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
Chief Human Resources Officer

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-Pike
VP & Chief Operating Officer

Elisha is our Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In this capacity, she manages operations, kitchen, and food sourcing. She is responsible for overall management of operations (including receiving, shipping, logistics, transportation, customer service, facilities, and the production kitchen) as well as oversight of sustainable food sources and new food initiatives. She is also responsible for managing our capital construction projects and warehouse expansion efforts. She is also involved in strategic planning, performance metrics and sustainability of the food bank. Elisha has extensive management experience with over 30 years in leadership roles at several companies including The Times-Picayune, Advance Publications, and Texaco (Chevron). 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.

Lindsay Hendrix
Chief Impact Officer

A member of Executive Leadership, Lindsay’s team manages programming and partnerships, ensuring responsive and equitable treatment of those needing food assistance and for the community agencies which serve them. Previously as the Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Lindsay raised vital funds for nutrition-centered programs and worked to plan some of Second Harvest’s most transformative initiatives. She is active as a volunteer and Board member of Crescent City Care, where she is able to continue her commitment to ensuring those in need of a meal in our community receive one. Lindsay has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Abilene Christian University, and lives in New Orleans with her husband and family.

Sally Montague
Chief Financial Officer

Sally recently joined Second Harvest in May 2021, and in her role as Chief Financial Officer, she is responsible for financial reporting and audit, tax, budgeting, treasury, procurement and risk management, to ensure continued financial strength of the organization. She has over 30 years of financial experience in both public & corporate accounting, most recently leading the finance team with Louisiana Sugar Refining in Gramercy, LA. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Toledo, and is a current member of Financial Executives International.

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.

Paul Scelfo
Regional Director, Acadiana & SW Louisiana

Paul joined our team as Acadiana & SW Louisiana Regional Director area after more than twenty-five years serving Acadiana in the food and beverage industry. A life-long resident of Southwest Louisiana, Paul received his bachelor’s degree from the ULL and has worked throughout his career in fundraising and event planning for charitable organizations across the area. As a member of Executive Leadership, Paul oversees a major expansion of our work in the Lafayette & Lake Charles areas, including operations, emergency response, partnership development and fundraising. Most recently, Paul oversaw the recent production and delivery of thousands of hot meals from Second Harvest to residents impacted by the pandemic. Paul sees the opportunity to work in his hometown community as a true privilege.

John Sillars
Chief Strategy Officer

John Sillars has over 25+ years’ experience in building brands, delivering growth, and driving innovation. His experience includes work in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, spanning from a global packaged goods corporation to a family-owned company with favorite brands to the local affiliate of a national human services agency. His brand management and new product development experiences are in both consumer food and beverage covering both retail and foodservice. Mr. Sillars has a Bachelors of Arts in Economics from Davidson College and Masters in Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business.

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.

Brittany Bowie
Director of Impact and Operations, Acadiana & SW Louisiana

Brittany assists our Regional Director with overseeing all partner relationships and programs in the Lafayette and Lake Charles region of Second Harvest Food Bank’s service area. She also assists in leading a collaborative team with the goal of maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of our partner programs and relationship, including the Mobile Market, Lafayette Kitchen, Partner Relations, Nutrition Education, SNAP Outreach, and any other initiatives entered into to serve the people of the Lafayette and Lake Charles regions. Additionally, she works with our Children’s Program Manager to ensure coordinators are meeting the needs of Summer Feeding, Kids Cafe, and nutrition education.

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.

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
Children's Programs 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.

Emily Slazer
Director of Food Sourcing

Emily has been a key member of the Second Harvest Food Sourcing team since 2016. As Director of Food Sourcing, she works to foster relationships with food donors including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, food drive organizers, and farmers throughout Second Harvest’s 23 parish service area. Her team also oversees the challenge of managing millions of pounds of donated food product that flows our way following disasters and emergencies. Emily is an alumna of Centenary College of Louisiana and a graduate of Leadership St. Bernard.

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.

Matthew Taylor
Executive Chef

Chef Matthew Taylor is a native New Orleanian with over 16 years of experience in the foodservice industry. He comes to Second Harvest Food Bank as an accomplished Executive Chef committed to exceptional service and high service industry standards. In addition to The Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he got his start as a line cook, chef Matt has worked as a chef for several top-rated hotels including The Hyatt and The Westin. His experience and skill of cooking extend to knowledge of French, Creole, Italian, Mexican, and Asian style cuisines. He has said that overseeing the food bank’s 6,500 square-foot Community Kitchen gives his career purpose. When he’s not in the kitchen, he enjoys spending time with his wife and four girls, working with youth at his local church, and volunteering his time passing out food in his local community.

Paige Vance
Impact Operations Manager (East)

Paige Vance returns to Second Harvest to serve as the Impact Operations Manager. In this capacity she is the Disaster Officer who coordinates response efforts, and it is her team who work directly with our partner agencies on the North Shore, down the Bayou, and in the Greater New Orleans area. Paige has a Bachelor’s Degree earned at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and an employment history that includes many years in the Maryland State government where she climbed to a Division Chief in Medicaid. She came to New Orleans and fell in live with the people here, and her heart remained with the culture, the people, and the joie de vivre of Southern Louisiana. She has made this her home and serving those who live here her mission.

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