June 18, 2016

thank you, cathy weiss!

Nonprofits who are fortunate enough to have effective boards tend to be successful nonprofits. A good board is made up of diverse, skilled professionals whose expertise helps to guide and advocate for the nonprofit’s mission. The members are volunteers of the highest level, willing to give of their time, resources and passion to see the organization they love succeed. At times, they must also be willing to make difficult decisions in order to help the nonprofit remain efficient, yet productive and impactful. MANNA’s growth in recent years, and its bright future, are due in large part to the efforts of the members of its Board of Directors. They are leaders and champions of nutrition. They are people like Cathy Weiss.

Cathy was originally introduced to MANNA as a program officer at the William Penn Foundation and shortly thereafter became a regular at MANNA’s A Show of Hands art auction. While Cathy and her husband Ed loved the annual event, it was MANNA’s mission that truly stuck with her. So when she had the opportunity to support MANNA again, now as the Executive Director of the Claneil Foundation, she did so enthusiastically. Cathy valued MANNA’s work because it provided a unique service to the region, it is evidence-based, and it addressed a root cause, rather than a systemic dysfunction. “Nourishment is essential to healing and to be able to improve health, reduce medical costs, and provide the opportunity for hundreds of volunteers to contribute to the well-being of their neighbors is the ultimate trifecta,” explains Cathy.

Cathy was asked to join MANNA’s Board of Directors the day she announced her retirement from Claneil Foundation. While she had often remarked that MANNA’s proposals were among the best she had read in her career, she told CEO then Richard Keveaney to “call me in 6 months.” As she recalls, he did just that 6 months to the day. Cathy had been professionally involved with MANNA during its more difficult years and was impressed by the ability of its Board and executive team to make tough decisions while maintaining a focus on the mission.  When the call came, she knew it was time to become connected in a more personal way.

During her 7 years on the Board, Cathy made many contributions to MANNA, but when asked, claimed her proudest accomplishment was advocating for the initial research that has proven the efficacy of the MANNA model. Additionally, she is pleased to have been active in the recruitment of quality board members who truly understand the power of MANNA’s work. Beyond her board work, Cathy has often donated her time by volunteering in the kitchen, speaking at special events and making special monthly “thank you” calls to donors. While her favorite MANNA event is Shut Up & Dance, she told us that she

Cathy, whose term ended in June, hopes that as MANNA moves to its new facility and expands its client base, the Greater Philadelphia community will come to better understand the depth and breadth of MANNA’s work. “MANNA is a national thought leader in the nutrition field, and a jewel in Philadelphia’s crown. I am going to miss being able to say that I sit on the board of this organization,” says Cathy.

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We will certainly miss having Cathy as a Board Member but are so very thankful for her time and for the legacy she has left  behind. We have no doubt we will see her again soon as she has pledged to continue to support MANNA and Food is Medicine. Thank you Cathy!