The Foodbank’s Inaugural Hunger Summit was held at Old Dominion University on March 2, 2018. Foodbank partners and community leaders from across the region gathered to discuss the question “Is a hunger-free community possible?”
We designed the Hunger Summit to celebrate our collective ability to feed the line of hungry individuals each and every day. It is also about coming together to discuss the root causes of why children, seniors, veterans and other adults are in our line. We also launched our new Strategic Plan, which is built upon four strategic pillars: Lead, Feed, Strengthen, and Transform. The summit concluded with the Pillars of Promise Luncheon where we recognized several hunger-relief partners for the extraordinary work they do to help the food-insecure.
Opening Session Speakers
Ruth T. Jones Nichols, PhD
CEO, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore
Ruth T. Jones Nichols, PhD, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. In this role, she is responsible for managing a staff of over 50 employees and a $31M budget that helps the organization achieve its mission, which is “leading the effort to eliminate hunger” in a 4,745 square-mile service area. A native of Hampton Roads, Ruth attended the College of William and Mary and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Additionally, she completed a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and obtained her Ph.D. in Social Work from the Catholic University of America. She is a graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads and CIVIC Leadership Institute, as well as a member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council. She is a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Ruth was honored by Inside Business with a “Top 40 Under 40” Award and the prestigious “Women In Business” Achievement Award. She also received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award from Tidewater Community College. Ruth was featured on the cover of Coastal Virginia Magazine as one of the 10 Leading Ladies in Hampton Roads in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, she was recognized by Inside Business as one of their “People to Watch” in the annual “Power List.”
Muge Akpinar-Elci, MD, MPH
Director, Center for Global Health, Old Dominion University
Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci received her medical degree (MD) from Dokuz Eylul University, School of Medicine in Turkey and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She completed her residency training in Pulmonology and fellowship in Occupational Medicine in Turkey. During her career she worked for NIH, CDC/ NIOSH, East Carolina University/ Agromedicine Institute. In her last position, she was an associate professor and Environmental and Occupational Health Track Director at St George’s University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Grenada. She was also a director of WHO Collaborating Center for Environmental and Occupational Health. Currently, Dr. Akpinar-Elci is the associate professor and director of The Center for Global health at Old Dominion University. This center, currently located in the Hampton Roads area, encourages an interdisciplinary approach to addressing global health issues at home as well as abroad.
Harry Zhang, PhD
Associate Professor, Community & Environmental Health, Old Dominion University
Dr. Zhang is an Associate Professor in the School of Community and Environmental Health at Old Dominion University. He received his B.A. in economics from Fudan University in China and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Alabama. Prior to joining the faculty at Old Dominion University in 2005, he worked at the University of Chicago for four years as a research associate. As a health economist, he has an active research agenda on socioeconomic determinants of health and health disparities. He has more than 30 publications in international journals and has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on multiple grants funded by NIH and USDA. He serves on the editorial board of four international journals and as a manuscript reviewer for 32 academic journals. He has been on the Scientific Committee of the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) since 2007. He is a standing member of the grant proposal review panel for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and an ad hoc proposal reviewer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He has served in leadership positions for multiple professional organizations, including Chair of China Health Policy and Management Society (CHPAMS) and Board of Directors of Chinese Economist Society. He was born in Shanghai China and is a first-generation immigrant in the U.S.
Strategic Plan Launch
Breakout Session Topics:
Congratulations to the Pillars of Promise Awards winners and nominees. “Lead” Category Winner: FM 99 and 106.9 The Fox “Feed” Category Winner: Oasis Social Ministry “Strengthen” Category Winner: Sandra Etheridge “Transform” Category Winner: Old Dominion University School of Nursing
Pillars of Promise Awards
Nominees: Candy Hayes, The Hampton Roads Show, Hells Angels Beach Side, & the Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
Nominees: Childtime Learning Centers/La Petite, Farm Fresh, Seatack Recreation Center, & Smithfield Foods
Nominees: Calvary Revival Church, Capital One, Jeffrey Lewis, & Norfolk Southern Corporation
Nominees: Bank of America, Buffalow Family/Friends Community Days, Eastern Shore Chapel, & The Mount Church
Congratulations to the Pillars of Promise Awards winners and nominees.
“Lead” Category Winner: FM 99 and 106.9 The Fox
“Feed” Category Winner: Oasis Social Ministry
“Strengthen” Category Winner: Sandra Etheridge
“Transform” Category Winner: Old Dominion University School of Nursing