New CEO At Feed The Children

April 4, 2012       Paul Clolery      

After nearly three years of turmoil, Feed The Children in Oklahoma City, Okla., has selected a new president and CEO.

Kevin Hagan takes over after interim leader Cass Wheeler stepped down as the search for a permanent president was concluding. Wheeler, the former head of the American Heart Association, was brought in after FTC’s board fired organization founder Larry Jones.

Jones was terminated in November 2009 and voted off the board in March 2010, even though his contract was slated to run through August 2011. He filed a wrongful termination suit against FTC and the two sides settled for an undisclosed sum.

An internal and family power struggle had been brewing for years, with Jones ousting a faction of the board late in 2008 and a court battle ensuing regarding board membership until the settlement. Jones and his daughter Lari Sue Jones also traded lawsuits.

One of the first priorities for Wheeler was to start developing a strategic plan for FTC, as well as help guide the organization in a national search for president and CEO. He said he was not a candidate for the permanent post.

Hagan previously served as chief operating officer for Good360, a high-profile gifts-in-kind nonprofit in Alexandria, Va. He was responsible for day-to-day operations including customer service, human resources, security and compliance, and distribution logistics. He consolidated Good360’s warehousing network, reducing costs by 50 percent, and created a customer-focused environment through the implementation and support of a call center.

Before Good360, Hagan was with at U.S. Foodservice, Inc., the second largest broadline foodservice distributor in the country with more than $20 billion in revenues at the time. Following a near $1 billion accounting fraud, he joined the company as the director of corporate ethics and training where he led a variety of training and cultural transformation initiatives to help safeguard the organization from future risk of fraud.

He later served as the head of corporate communications where he managed the company’s internal and external communications and branding initiatives. He served as the company spokesperson during significant operational changes including downsizings, plant closures, and union negotiations.

“We have anxiously anticipated this day and are extremely pleased to be announcing Kevin as the new president and CEO. His leadership experience along with his passion for nonprofits set him apart as the best and most natural candidate for the job,” said Rick England, Feed The Children board chairman. “We are confident in his abilities to lead the organization and the entire board is eager to work collaboratively with him toward our vision to see no child or family go to bed hungry.”

Hagan said via a statement: “I’m honored to have the opportunity to join Feed The Children and help further its mission of providing food and other essentials to people across America and around the world,” said Hagan. “I look forward to expanding the 30-year legacy of impacting change around the world and believe that Feed The Children has a bright future as it continues to impact countless lives.”

The $520 million FTC delivered food and other supplies to 115,000 U.S. families in need of assistance through its Americans Feeding Americans Caravan. More than 200 truckloads of disaster relief services were also distributed to thousands of displaced families and communities after disastrous tornadoes struck America’s heartland and extreme flooding engulfed the southeastern United States. Feed The Children also distributed another 150,000 backpacks to homeless students in U.S. public schools, bringing the total served to more than a half million through its ongoing education programs.

Internationally, FTC fed 350,000 school-aged children daily in 10 foreign countries. In addition, to fight the threat of parasites– a major obstacle to conquering global hunger — Feed The Children provided de-worming medication to treat 16 million children in 15 countries.

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