July 26, 2010

Two key promotions were announced today by Feeding America. Matt Knott has been named Chief Strategy Officer and Bill Thomas has been named Chief of Operations and Membership Officer

"Along with attracting top talent from outside the organization, one of my top priorities is growing Feeding America's existing leadership team," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America."Matt and Bill each play a critical role in leading Feeding America into the future. Today's promotions are a result of their ability to think strategically on a national scale, the respect they've earned from their peers, network members and partners, and their significant contributions to the organization."

Knott previously served as Senior Vice President of Planning and Analysis. He was responsible for the development of the organization's strategic plan, and working with the rest of the Executive Team and Board of Directors to establish and evaluate organizational outcomes, and assesses performance against agreed upon goals. He also provides assistance to member food banks in the areas of strategic and operational planning and analysis.

Prior to joining Feeding America in June of 2008, Knott spent 12 years at PepsiCo where he was most recently Vice President of Marketing for Gatorade. His career with PepsiCo also encompassed financial analysis and brand management roles, with responsibility for strategy formation, performance assessment, new product development and innovation on other well known brands including Tropicana, Life Cereal, and Propel Fitness Water. Knott began his career with Arthur Andersen as a financial consultant.

He earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and holds a Masters degree in Management from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University.

Bill Thomas joined Feeding America as Vice President of Product Development in April 2008, developing strategies and providing leadership for the organization's partnerships with major manufacturing and retail donors to secure food and grocery products. He was responsible for leveraging these strategies to grow these donations by over 45% over the past two years.

Thomas is a consumer packaged goods industry expert with extensive background in planning, supply chain and marketing. Prior to joining Feeding America, he spent ten years with Barilla America serving as Director of Planning, Purchasing and Co-Packers. Thomas was responsible for the front half of the Barilla America Supply Chain, which included purchasing, planning and co-packing of three distinct product lines produced in the U.S. and abroad. While working for Barilla America he improved speed to market capability for new products that resulted in more than 30 new item introductions in three years–doubling the business size. Thomas started his career at the Quaker Oats Company where he worked for 19 years.

Thomas holds an undergraduate degree in General Management from Purdue University and a MBA from Loyola University.


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