We have hired Kimberly Homan Rodriguez as our new Director. Kimberly has 30 years of experience in the food industry including work as a chef, manager, event planner and instructor in various restaurants, cafes, markets, event spaces and culinary stores. She is a graduate of Bradley University and holds various food service certificates. Kimberly has experience with planning nutritious meals, which will help Meals on Wheels as we determine how to proceed with our food service.
Ms. Rodriguez is a Cleveland native and currently lives in Cleveland Heights with her wife and daughter. She is looking forward to meeting our volunteers and getting started in this exciting new endeavor.
Ms. Rodriguez replaces our previous Director Penny Parker who moved on from Meals on Wheels in March. Penny served our organization and our subscribers with passion and dedication for the past three years. We are grateful for her service and wish her the best in her future endeavors.
When Dr. Paul Nickerson became our new Board President in February, he didn’t anticipate the challenges ahead when a worldwide pandemic hit in March!
Paul grew up in western PA, obtained his BA and MD degrees from Northwestern University, and served his internship in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. After a “break” to serve as the Battalion Surgeon for a howitzer battalion in Vietnam, Paul completed his training in Rochester, NY, where he met his wife, Barbara, an ER nurse. They returned to Cleveland where Paul spent his entire career as an internist and geriatrician at the Cleveland Clinic. Since retirement, Paul worked with the Certified Emergency Response Team program in University Heights for a number of years. He and Barbara have a son and daughter and three grandkids, all of whom live in Chicago.
Paul has served as a volunteer driver for MOW for over nine years and has been a Board member since 2017. When Governor DeWine decided to quarantine the state and told people over age 60 to stay home, Paul was immediately swamped with meetings via telephone, in person and on ZOOM. He ably led the Board through numerous decisions including shutting down meal service and making arrangements to stay in contact with our clients. He praises the MOW volunteers and Board members for responding to this crisis and doing the very best they can to keep providing meals to those who are in need of food but also in economic peril.
Paul succeeds Dale Braun who served as President since 2017. Dale will remain on the Board to add his thoughtful ideas to our planning. Thank you, Dale, for a great job as our President!
First of all, thank you so much to all those who donated in response to our emergency appeal. Your contributions are allowing us to pursue solutions we would otherwise not have been able to consider.
Second, like most everyone else, our Meals on Wheels chapter is doing our best to deal with the effects of this Coronavirus pandemic and Ohio’s “Shelter in Place” order. Many of our clients are in the highest-risk demographic for the virus, as are many of our volunteers. In addition, the church where we assemble our meals has closed. Although the church offered to let us continue to use the kitchen, we were very concerned that we would not be able to adequately clean and sanitize the kitchen for safe food assembly in this time of high risk. As a result, we have suspended regular deliveries at this time. However, our volunteers have reached out to all subscribers in order to assess individual needs and make sure each person has a sufficient supply of food. Currently we are serving our established clients at least two meals a week.
And finally, we would like to inform our community that our Director, Penny Parker, has decided to move on from Meals on Wheels. Penny served our organization and our clients with passion and dedication for the past three years. We are grateful for her service and wish her the best in future endeavors. For now, our volunteer board will be handling day-to-day operations. Once we have more of an understanding of the effects of this pandemic and our staff needs going forward, we will be looking to hire a new Director.
Thanks for your continued support. Stay healthy everyone!
The Board of Directors
Meals on Wheels
Shaker Heights, Beachwood, and University Heights