Pembroke Park, Fla. — Sept. 15, 2020 — Paco Vélez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida, is pleased to announce that Jaime L. Fernández, Greg Zalkin and Leslie Nixon have been appointed to the organization’s Board of Directors for a three-year term. Fernández is the regional vice president for Walmart Neighborhood Markets West based in Miami, Florida; Zalkin is CEO and co-founder of Creative State Marketing in Miami, and Nixon is senior director of community affairs for the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, based in Miami.
The Board of Directors at Feeding South Florida is a dedicated and passionate group of individuals committed to the mission of ending hunger in South Florida. According to Feeding South Florida’s records, over 1.4 million individuals in South Florida are now struggling to put food on the table as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the last fiscal year (July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020), Feeding South Florida provided over 119 million pounds of food (99.3 million meals) to South Floridians in need, a 91% increase over the previous year ― up from 61.5 million pounds.
“Jaime, Greg and Leslie all bring different experiences and skills to Feeding South Florida’s Board of Directors, and we are pleased to have them join our organization,” said Vélez. “They are leaders in their industries and in the community, and are highly devoted to ending hunger in South Florida.”
As the regional vice president for Walmart Neighborhood Markets West, Fernández oversees the company’s operations for 10 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. He was previously the regional vice president for Walmart Super Centers in Region 11, South Florida, based in Miami. Fernández was born and raised in Madrid, Spain and became a U.S. citizen in 2005. He lives in Miami with his wife Giselle and their four children.
“I look forward to working with the Feeding South Florida board to make a difference during these unprecedented times and into the future,” said Fernández. “Pulling together as a community is critical, and the board is helping Feeding South Florida continue to serve so many people in need.”
Zalkin launched Creative State, a national experiential marketing agency, in 2014. He has developed the ideal platform to help brands forge emotional connections with audiences throughout the U.S. Drawing on four generations of entrepreneurs before him, Zalkin first developed a passion for special events in 1996 when he worked in the White House, Office of Scheduling and Advance, which led to a legislative assistant position and event manager in Congress. He resides in Miami with his wife and three young boys.
“I’m proud to be a part of the board at Feeding South Florida,” said Zalkin. “There is so much the board is doing to serve the 1.4 million individuals in the South Florida community who are suffering from food insecurity, and we are going to continue to find new and unique ways to do so.”
A native of New Jersey, Nixon previously practiced law at the St. Thomas University Human Rights Institute, providing free legal services to lower income residents in Miami-Dade County. Since 2006, she has held positions including community outreach/communications coordinator with the Super Bowl Host Committee, director of administration for Super Bowl XLI, and director of volunteer services for Super Bowl XLIV and Pro Bowl 2010. She started the Miami Dolphins Special Teams powered by AARP Foundation volunteer program in 2010. Currently, she serves as the senior director of community affairs, overseeing charitable giving programs and community relations platforms like Miami Dolphin FOOTBALL UNITEST™ for the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium. She has served as an adjunct professor teaching sport management classes at Barry University and St. Thomas University. Nixon and her husband are proud foster parents and reside in Plantation, FL.
“It is an honor to be on Feeding South Florida’s board and to serve the community during these dire times, and when people are suffering from food insecurity on an ongoing basis,” said Nixon. “In a non-COVID-19 scenario, Feeding South Florida serves over 706,000 individuals. We as a board are here to ensure that those who are struggling to put food on the table in any situation are able to get the help they need.”
About Feeding South Florida®
Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and the leading domestic hunger-relief organization serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Providing support for 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population, its mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education. Feeding South Florida distributed over 119 million pounds (99 million meals) of food last year, to over one million individuals through direct-service programs and a local network of approximately 300 nonprofit partner agencies. Visit www.feedingsouthflorida.org or call 954.518.1818.