Foodbank Chief Impact Officer to Retire After Decades-Long, Distinguished Career
Norfolk, VA – December 14, 2022 – Within the public relations/affairs and communications profession, Emma Inman, APR has held many of the region’s most sought-after leadership posts, heading up communications departments for the City of Virginia Beach, Sentara Healthcare, and Cox Communications before moving to North Carolina to assume the top spot at Food Lion. Yet, something was still missing.
After assuming what many would consider one of her profession’s more desirable positions, she felt the tug of service and returned to Hampton Roads to join the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. In just two short years, she has accomplished much. As Chief Impact Officer, Emma has overseen the creation of three new food hubs – two in Norfolk and one in Portsmouth – that represent a new approach to food banking, where people receive not just food, but holistic services aimed at placing them on the path of self-sufficiency.
“Food insecurity, health disparities, lack of access to living wage jobs, poverty – all these conditions are so intertwined and disparately impact communities of color,” says Emma. “I’m so proud of the work we have done, and that the foodbank will continue to do to address these racial justice issues. It will take more than providing a meal to end hunger. It’s going to take the much deeper and more complex work of addressing the reasons that people are hungry in our community. This Foodbank is leading that effort and I’m proud that we’re making such a transformative difference in people’s lives.”
Another part of her legacy involves “putting a face” on the issue of food insecurity through creative storytelling, giving donors and community partners the opportunity to see how food insecurity affects people in a very personal way. “Emma has been an invaluable asset to the Foodbank,” say Honorary Lifetime Board Member Susan Mayo. “Collaborative, compassionate, insightful, communicative, as well as a great team builder…these are just a few of the attributes that describe her. Through her leadership, the Foodbank has developed innovative food procurement and distribution programs that serve communities in need. She has made an impactful and lasting difference in the lives of people who are hungry in our community.”
After a storied career, Emma will be leaving the Foodbank next month, as she and her husband begin a new adventure as they retire in Portugal. “In my short six months working with Emma, she has served the Foodbank as a proven and trusted leader,” says Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore President & CEO Christopher Tan. “Emma’s amazing career has taken her to serve in many elements of our community from health care, city government, mass communications, and finally to food insecurity. At each stop, Emma Inman has left a mark on this community. I am particularly proud that I have gotten to call Emma a colleague and work shoulder-to-shoulder with her to connect people to food, resources, and a brighter future. I wish Emma and her husband the very best that life has to offer in retirement and congratulations on a career well spent changing the lives of those in need.”
About the Foodbank
For more than 40 years, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore has provided over 350 million meals to those in our community who face hunger. Through our programs, facilities, and large network of community partners, we “eliminate hunger” on a daily basis for many. However, we understand that our current work addresses hunger for individuals in the short term. It does not address the root causes which force individuals to return to a food pantry again and again. This understanding has led to the creation of a strategic plan aimed to move Hampton Roads closer to achieving the mission of eliminating hunger for those we serve—not only for the day, or for the week, but for a lifetime. For up-to-date information on the Foodbank, visit www.foodbankonline.org, Facebook, or Twitter.