April 15, 2021
Our Speaker this Week is Valerie Nicholson-Watson, Harvesters CEO. Her topic is "Hunger in the Midst of a Pandemic."
In July 2013, Valerie Nicholson-Watson became the fourth person to lead Harvesters—The Community Food Network, the regional Feeding America food bank serving 26 counties in northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas.
Valerie has a long history with Harvesters and the issue of hunger relief. From 1999 to 2004, she was Harvesters’ director of community services, responsible for the food bank’s agency relations, advocacy, communications, nutrition services and volunteer program. She also served on the agency’s board of directors from 2007 to 2013.
Prior to re-joining Harvesters, Valerie was a leader in the local nonprofit community as the president and chief executive officer of the Niles Home for Children. The agency in 2008 was one of two agencies nationwide awarded the “Innovative Practices” Award from the Council on Accreditation (COA) for its Hip Health initiative.
She also has held communications positions at Gateway, Inc., and the Kansas City, Mo., School District and worked as a journalist for the Kansas City Globe and The Kansas City Call
Valerie is president of the Missouri Food Bank Association (d.b.a. Feeding Missouri), is the immediate past president of the board for Nonprofit Connect and treasurer for the W.E.B. Dubois Learning Center board of directors. She is also a member of the US Bank Community Advisory Board.  
Under Valerie’s leadership, Harvesters was recognized in 2018 with the Support KC Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership Award, and in 2017 the organization was named a Refuel Topeka Champion by the City of Topeka, KS.
Valerie has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA from Webster University. She lives in Lee’s Summit, Mo., with her husband, Mark Watson. They have two sons and are the proud grandparents of three grandsons. 
A Zoom link for this meeting will be emailed to members, if you would like to visit as a guest, please email Executive Director Mandy Sheldon.
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