Wishing a Fond Farewell and Happy Retirement to Starlene Collins, Western Slope Branch Manager

Janie Gianotsos Faces of Food Bank, Newsy, Western Slope

Starlene championed our fight against hunger and fed hope on the Western Slope for almost 20 years. As manager of our Western Slope branch (WSFBR), she led our growth in the community and her dedication is a big reason we’re providing more than 7.5 million meals to hungry families in the area. We’re sharing her message to the community and wish her a well-deserved, fun-filled retirement as she heads to new adventures after January 4, 2019!

Feeding the community has been important to me for many years. My experience with food banking began in 1996 when my husband and I started a partner agency feeding seniors in Craig, Colorado. 

When we were both offered positions with WSFBR in 1999, we packed our things and relocated to Grand Junction.  We lived in our travel trailer for over a year while selling our house in Craig and waiting for our house to be built in Junction. 

Leading WSFBR has been a great experience. For nearly 20 years, God has allowed me to be a part of an amazing organization and I’ve had the opportunity to watch it grow and change from a two person operation in an old tire warehouse to a 30,000 square feet facility with nine staff, numerous volunteers and many programs. 

I’ve met wonderful people who’ve helped me through some very serious life situations.  Both staff members and volunteers stood with me when my husband left his position in 2006 due to cancer. They were there for me while he recovered. I’ve become quite close to many of the people I’ve met through working at the food bank, and we’ve laughed and cried and supported each other through both good times and not so good times.  I’ve been humbled by the talent and dedication of the member agencies, volunteers and  staff members I’ve worked with both at the local and national level. 

Being able to come to such a caring work environment, knowing we’re feeding hungry men, women and children, has been precious. I’ll remember this community fondly.  The time has come for me to move on to new adventures and I wish my successor and team members the very best. It’s my prayer the organization will continue to find ways to solve hunger and do great things for the Western Slope Community who has offered me so much support. 

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season and continued success in giving hope to our hungry neighbors,

Starlene

We’re celebrating Starlene and thank her for being an instrumental part of our growth and our ability to feed hungry families on the Western Slope.  We’ll miss her smiling face and share our best wishes for wonderful new adventures!