It is with sincere gratitude and optimism that VEAP announces our CEO, Joe McDonald, will be departing our organization June 3, 2022. He has accepted an exciting new executive director role for a Twin Cities education-based nonprofit, the Montessori Center of Minnesota.
Joe led VEAP with compassion and grace through a critical time in our organization’s history. The pandemic forced urgent changes on nearly every element of VEAP’s operations, and as CEO, he spearheaded cross-departmental shifts to respond nimbly to participant, volunteer and community needs.
During his tenure, Joe oversaw the rapid expansion of our social services’ financial assistance department, which grew into a multi-million dollar program to ensure families remained safe in their homes during the pandemic. VEAP’s Food and Basic Needs division experienced its biggest years on record, in terms of both pounds of food distributed and number of people served, during Joe’s leadership at VEAP.
As CEO, Joe prioritized the holistic well-being of VEAP’s staff, and he actively worked to build trust, establish consensus and make sure all voices were heard. Joe lifted up VEAP’s values through his actions, and he thoroughly advanced VEAP’s mission of building stronger, more hopeful communities. He will be missed as a colleague and leader.
VEAP’s Board of Directors will be executing a dynamic and extensive search for our next CEO, and we will be guided by a robust interim leadership plan to ensure VEAP continues to operate efficiently during this transitional period.
Please stay connected with us, as we look toward the future of our organization, working collaboratively to end food insecurity and homelessness in south Hennepin County.
The VEAP team and Board of Directors
A note from Joe McDonald
I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as VEAP’s CEO for the past three and a half years. As the leader of an organization with a mission to create pathways to stronger, more hopeful communities, I am extremely proud to say that VEAP has grown stronger in its ability to offer hope to thousands of children, teens, adults and seniors in south Hennepin County. Despite a worldwide pandemic, VEAP remained focused on its mission to meet the needs of people facing food insecurity and housing instability. And I’ve seen firsthand how the abundance and generosity within our community has met the increased needs of our neighbors.
VEAP’s ability to handle this crisis could never have happened without its people. It has been a privilege to work alongside such dedicated, creative and flexible staff whose sole focus has been to provide the critical food support and housing assistance people need in moments like this. Our volunteers have been incredible, sacrificially giving their time and energy to support others in the midst of so much uncertainty over the past two years. Our donors and partners—individuals, families, faith communities, city and county agencies, businesses, schools, and foundations—have been faithful and generous in providing the financial support that fuel VEAP’s programs to make a positive impact in our communities.
I am excited and hopeful for the future of VEAP. I know it is in good hands and moving in the right direction, and I have full confidence in the strong plan for interim leadership as VEAP’s Board of Directors oversees the search process for a new CEO.
Thank you for entrusting me to lead VEAP. I am grateful for your partnership, and very proud of the work we did together.