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GPCFB announces its CEO will retire

| Friday, Dec. 3, 2010

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank announced its CEO is retiring.

Joyce Rothermel's retirement was announced Thursday by the food bank, which says it will work with the nonprofit consulting group Dewey & Kaye to hire a replacement leader by June, when Rothermel is to begin her retirement.

Rothermel co-founded the bank in 1980.

Reached by phone Thursday while attending a food bank executive directors meeting in Orlando, Fla., Rothermel said she was more excited about the U.S. House of Representative's passing the Child Nutrition Re-authorization Bill in Washington than she was about news of her own retirement breaking in Pittsburgh.

“It's really great news,” she said, noting the bill will improve school lunch programs.

On the subject of her leaving, Rothermel said it's the right time to leave.

“I'm going to be 66 next June,” she said. She said the job takes up to 60 hours a week and she is looking to spend more time with her husband, who is already retired, and continuing to work in the community. Rothermel said she is confident the food bank will be able to identify a creative, visionary new leader to take on the institution's mission. Still, she said retiring will be “bitter-sweet.”

Rothermel's retirement will coincide with the food bank's 30th anniversary celebration on Hunger Awareness Day, June 7. Rothermel became leader of the food bank in 1987, a year in which the institution distributed nearly 6 million pounds of food. The organization has grown a lot since then and expects to deliver 23.5 million pounds of food to area food pantries by the end of the current fiscal year.

“Joyce has been the face and the vision and the conscience of the food bank,” said food bank spokeswoman Iris Valanti. “She strives to include everyone and has engaged the entire community in a way that very few people could do.”

Though Rothermel's retirement is still months away, Valanti said the food bank made its announcement this week so the organization could begin its search.

She said a job description for the position probably will be released today.

“We expect (the search) to take several months,” said Valanti. She said Dewey & Kaye will assist in finding the right person for the position. A short list of candidates will be developed.

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