In her three years as president and CEO of Feeding Westchester, Leslie Gordon has learned that “you have to be prepared to shift at a moment’s notice.” That means her focus can quickly move from operations management to relationship building, or from strategic development to fundraising. “My day could include all of that,” she says.
It also included rebranding the nonprofit hunger-relief organization from the Food Bank for Westchester to Feeding Westchester. Under her leadership, Feeding Westchester has increased the amount of food it distributes by 20%, which means it now exceeds the national average for food-bank distribution.
Gordon has forged strategic alliances with non-food partners, including health providers like Open Door Family Medical Center and White Plains Hospital, to address the health implications of food shortages. She is currently working on getting blood-pressure screening machines into some food pantries in Westchester County.
Before joining Feeding Westchester, Gordon worked for City Harvest in New York City and was recruited by General Colin Powell to serve as national director of America’s Promise: The Alliance for Youth. She also launched “Made in the Hudson Valley,” creating a brand and a portal for producers to reach a wider audience that would generate economic value for participating vendors.
Gordon credits her success in large part to her resiliency. “While I am human and appreciate that obstacles occur, I work hard to overcome them and find different options,” she says. “I have an appetite for trying new approaches.”