Transparency and accountability are core values of DC Central Kitchen, and those commitments shape our approach to recruiting and retaining Board Members. Our newest slate of volunteer leaders includes two inspiring graduates of our Culinary Job Training program, representing the ‘leadership cycle’ that defines our approach to building more inclusive, prosperous communities, and we thank a distinguished group of outgoing Directors on helping DCCK reach new heights over the past six years.
Longtime DC Central Kitchen volunteer and former Board Secretary Lisa Creamer is our Board’s new Chair, succeeding Gail Chambers in the role. Gail and Lisa worked closely together to guide DCCK’s transition into our new headquarters, and this hand-off marks the conclusion of Gail’s outstanding Board service, which began in 2017 and helped us navigate the pandemic.
“Gail was exactly the kind of board member we look for, involved in all aspects of our work after first coming to us as a regular volunteer in our kitchen, and she remained deeply committed to seeing the organization grow and thrive. As Chair, she worked hard to make sure that happened and to ensure that every member of the DC Central Kitchen team knew they were valued and appreciated,” says DC Central Kitchen CEO Mike Curtin.
Also rolling off the Board this year after six years of service are valued hunger fighters Chef KN Vinod (Indique, Bombay Bistro), who proudly wore his DCCK pin to the White House last year, and Radhika Mohan (Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners), who also served on our Bringing the Kitchen Home Campaign Committee. We appreciate their significant contributions to our mission and look forward to continuing to partner with both of them in the future.
Joining the Board for three-year terms are three new Board members: Michael Hall, Someko Hanson, and Priya Sarathy Jones . A graduate of our Culinary Job Training program who became a mentee of Chef Spike Mendelsohn, Michael Hall is the District Leader for the PLNT Burger Restaurant Group. Today, he manages an incredible six PLNT Burger locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Massachusetts! Michael has remained closely involved with our work, providing professional development workshops to our students and keynoting a graduation ceremony. He is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with our café team to help us continue growing our retail social enterprises.
Someko Hanson, another graduate of our Culinary Job Training program, is the creator and owner of Fellowship over Food, a successful new catering business that serves the DMV area. She shared her entrepreneurial journey with Mayor Bowser and other local leaders at a special event celebrating our new headquarters last year and is eager to continue engaging current students considering their own future career paths.
“I am honored to join DC Central Kitchen’s Board of Directors. From sitting in the classroom as a Culinary Job Training student to now taking a seat at the Board table, I am excited to keep embarking on my DC Central Kitchen journey,” says Someko Hanson.
Completing this cohort of new members is Priya Sarathy Jones. With over 15 years of experience in criminal justice policy, legislative advocacy, and building meaningful bipartisan relationships, Priya is the Deputy Executive Director at the Fines and Fees Justice Center, a national advocacy organization dedicated to ending the criminalization of poverty in the United States. Priya has been a dedicated volunteer and advocate for DCCK for nearly a decade, providing expert guidance on how we can lower barriers to financial stability for our students.
We are thrilled to welcome these community leaders to our Board and can’t wait to work with each of them to continue our essential work of fighting hunger and poverty.