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St. Mary's Food Bank Names Milt Liu as New President and CEO
Liu Replaces Retiring Tom Kertis as Leader of World’s First Food Bank
Phoenix, AZ – Culminating a nationwide search, St. Mary's Food Bank has announced that Milton “Milt” Liu is the new President and CEO of the organization.
Liu will replace Tom Kertis, who is retiring from the food bank after serving as its leader for the past seven years. Liu assumed the leadership role effective June 5, 2023.
Liu has extensive experience in the food industry having served as CEO of Stir Foods, President and COO for Flying Food Group and Vice President of Food Operations for Target. In addition, he served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and has served on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations. He is relocating from Minnesota to Arizona.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Board Chair Graham Parkes said Liu’s experience in the food industry and significant leadership and strategic experience makes him uniquely qualified to lead one of the largest food banks in America into its next chapter.
Liu has a Master of Business Administration degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from Yale University.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead our 200 St. Mary’s team members as we further develop and execute innovative solutions to address food insecurity,” says Liu. “I’m looking forward to collaborating with our 800 partner agencies and other like-minded community members to fulfill our mission to alleviate hunger amongst our neighbors.”
Liu assumes the reins at a time of tremendous need.
St. Mary’s is currently collecting, rescuing, purchasing and distributing enough food to provide more than 250,000 meals a day across its 76,000 square mile Arizona service area, the most in its 56-year history. The Food Bank is distributing a record of more than 60,000 emergency food boxes a month as rising inflation and economic uncertainty is sending many struggling families to St. Mary’s for the first time.
“In the short term, we must quickly ramp up resources to meet this growing demand. For example, while we continue to rely on partners in our food rescue and food donation programs, we are also purchasing more food than ever before to close the gap,” says Liu. “Concurrently, we will be developing our strategic plan so that we are best positioned to service the community and our neighbors in the future.”
Kertis retires having guided the food bank through a much-needed era of refurbishment and expansion, placing it on track to serve Arizona’s hungry in the future.
“We want to thank Tom for his tremendous service to St. Mary’s,” Parkes said. “His expertise in leading our warehouse renovations, in seeing us through the pandemic, and for having the foresight to encourage expansion of the footprint has the food bank well-positioned to continue to serve the community.”
ABOUT ST. MARY’S FOOD BANK: As the world’s first food bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank has been providing food to Arizonans in need since 1967. St. Mary’s serves 76,000 square miles of Arizona, distributing enough food for more than 250,000 meals each day. In addition to providing food to more than 800 nonprofit partners such as homeless shelters, senior centers, schools, and faith-based organizations, St. Mary’s offers direct client services through large-scale food pantries in Phoenix, Surprise and Chinle. St. Mary’s reaches rural and remote communities with mobile pantries and distributes culturally relevant food to Tribal communities. St. Mary’s also supports homebound individuals with home deliveries and prepares and delivers meals to children in afterschool and summer programs. In addition to distributing food, St. Mary’s offers culinary and warehouse training to adults with barriers to employment seeking a path to self-sufficiency. Students also receive life skills training and extended job placement services. St. Mary’s has been recognized by Charity Navigator as a Four-Star Charity, by Phoenix Business Journal as the largest Arizona nonprofit for Social Services, and by Forbes as one of America’s Top 100 Charities. St. Mary’s Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and the Arizona Food Bank Network.