Welcome Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, Executive Director!
We are thrilled to announce the selection of Maribeth Saleem-Tanner as our new Executive Director! Maribeth will bring more than 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector to CFI, and will officially join the team in July, training for her new role with CFI staff, Board, and Managing Director MaryAnn Martinez.
Maribeth’s professional experience includes most recently serving as Director of Civic Engagement at Marietta College, a position in which she fostered service-learning, volunteerism, and social justice at Marietta College through developing training for faculty, staff, and community. Also highly relevant to her new role at CFI, as Director of Civic Engagement Maribeth grew a network of more than 30 community partner organizations to support college-community relationships and community development in the Marietta area, and helped establish an annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day of service and reflection program that regularly engaged over 500 volunteers.
Prior to her work with Marietta College, Maribeth served as Co-Director for the High Rocks Educational Corporation in Hillsboro, West Virginia from 2005-2007, and since then has remained involved with their Board of Directors. In this role, Maribeth developed curriculum, worked collaboratively with the executive team to grow organizational funding, and created and implemented policies and strategic plans for the organization, which provides educational programs teaching empowerment, critical thinking, and leadership. She also coordinated grant writing and reporting, fundraising, and outreach, and created collaborative networks for participant recruitment and programming among diverse stakeholders.
Complementing her considerable experience in the nonprofit sector, Maribeth holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, and an undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature. “I'm excited about the opportunity to serve in the Executive Director role for CFI. I've been impressed and inspired by the conversations I've had through this process. CFI has built an amazing organization, and I'm honored and humbled to be a part of that. My heart is all in,” said Maribeth in a recent exchange with Joe Barbaree, CFI Board President. Barbaree believes this is a natural next step for the organization, stating, “Maribeth’s deep experience and long-time commitment to our region will be a true asset for Community Food Initiatives and will build off of the unprecedented momentum that our organization has experienced in the last year.”
A long-time resident of the region, Maribeth’s deep understanding of Appalachian culture, her professional experience, and her education come together to make her an outstanding addition to the CFI team. Our staff and Board are excited about all she’ll bring to CFI and are looking forward to working with her in her new role, as she focuses on nonprofit administration, capacity building, and regional development for CFI.
Please join us in welcoming Maribeth to CFI, and be sure to say "hello" when you see her out in the community!