During the most significant increase in food insecurity in more than a decade, President & CEO Fred C. Wasiak led the Food Bank of South Jersey. The Food Bank, which serves four counties and 58 communities, doubled in size since the beginning of the pandemic, from the number of employees to the neighbors served each month – all in response to the growing need.
Then, as the needs in South Jersey changed and evolved, so did the Food Bank’s operational capacity. Wasiak and his leadership team oversaw health and safety protocols, as well as remote work, to ensure the Food Banks’ culture of belonging continued. This also included ongoing and essential organizational strategies for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Food Bank quickly adapted logistics and warehouse operations to pivot 30 mobile distribution sites and 205 pantries to COVID-19 safe operations and shift nutrition education from in-person to remote operations to serve thousands remotely.
Additionally, Wasiak was able to lean on his high-performing leadership team and board to expand stakeholder partnerships, ensure compliance with bylaws and stability during changes in leadership, and spearheaded a Real-Time strategic plan – all while bolstering staff retention and resilience by emphasizing self-care, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence.
The Food Bank’s leadership created a culture of philanthropy and built an infrastructure to process, grow, and steward a combination of public support, institutional giving, and government grants over the course of three years. Wasiak oversaw sustainable fiscal initiatives, including paying off debt, securing a four-month operating reserve, and initiating a sustainability fund. Further, a collaborative advocacy strategy was established with other New Jersey food banks, resulting in federal and state funding to the food banks.
Wasiak acts as a spokesperson for the Food Bank of South Jersey and has spoken on numerous panels hosted by elected officials and others. He was honored as Executive of the Year by South Jersey Biz in 2019; the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs South Jerseyan of the Year in the Nonprofit Sector in 2021; South Jersey Biz’s Power 50 Most Influential Professionals in South Jersey, also in 2021; and, now, one of South Jersey Magazine’s 2022 Men of the Year.
Over the years, Wasiak has served on the board of directors for numerous nonprofit organizations. Recently, he served as the President of the Medford-Vincentown Rotary Club, which adopted a mobile pantry to serve a local community every week during 2022.
Prior to joining the Food Bank in 2018, Wasiak was owner/principal of Humanics Consulting, where he provided consulting, training, coaching and development services for board, staff, and nonprofit organizations. He also served 27 years in several YMCAs – spanning from New York to New Jersey as a program director to CEO – and worked for Goodwill Industries of New Jersey and Philadelphia, initiating their community development program.
Wasiak holds a Master of Science degree in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Management/Leadership from Springfield College, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Niagara University. He resides in South Jersey (beautiful Pinelands) with his wife, Betsy; they have three wonderful children, one fantastic daughter-in-law, one awesome son-in-law, and one phenomenal grandson.