To Erin Pulling, becoming CEO of Food Bank of the Rockies was a bit of a leap – she had never run such a large organization before and she didn’t know anything about food banking. At the same time, she couldn’t deny the feeling that she had landed in a “right place-right time” type of situation once she arrived.
After 24 years at a nearby non-profit that home-delivers medically tailored meals, she could justify a career change. Her time at Denver-based Project Angel Heart – including 14 years as CEO – had taught her the importance of a few key tenets – nutrition, equity and advocacy. As it turned out, Food Bank of the Rockies was ready to embrace those concepts too, despite not having a track record of doing so.
In fact, as she was putting forth her ideas on nutrition, equity and advocacy during her interview with the food bank, a board member had “slammed his hands on the table and said, ‘That’s what we’re talking about. We are so ready for this!’” shared Pulling, who became the food bank’s CEO in early 2019.
Since then, Pulling has been able to animate all three of those principles and then some, while also managing the shifts and pivots of the pandemic, leading her to be named Food Bank News’ 2022 Food Bank CEO of the Year.