The new executive director hired to run the Greater Washington County Food Bank was given the task of launching a major fundraising drive to build a new facility.
Connie Burd was hired last week as executive director, and she thinks her recent experiences as the Main Street director in both Waynesburg and Uniontown, among other positions, will help her to raise money and get the capital campaign project moving.
“It will be a bit of a challenge, and I’m looking forward to that,” Burd said Tuesday after the food bank’s board of directors announced her hiring. “I think all of those experiences will be good for the (capital) campaign. Life is a puzzle, and all of those pieces have come together to make me a fit for this job.”
Burd replaces Lisa Nuccetelli, who spent about 15 years with the food bank, including the last four years as executive director. She announced her resignation in January and left the food bank in late February. Volunteers were overseeing her duties until Burd was selected from a pool of a dozen applicants.
Peg Wilson, the food bank’s board president, praised Nuccetelli for her work as director, and added that Burd would be a good fit for their plans.
“We’re very pleased to be moving forward with our capital campaign and sponsorship opportunities, as well as new and exciting upcoming fundraisers and food drives with Connie as our new executive director,” Wilson said.
Those plans include expanding the food bank’s services by building a 20,000-square-foot facility that would double its current storage space. The current building on Route 519 in Eighty Four is not adequate to store food and refrigerate perishable items for longer periods. Burd predicted it will take 12 to 18 months to raise money, buy a parcel of land and build the facility.
Burd worked on the Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful program from 2003 to 2008, and started Uniontown’s Main Street program shortly after that. Burd, who still lives in Waynesburg, thinks her experience in economic development, while also working with government housing agencies, will help her to continue the organization’s core goal of food donations while also pushing the capital campaign.
“I think my experience with my career over the years fits together very nicely,” Burd said. “Everyone has a heart for giving food, but typically the (food) contributions is not the biggest problem. It’s the donations of money.”
As executive director, Burd will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the food bank and also will oversee the organization’s 38 food pantries and its employees, volunteers and fundraising.