Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Food bank hires new executive director

link Dianna Hernandez

Staff writer

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The Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico has brought a former employee back to the fold, this time as executive director.

Dianna Hernandez began Monday at the food bank, where she previously worked for 17 months as a marketing specialist and grant writer.

She takes over for Allen Isbell, who was serving as interim executive director. The food bank had been without a permanent executive director since June, when its board cut ties with MelindaJoy Pattison.

Hernandez, 31, is a native of Friona, and worked in Clovis as a school librarian and copy editor at the Clovis News Journal before joining the food bank in August 2012 as a marketing specialist. She began at Wheatfields Senior Living in January, and left as its community relations coordinator.

“I had knowledge of the logistics and all of the programs (at the food bank),” Hernandez said when asked her motivation to apply. “I enjoyed the relationships I built with the people we serve and the people in the community.”

Isbell said the 13-member board considered 19 applicants for the position. A five-member committee was formed and interviewed four finalists over a four-hour process, then adjourned for a day so committee members could weigh the decision.

“Dianna’s enthusiasm, her past knowledge of the food bank, her goals were very good,” Isbell said. “All of the applicants we interviewed were excellent. It was a hard choice, but Dianna came out above them.”

The position will pay an annual salary between $35,000 and $40,000, depending on incentives reached.

“I told her we won’t micromanage,” Isbell said. “It’s her job, and we’ve got every confidence in the world. We’re there to support her.”

The early challenge, Hernandez said, is to get reacquainted with the food bank staff and its partners, and to take over a distribution model that added Torrance County after she left. The food bank also serves Curry, Roosevelt, De Baca, Quay and Guadalupe counties.

“The food bank is in its 31st year because of its current and past leaders,” Hernandez said, “and I just want to move forward with that growth.”