HILLSIDE, NJ – The Community FoodBank of New Jersey has announced the hiring of Karen Leies as the organization’s Vice President of Development. Leies, a fundraising professional, comes to CFBNJ from New York City Ballet, where she served as the Senior Director of Development and Special Events since 2011. Prior to joining NYCB, Leies was the Vice President of Development at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center as the Director of Development.       

Debra Vizzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, said, “All of us at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey are looking forward to the capable leadership that Karen brings to our team.  Her commitment to our mission, and her extraordinary results as a development leader, will have tremendous impact. Karen’s impressive experience and track record will help the organization make tremendous strides to alleviate the plight of the hungry.”      

Leies said, “I am happy and honored to be joining the CFBNJ team. As a longtime New Jersey resident, I’ve admired the Community FoodBank’s tireless work in the fight against hunger and poverty. As a mother, I’m especially motivated by the one in five children in our state facing hunger right now, and welcome the opportunity to be part of the effort to make that number zero.”

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The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is expanding the quantity and quality of the food it distributes as part of a strategic plan that includes dramatically reducing the number of hungry children in the state. Working with all stakeholders, Leies will lead CFBNJ’s fundraising efforts to strengthen the organization’s ability to meet its goals. Currently employing more than 200 people, and raising more than 14 million dollars annually, CFBNJ has been honored with Charity Navigator’s top 4-star rating for seven years in a row, something only 2% of charities achieve.

The search to fill this position was conducted by DRG Executive Search which, represented by Senior Vice President Mary Wheeler and Senior Associate Kelsey Blagdon, said, “The DRG team is pleased to have worked with CFBNJ to successfully match the organization with Karen Leies, a dynamic and strategic development leader. Together with her outstanding record of success in stewardship and fundraising, Karen’s firm commitment to CFBNJ’s values and mission are key components in advancing the organization’s mission.”

Leies, a graduate of Ithaca College, resides in South Orange, New Jersey.