Second Harvest Food Bank Leadership Team

Natalie Jayroe
President & CEO

Natalie Jayroe became the president and CEO of the Second Harvest Food Bank in January 2006, having worked with food banks in Founder, Board and Executive capacities for 23 years. In 2007, she was named one of City Business’ Women of the Year. In 2008 she received Mazon’s Irving Cramer Award and was a graduate of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute. She was named a Young Leadership Council Role Model and City Business Money Maker in 2011, and participated in the Leadership Louisiana class of 2012. Natalie currently serves on the Policy Engagement and Advocacy Committee for Feeding America and on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute.

Brandy Spencer-Byrd
Director of Human Resources

A member of our Executive Leadership, Brandy joined Second Harvest in 2014, where she is responsible for the overall management, administration, and delivery of all human resource functions, including recruiting, training, compensation, benefits administration, and legal compliance. Previously, she worked as a business teacher at John McDonogh High School. Originally from Orange, Texas, Brandy holds a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication from McNeese State University and a Master’s in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

Elisha Darcey
Chief Administrative Officer

A member of our Executive Leadership, Elisha manages and directs the finance, procurement, and IT departments. She is responsible for budgeting, risk mitigation, and performance metrics and she is also involved in the strategic planning and sustainability of the food bank. Elisha has extensive management experience and has served in leadership roles at several companies including The Times-Picayune and Advance Publications. She has a passion for serving the community including being the church administrator and treasurer for Christ Baptist Church for the last 30 years. Elisha is a graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans.

John Dziurgot
Chief Operating Officer

A member of our Executive Leadership, John directs and manages all daily operations of our 200,000 square-foot facility, including warehousing, inventory control, procurement, transportation, and public warehousing functions. Additionally, he oversees Second Harvest’s ongoing disaster-response plan. An experienced food bank operations executive originally from Detroit, John previously served as Vice President of Operations for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan for 12 years.

Luella Provenza
Chief Impact Officer

Before her role with Second Harvest, Luella worked as Chief Strategy Officer with Up2Us Sports, a national sports-based youth development organization. She has gained extensive experience in program strategy, design, and implementation through her time in program managed with local youth development organizations. Luella received her Masters of Science in Social Development & Health from Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Kristen Riegel
Chief Philanthropy Officer

A member of our Executive Leadership, Kristen Riegel joined Second Harvest after more than fifteen years of development experience. After several years in event fundraising and major gifts for University of Houston, The University of Texas Health Science Center and Rice University, Kristen spent eight years raising funds for social service organizations. A native of New Orleans, she brings her years of major-market experience in fundraising to the mission of Second Harvest. She is a graduate of the Academy of the Sacred Heart and attended LSU for both undergraduate and graduate school.

Jay Vise
Director of Communications and Marketing

A member of our Executive Leadership, Jay oversees all aspects of public relations and communications for Second Harvest. He also manages production of photo and video projects, as well as producing printed and electronic newsletters. Prior to joining Second Harvest in 2013, Jay spent six years as a reporter, anchor and digital content manager for WWL Radio in New Orleans. He received his BA in Marketing from LSU and his JD from the Loyola College of Law in New Orleans.

Mary Netzhammer
Executive Assistant

Mary joined Second Harvest in 2018 following a successful career in managing daily operations through annual planning, project development and program implementation. Mary became acquainted with Second Harvest 15 years ago when she began volunteering in our repack room. Having spent 27 plus years working for a leader in the beverage industry, she went on to work for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Mary attended both Loyola University and UNO.

Shannon L. Alexander
Business Process Manager

Shannon has been with Second Harvest for more than seven years. She facilitates the advancement of the organization through evaluation of best practices of efficient business processes, utilization of technology solutions and continual staff training. Previously, Shannon worked in the field of HIV prevention. She is a Native New Orleanian and alumni of Dillard University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education in May 2000.

Kathryn Gsell
Community Relations Manager

As the Community Relations Manager for Second Harvest, Kathryn manages several major annual events and fundraising initiatives, such as Harvest at Home and Duck Derby. Kathryn earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of New Orleans.

Crystal Harris
Community Outreach Manager

Crystal joined Second Harvest in August 2015 after having served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate. In her role as the Community Outreach Manager and Food Safety & Repack Manager, she leads the Volunteer Services and Repack teams in order to expand and promote community opportunities to assist Second Harvest Food Bank in fulfilling its mission to feed South Louisiana. Additionally, she is responsible for the administration of all AIB policies and procedures necessary to maintain high standards of food safety throughout Second Harvest operations.

Mamie Jackson
Director of Operations

Mamie Jackson joined the Second Harvest Team in September of 2006 after serving as a Supply Sergeant in the United States Army. Her lifetime of expertise in logistics and inventory management is essential to managing the tens of millions of pounds of food that passes through our facilities every year. In her 30-year Army career, she oversaw the logistics of supplying everything from nuts and bolts to trucks, and helicopters to installation furniture. Following her retirement from military service, she has found a true passion for supplying food and nutrition, as she works determinedly to do her part in ending hunger in Louisiana.

Tanya O'Reilly
Program and Innovation Manager

Tanya joined Second Harvest Food Bank in 2003 as the Children’s Programs Manager, overseeing programs targeted to children in need. As a native New Orleanian, Tanya is committed to improving the well-being of children across our 23 parish service territory. In her spare time, Tanya volunteers for local animal rescue organizations as serves on the Board of Directors for the Humane Society of Louisiana.

Heather Sweeney
Director of Development

Heather joined Second Harvest Food Bank in 2008. As Director of Development, she is responsible for growing and sustaining community support from individual, corporate and foundation donors that is crucial to fulfilling Second Harvest’s mission. She has more than 10 years of experience working in development and philanthropy. In her spare time, Heather serves on the Advisory Board of the Emerging Philanthropists of New Orleans.

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