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A Team Experienced in Catalyzing Collective Action

Hunger Impact Partners Staff

Ellie Lucas
Chief Executive Officer

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

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.


Trent Tucker
Director, Stakeholder Engagement

Trent Tucker brings a wealth of experience to his position as the leader of our Hungry for Wins initiative. As an athlete who played basketball for fifteen years at both college and professional levels, Trent understands the value of being well fed in order to perform at a high level. Since finishing his pro career with the Chicago Bulls following their 1993 championship season, Trent has worked as a broadcast analyst for Minnesota Timberwolves basketball games and for five years as the Director of District Athletics for the Minneapolis Public Schools. In the latter role he managed budgets, facilities, fundraising, and stakeholder engagement while fostering an environment where academic integrity, competitive athletic excellence, social responsibility, and respect for others are highly valued. The district community consisted of more than 6,000 student athletes in 29 schools cooperating with over 700 professional coaches and administrators.

From 2007 to 2011 Trent served as a coordinator for community outreach and youth development at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. During this time he launched a successful on-campus program for diverse youth in middle school; the goal for these Trent Tucker University Scholars was promoting college readiness.

Trent is a North Carolina native who grew up in Flint, Michigan before moving to Minnesota for college. He was a member of the Big 10 Championship Gopher basketball team in 1982, and started his professional career as a first round draft pick with the New York Knicks. He played in 61 playoff games during his career. Trent ranks fifth in 3-point field goal percentage in the history of the entire NBA.


Molly MolpusMolly O’Brien Molpus
Director of Grants Management & Systems

Molly’s strategic communications experience runs wide and deep, spanning three decades. She spent most of her career with public relations agencies in the Twin Cities, including 12 years at Tunheim, where she rose to serve on the management team.

She also served as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Gifts at Grinnell College in Iowa in the 1990s. And she was Director of Development Communication for Cleveland Botanical Garden. Most recently, she was director of grants for Hunger Impact Partners’ legacy organization, Hunger-Free Minnesota. A valued thinker, strategist and executor, Molly’s career path has given her special insight into the education and nonprofit sectors, where fund raising and development are always vital to operations.

Molly’s style is one of engagement. She rallies relationships aimed at the delivery of goal-driven results – all with a determination to get to the heart of the matter.


Doug Stone
Communications and Media Consultant

Doug has worked in journalism and communications in the Twin Cities for nearly four decades across the media, in politics, and education.

He was an award-winning reporter at the Minneapolis Tribune (now Star Tribune) from 1971-1981 covering a wide range of stories, from police to general assignment to legal affairs. He worked at WCCO-TV from 1981-1990 where he was assignment editor and then assistant news director.

Doug was the late Sen. Paul Wellstone’s first Washington, D.C., press secretary from 1991-1993, then director of college relations at Macalester College from 1993-2008 where he worked on everything from promoting the visit of former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to campus to creation of a series of image advertisements in The New York Times to development of a lecture series in conjunction with Minnesota Public Radio to media relations work on behalf of faculty and staff. During that time, he also taught a journalism course every year.

He uses his skills to help area nonprofits develop key messages and then translate them into broader public awareness of the organization through the media and other vehicles. Doug provides communications, media relations and editorial support for Hunger Impact Partners, including the 2017 rollout of the Summer Eats Minnesota phone app. A 1971 honors graduate of the University of Minnesota, Doug also spent a year at Stanford University on a journalism fellowship sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Maggie Yarosh
Project Manager and Research Analyst Intern

Maggie recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in both International Studies and Sociology. She was drawn to Hunger Impact Partners due to the entrepreneurial nature and her previous experiences in non-profit and community work.

Having a background in non-profit work and community outreach, Maggie brings a unique perspective to the team. By utilizing her unique interpersonal skills she hopes to aide in a variety of projects while focusing on project management. Maggie aims to learn more about nutrition programs in the diverse communities of Minnesota and gain professional collaborative experience.


George Slade
Strategic Communications Specialist

George’s background in non-profit administration and programming coupled with an accomplished career as a writer, arts consultant, curator, researcher, and innovative thinker position him to serve Hunger Impact Partners’ work in constructing strategies, communicating messages, and designing new approaches to the systemic challenges faced in resolving food insufficiency today.

With a concentration in the arts, specifically photography, and extensive experience in small- and medium-size visual arts organizations as a curator, artistic director, and program manager, George instills a unique perspective and analytical focus into the policy forums around hunger and youth nutrition.

George holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University. He is a Minnesota native, and lives with his partner and their children in south Minneapolis.


Weijia Shi
Communication & Research Analyst

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

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.


Stacey Hueftle Stockdill, Ph.D.
Founder, EnSearch, Inc.; Independent Director of Evaluation and Data Support for the Child Nutrition Index

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 statewide 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 M.B.A., M.A., and doctorate programs at the University of St. Thomas, Metropolitan State University (St. Paul), 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.

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