On Leadership & Letting Go

On Leadership & Letting Go

It is every founder’s dream that someday the organization they launch will be strong and stable enough to survive — and thrive — without them. That day has come for this founder. Last night, at the annual Capitol Food Fight, I announced that after 25 years of leading DCCK, the time has come for me to move on. When I launched DCCK in 1988, it was the first program of its kind. Before us, only a handful of programs recovered food from restaurants, hotels and colleges. NOBODY used that food to empower people to own… Continue reading »

Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery

Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery

Over the years, I’ve encountered thousands of people who dream of changing the world. I love people like that…because I am a kindred spirit. That’s why I always say “yes” when asked to listen to a plan or evaluate a pitch. MANY stand out, but (as you can imagine) the process of actually getting something off the ground is something else, which is why, when an idea takes shape, and actually opens its doors, it’s a day to be celebrated. Last week was one of those celebrations. I happened to be in Seattle (to help… Continue reading »

The Power of Food, India Style

The Power of Food, India Style

Another example of the “Power of YES” About 4 years ago, I got a call from Ganesh Kailasam, a gentleman from India who wanted to visit the Kitchen to get a sense of our system. As always, I said “YES”. We had a grand visit, and I gladly shared our model and materials with him, and he shared his vision for a program that he wanted to open in his home city of Chennai. Fast forward to today. This morning, Ganesh returned with additional guests, and after exchanging “so good to see you again’s” he… Continue reading »

The POWER of Believing

The POWER of Believing

Since its very beginning, DCCK has built all its initiatives around a simple premise: everybody has a skill, a gift, a role. In my opinion, a great nonprofit simply reveals what was there all along. We’ve done that for 23 years by using the food our society threw away, kitchen space that was underutilized, volunteers who wanted to be part of something powerful, chefs who had food…but also jobs, partner agencies that wanted to use their limited resources to liberate people (versus buying food) and money meant to move the needle. We didn’t have to… Continue reading »

Serving DC / Owning the Power

Serving DC / Owning the Power

As I detailed in my book, Begging for Change, I LOVE to walk to work. I take many routes to get to where I’m headed, but no matter which road I wander down, it opens up doors to the city I serve—Washington, DC. This was appropriate today, as I was walking downtown to keynote at the annual Serve DC gathering. I probably shouldn’t say this, but when I speak, I never write my speeches down. Don’t get me wrong, I know what I want to convey, but the way I get there—well, I make that… Continue reading »