Nancy Roman, President and CEO
Christel Hair, Chief Development Officer, has served as an active member of the Capital Area Food Bank’s senior management team for over ten years, beginning as director of development in 1998 and becoming chief development officer in 2002. She is responsible for creating, implementing and evaluating the food bank’s fundraising program which includes direct mail; major gifts; foundation, corporation and faith-based grants; the recently completed capital campaign and special events. Hair is third in executive leadership at the CAFB and, in the absence of the president and CEO and COO, she serves as senior manager of the organization, overseeing all daily operations at the food bank.
Prior to joining the food bank, Hair excelled in both the nonprofit and private sectors. She began her career as a buyer at Woodward and Lothrop, where she maintained multi-million dollar volumes in assigned departments, while also introducing new product lines. She significantly increased sales and higher returns on investments, managed key gross margin factors, and strengthened business performance analysis and forecasting.
Hair earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art History from the University of Virginia.
Rod Ilagan, M.B.A., Chief Financial Officer, guides the food bank’s stewardship of its resources and helps set its strategic direction. He leads its planning and budgeting, accounting and reporting, asset and risk management, internal controls, compliance, and information technology management. Guiding the food bank’s business and information technology, he is committed to its best possible use in advancing the food bank’s work with operational excellence and mission effectiveness.
Ilagan came to the food bank with almost three decades of experience in nonprofit financial management and entrepreneurship. He served as CFO for the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, controller and director of total quality management at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, vice president for internal auditing at Medlantic Healthcare Group (now MedStar Health) and owner-operator of franchise restaurants. After leaving private business and before joining the food bank, he was principal of Sherpa Financial Services counseling pro bono disadvantaged immigrants in Annapolis, MD. Prior to coming to the United States, he was an activist for social justice in the Philippines.
Ilagan studied philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the Central Colleges of the Philippines. He held the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) designation at one time and was previously an active Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the Philippines and later in the state of Maryland. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, with a major in executive management, from Loyola University Maryland.
Page Dahl Crosland, Senior Director of Marketing & Communications, joined the Capital Area Food Bank in November, 2010 with more than 20 years of experience in media relations, politics and journalism. Previous positions held by Crosland in DC include: director of communications for the United Way of the National Capital Area, director of communications for the DC Primary Care Association, chief of staff to DC Councilmember David A. Catania, and vice president of communications for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.
Before moving back to DC in 1999, Crosland was director of communications for the United States Tennis Association in New York. Earlier, she was deputy campaign manager for Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign; director of communications for WETA/26 and FM 90.9 in DC; director of communications for the Southern Regional Council, a south wide human rights organization in Atlanta, GA.; and press secretary for a US Senator on Capitol Hill.
After graduating from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, Crosland did graduate work at the University of Alabama where she also served as an editor of the University of Alabama Press. She was a reporter for The Birmingham News and The Alabama Journal in Montgomery, AL. She lives in Washington, DC.
Rafael Guerrero, Comptroller, has been at the Capital Area Food Bank since 1991. His historical knowledge of the food bank is important as it moves forward and transitions into a new warehouse. Guerrero started working in the warehouse and from there moved into accounting. He handles many of the day-to-day accounting tasks and reviews ongoing financial transactions, as well as providing basic computer user support for hardware problems and Primarius systems.
Mark Jacquez, Senior Warehouse Director, came to the Capital Area Food Bank with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from West Virginia University. He was director of warehouse operations at U.S. Office Products and director of warehouse and transportation for Republic National Distributing Company. Warehouse operations ensures that millions of pounds of nutritious food are acquired and distributed into the community.
Les Johnson, M.S., Senior Human Resources Director, has over 12 years of experience and handles all areas of human resources for the Capital Area Food Bank including benefits administration, recruiting, diversity, timekeeping, training, employee relations and the electronic retention of records. Of these, the area of employee relations is the most engaging for Johnson as he is able to help employees navigate through difficult situations.
Prior to joining the food bank in 2005, Johnson worked in a variety of HR positions for such notable organizations as Charles River Laboratories, Transportation Security Administration and the McDonald’s Corporation. He earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Human Resources Management at the University Maryland University College; and his Bachelor of Arts Degree at Prairie View A&M University, majoring in communications, with a minor in business management.
Mark McCaffrey, Senior Director of Food Resources, joined the Capital Area Food Bank in June 2010 as Chief Operating Officer and transitioned to his new position when the COO position was eliminated in January, 2013. McCaffrey brings operational and project management to the new food distribution center and is responsible for procuring food donations and securing cost effective purchasing options for identified partner agency and program food needs across the Washington metro area. Specifically, he works with internal and external customers to ensure professional customer service to attract new and repeat food donations; initiates food promotions with local food companies, farmers and the general community to increase CAFB awareness; initiates food drives and builds partnerships. He supervises the Food Resource team and coordinates transportation and logistics with operations, purchasing food items and interacting with other food banks and Feeding America. Prior to joining the food bank, McCaffrey spent four years with the American Red Cross of the National Capital area, initially as Senior Director, then Regional Director of Health and Safety Program Operations.
Marian Barton Peele, Senior Director of Partner Relations, joined the Capital Area Food Bank in 1990 and two years later became Director of Partner Relations. In her present position, Peele coordinates food distribution to over 700 partner agencies which are non-profit organizations that operate food programs for those at risk of hunger.
Peele supervises a staff of twelve that coordinates the following programs operated by the CAFB:
Agency Achievement Academy, Brown Bag program, Food Safety Training, Metropolitan Area Hunger Conference, Northern Virginia Hunger Summit, Hunger Lifeline, Mobile Pantry, and School Food Pantry.
A native Washingtonian, Peele has served on the boards of THRIVE DC (formerly Dinner Program for Homeless Women), Sowing Empowerment and Economic Development (SEED), and District of Columbia Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
Peele was educated in DC public schools and is a proud alumnus of Duke Ellington School of Art. She is a visual artist who specializes in stippling, a pen and ink technique. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
The last of eight children of Oscar and Jean Barton, Peele has been married for the past 26 years to Mervin Kenneth Peele. They reside in Washington, DC with their two sons, Marshall and Miles.
Valessia Samaras. Senior Director of Major and Planned Gifts, joined the Capital Area Food Bank in July 2011 with 25 years of experience in all aspects of fundraising including major gifts and capital campaigns. Previous positions held by Samaras include director of development for the Dominican Retreat in McLean, VA and director of development for both Montgomery College and the University of Maryland University College. Prior to moving to the Washington, DC area in 2004, Samaras held positions in Boston, MA where she was director of development and principal gifts officer for Northeastern University and senior major gifts officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Valessia graduated from Wheelock College and did graduate work at Simmons College, both located in Boston. She and her husband live in Arlington, VA.
Dan Shenk-Evans, Director of Information Technology, joined the staff in 2010 after 18 years of assisting the CAFB with technology projects at the CAFB. Shenk-Evans’ mission is to make technology a strategic asset for the organization by focusing on the people and business-process components of technology, and maximizing the value of IS systems through training, documentation, and performance management.
Before coming to the food bank, Shenk-Evans was a senior consultant at Community IT Innovators from 2000 to 2010, an employee-owned company committed to helping socially responsible organizations effectively use technology. Shenk-Evans worked with clients through all phases of the information systems management life cycle, assisting in documenting requirements, establishing strategic goals and expected ROI, formalizing governance structures, and selecting and implementing solutions. Other earlier positions include serving as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County for two years, and contributing to multiple organizations for three years as a full-time stipend volunteer.
Shenk-Evans has presented at several ASAE & NTEN technology conferences, and has contributed articles and white papers about software selection to Idealware.org.
He graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Mennonite College with a B.A. in Computer Science and from Duke Divinity School with a Master’s of Divinity Degree.
Jody Tick, Senior Director of Programs, has been with the Capital Area Food Bank for the past five years. In her current capacity, Tick provides direction and oversight for programs that educate about healthy eating and distribute nutritious food to children. Tick previously served as the Harvest for Health program director for CAFB.
Tick has experience managing food system-related programs and projects for Washington, DC-based nonprofits. Prior to joining the CAFB, she was a program analyst for the 2020 Vision Initiative at the International Food Policy Research Institute, a research analyst and project manager at Resources for the Future (RFF), and an independent consultant.
Her work has focused on international and domestic hunger and poverty alleviation, the regulation of biotechnology, local food systems, domestic food safety and the promotion of healthy food access to underserved communities. Tick has a MSc. from the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and a BA in environmental studies from Boston University.
Cecelia Vergaretti, Senior Director of NOVA joined the Capital Area Food Bank in 2006 bringing many experiences that translate over to her current position at the food bank. She began her career here as a grant writer and credits those years with learning how the food bank operates on a day to day basis, and providing her with a deeper understanding of how access to healthy foods, paired with nutrition education about these foods, are key components to what the food bank accomplishes in the community. Vergaretti is always quick to point out that the food bank is much more than a warehouse distribution center.
As Senior Director of the NOVA branch, located in Lorton, Virginia, Vergaretti is responsible for the overall operations of the facility, including food distribution and programs. As the need for food steadily increases in Northern Virginia, Vergaretti is working to identify priorities and areas of expansion to serve the community in a strategic and efficient way.
Prior to joining the food bank, Vergaretti spent time as the Vice President of Community Services with the National Mental Health Association, now Mental Health America. Vergaretti also worked as a Volunteer Coordinator for one of the food bank’s partner agencies near her home. Vergaretti lives in Northern Virginia and is passionate about serving “her community.” She holds a BA from Rutgers University and a JD from New York Law School. She is a retired member of the New York State Bar.