with EBay, Best Buy and W3i. Before that, she was Executive Vice President of Tunheim Partners where she led national corporate communications, community relations and government affairs initiatives for Honeywell, Metris, Target Stores, American Express and First Data Corporation. Early in her career she worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide in the US Congress.

Ellie’s strong sense of social justice led later in her career to community engagement work. She served on the board, including two terms as chairman, of The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), an international human rights organization based in Minnesota. CVT offers treatment, clinical training and research, and policy advocacy for victims of torture. It provides healing to survivors in Minnesota, Africa and the Middle East. It trains partners across the U.S. and in every region of the world. Its mission is to restore the dignity of the human spirit.

Ellie also served on the Children’s Defense Fund scholarship program nomination committee. And she is currently a founding member of the advisory board for Children’s HealthWatch, a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers and policy and child health experts affiliated with Boston Medical Center that conducts primary research to inform public policies that impact children’s health.

 

Wendy S. Tai
Strategic Director, Early Childhood Nutrition

wtai@hungerimpactpartners.org

Wendy directs all early childhood nutrition programs and partnerships, including The Special Supplemental Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). She works closely with the Minnesota Department of Health, child care provider networks and early childhood experts to design and fund innovative programs for retention and expansion of nutritious meals for our youngest learners.

Wendy has 30 years’ experience across the communication field:  journalism, PR, and corporate and global communications. In 10 years at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wendy covered a broad range of topics that won local, regional and national honors. She was a core member of a team in a series that was a finalist for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Her fluency in Chinese helped produce two special series on life in China.

At Cargill, Wendy managed its public policy publication and supported public affairs activities, including a leading role in shaping and executing a corporate trade education campaign. She also managed communications for Cargill businesses in Asia.  Prior to Hunger Impact Partners, Wendy managed issues and crises, internal communications, executive and leadership communications, digital and corporate social responsibility communications at General Mills. She built communication capabilities outside the U.S. and supported two major acquisitions in France and Brazil.

Her global communications work has taken her to dozens of countries in five continents, but she’s not strayed far from agriculture and food. Her ancestral home, Tai Village, remains a working farm in Jiangsu Province.

 

Linda Stone
Strategic Director, Student Nutrition

lstone@hungerimpactpartners.org

As the strategic director for school and not-in-school-time programs, Linda directs Hunger Impact Partners’ work on the child nutrition programs that serve school-age children. She develops strategy and oversees grant-making, supporting field efforts to achieve program enrollment and expansion in school breakfast and after-school programs.

Linda has extensive experience and expertise in the healthcare industry gained from a rich mix of professional, academic, nonprofit and philanthropic endeavors. As an attorney, she has worked in legislative and regulatory advocacy, policy and compliance with a strong focus on healthcare. Running a private practice and leading the revitalization of a grant-making nonprofit organization have fueled an entrepreneurial spirit and cultivated an ongoing commitment to service.

As a Mexican-American who practiced law internationally with ethnically diverse individuals representing more than 90 countries, she possesses strong cultural competence. In her career and community leadership, Linda is energized by a mission that impacts health and wellness in tangible ways.  Linda holds a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, a J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law, and MHA from the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health.

 

Lucy Swift
Strategic Director, Summer Nutrition

lswift@hungerimpactpartners.org

Lucy leads the summer meal programs and partnership initiatives. Focused on building a supportive infrastructure for a summer feeding network of sponsors, her strategies are reaching more kids through expanding the number of summer feeding sites and extending number of days and number of meals served throughout the summer months.

Lucy is a “citizen of the world” having grown up in Japan, France and England. After college, she lived and worked across the United States before settling in Minnesota.  Previously she was Vice President of Minnesota productions and partnerships for Twin Cities PBS (TPT). In that capacity, she oversaw all broadcast and multi-media initiatives associated with local partnership and grant-based productions – telling high-impact stories across a wide range of social issues.

Lucy currently participates in multiple statewide collective impact endeavors including Graduation Minnesota, focused on eliminating the graduation rate opportunities gap and serves on the board of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging. She spent over twenty years in marketing in the banking, consumer products, and healthcare industries before joining TPT. She majored in East Asian Studies as an undergraduate at Princeton University and received her MBA from Stanford University.

 

Tien Le
Strategic Marketing Manager

tle@hungerimpactpartners.org

As the Strategic Marketing Manager, Tien leads the marketing initiatives across all Hunger Impact Partners’ programs in collaboration with the directors and the communication team. Tien is responsible for developing the strategy and managing the execution of building awareness for our programs, and engaging the community through our social platforms and community events.

With a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Minnesota, Tien has spent the last four years in marketing at General Mills supporting a wide range of beloved brands through innovation development and brand management. Her passion for food and causes that focus on advancing children of diverse backgrounds had led her to Hunger Impact Partners, where she finds energy from the organization’s entrepreneurial spirit to create change in a complex food system.

 

 

Weijia Shi
Communication & Research Analyst

wshi@hungerimpactpartners.org

Weijia supports Hunger Impact Partners in communications, research, quantitative/qualitative methods, and child nutrition programs. She is responsible for website content, design, and functionality. She manages the organization’s communications and marketing collateral. Weijia holds a B.S. in Biotechnology. She was recently awarded her Master’s Degree in Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.

 

Hao Lin
Special Project Analyst

hlin@hungerimpactpartners.org

As a Special Project Analyst, Hao works on the food rescue projects. These projects focus on the redistribution of surplus food from commercial and institutional enterprises, and community and non-profit organizations.

With a Master’s degree in Food Science, Hao has a research background in food shelf life estimation and food waste reduction. Driven by the hope of building a food-sustainable world, now he is actively seeking solutions for prepared food delivery channels and waste reduction strategies to support child nutrition food program for children living in poverty.

 

Rosalie Wilson
Marketing Communication & Research Intern

rwilson@hungerimpactpartners.org

Rosalie is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Food Systems with a minor in Nutrition. She supports Hunger Impact Partners in community engagement, research, communications, and marketing.

Through the lens of public health, Rosalie studied the social, environmental, political, and economic aspects of how food systems function. She believes that in order to feed the world’s growing population a nutritious and sustainable diet, we need to better manage the resources that go into our food system.

Rosalie has pursued her passion for public health by empowering children to develop healthy eating habits through internships with the Minneapolis Public Schools Culinary and Wellness Services Department and Mill City Farmers Market. She has also studied at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain where she increased her cultural competency by volunteering with people of diverse backgrounds.

 

Michaela Holmgren
Digital Communication Intern

mholmgren@hungerimpactpartners.org

Michaela recently finished her second year at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Management. She was drawn to Hunger Impact Partners due to the entrepreneurial nature and her volunteer experiences in a variety of elementary schools in both rural and urban areas.

Having an engineering background, Michaela brings a unique perspective to the team. Utilizing her technical skills, as well as her specialty in efficiency she hopes to aide in a variety of projects while focusing on digital communications. Michaela aims to learn more about food systems and gain professional collaborative experience.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dan Gott
The Boston Consulting Group

Rob Johnson
Cargill Foundation (retired)

Dr. Diana Cutts
Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation

Michael Wagner
Ross Capital

 

TEAM OF EXPERTS

Justin Pasquariello
Executive Director
Children’s HealthWatch

Dr. Diana Cutts
Principle Investigator
Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation

Chanda Baker
President and CEO
Pillsbury United Communities

Wokie Weah
President
Youthprise

Sarah Caruso
President and CEO
Greater Twin Cities United Way

Dr. Susie Nanney
Associate Professor
Public Health Nutrition, University of Minnesota

Art Rolnick
Senior Fellow
Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Barbara Yates
President and CEO
Think Small

Rob Zeaske
CEO
Second Harvest Heartland

EVALUATION SPECIALIST 

Stacey Hueftle Stockdill, Ph.D. – EnSearch, Inc.
Independent Director of Evaluation & the Child Nutrition Index Data Support

Dr. Stacey Stockdill founded EnSearch, Inc., in 1986 where she engages teams of partners from across the county as a project dictates, conducting evaluations for corporations, foundations, government agencies and nonprofits. Stacey was the state-wide evaluator for Hunger-Free Minnesota and transitioned to Hunger Impact Partners where she continues to serve as an independent researcher and statistician responsible for validation of state and federal data and data collection.  Stacey oversees the synthesis and analysis for Hunger Impact Partners’ proprietary Child Nutrition Index.

She has taught courses for MBA, M.A., Ph.D. degree programs at the University of St. Thomas, Metro State University and the University of Minnesota. Stacey has also provided customized training for corporations, foundations and nonprofits. She earned her Ph.D. with specialization in evaluation, qualitative and quantitative measurement, and statistics from the University of Minnesota. Stacey received the 1997 Myrdal Award, awarded by the American Evaluation Association to recognize substantial contributions to the professional practice of evaluation.