JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Second Harvest North Florida announced on Monday that Jacksonville businessman Bruce Ganger has been hired as the organization’s executive director, ending a six-month search.
Ganger comes to Second Harvest from ISF Group, a business he founded with his wife Peg in 2006 to assist area nonprofits with development and fundraising. Ganger has served as managing director for ISF Group, which has grown to include more than 60 clients, and has more than 25 years of marketing and organizational development experience.
He inherits an organization that has experienced tremendous growth over the last three years – increasing food distribution from 7.6 million pounds in 2008 to a projected 21 million pounds this year. Second Harvest will distribute food equivalent to 16.2 million meals for individuals and families in need in 2011, a number that is projected to increase in 2012.
“We conducted a national search and had several strong candidates from that process,” said Wayne Rieley, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services, Second Harvest’s parent organization. “But Bruce’s passion really set him apart. He has such a heart for the issue of ending hunger. His leadership and vision will be critically important for Second Harvest as we continue our outreach and service to those who are in need.”
Ganger is no stranger to Second Harvest, having served as a member of the Second Harvest Strategic Advisory Council since 2010 and worked closely with the organization as an ISF Group client. As a member of the SAC, Ganger was instrumental in coordinating a vision and long-term strategy for the food bank – an experience he said helped plant the seed for his interest in becoming executive director.
He said his decision to leave private business and accept his new role leading Jacksonville’s Feeding America affiliate food bank revolved around his belief in the organization and its mission of feeding hungry people.
“I am inspired each day by the work done by the Second Harvest North Florida staff,” Ganger said. “This organization’s mission is critical, and I have never been more passionate about an opportunity in my professional life. I am committed to helping feed the thousands of north Florida families who need our help each day, and those families will be the driving force behind the work we do. I am excited to help enable this talented staff to reach its lofty goals.”
Prior to founding the ISF Group, Ganger held a variety of senior and executive level sales and marketing positions with Oce Technologies, Danka, Eastman Kodak and Xerox during 25 years.
The challenges facing Second Harvest are similar to many nonprofit organizations across north Florida – increased demand for services, decreased funding from public sources and rising costs of doing business. And yet other nonprofits depend on Second Harvest to be able to fulfill their missions in the communities they serve, Ganger said.
“Second Harvest will be much more than just a source of food for the food pantries, shelters and feeding sites we support,” Ganger said. “We will become the resource for solving hunger across our 18-county area providing innovative solutions that address the problem closer to its source. In the very near future we will begin to roll out our strategy. I encourage the community to join us in our effort to end hunger by 2015.”
About Second Harvest North Florida
Second Harvest North Florida is the oldest and largest program of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida. LSS was founded in 1979 by area Lutherans and business leaders to fill gaps in services offered in the community for people in need. Second Harvest gathers food from local and national sources, shares these resources with more than 400 nonprofit organizations in 18 north Florida counties and helps thousands of people each year who are hungry or at risk of not having being able to provide food for themselves and their families. In addition to collecting and distributing food, Second Harvest serves children in after-school programs through its Kids Cafe and BackPack programs and in summer camps through its Summer Lunch program. It also takes Mobile Pantries filled with Family Boxes of food to people living in neighborhoods with the greatest needs. Call 904.730.8234 for more information about any of these programs and services.