New Meals on Wheels CEO focused on offering more than food

Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY is turning to an established nonprofit leader to take over its reins and guide it through a transformational period.

Mike Dunn has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years, receiving recognition for roles in strategic operations, people management, marketing and fundraising.

He most recently served as the vice president of executive search at Centennial, Inc., a local executive search firm. However, he’s perhaps best known for his tenure as executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati District Council.

Dunn will assume his new role as CEO of MOW on May 1.

“I feel called to contribute toward the betterment of our community, particularly focusing on enhancing the quality of life for the underserved, as well as staff and volunteers,” Dunn said of his hiring. “I welcome the opportunity to lead a dynamic team, working together to achieve positive outcomes for older adults in need.”

Finding the right fit

Meals on Wheels selected Dunn to succeed Paul Brunner who has served as interim CEO since early 2023.

In a release, the Meals on Wheels team said it picked Dunn because of his track record of creating and executing strategic plans, coordinating comprehensive fundraising campaigns, growing revenue and increasing accessibility to social services. 

Dunn received credit for helping SVDP double its annual operating revenue, led the creation of a five-year strategic plan, and oversaw the completion of a capital campaign and the construction of a new outreach center.

Over the years Dunn has held a variety of other leadership roles, most notably several positions at Xavier University over a 16-year tenure. There, he served as chief revenue officer for the athletics department, director of Cintas Center and associate athletics director for marketing. 

Dunn has also served on the boards of local organizations, including Catholics United for the Poor and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati.

“I have deep knowledge of our region as my career has afforded me the opportunity to forge numerous relationships across Greater Cincinnati and exposed me to many diverse organizations,” Dunn said.

‘More than a meal’

Meals on Wheels described Dunn as a proven leader in the nonprofit sector and his passion for community service and engagement. “He has the ability and experience to build authentic relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders,” the organization wrote in its announcement.

The hope is Dunn can parlay his professional background into helping Meals on Wheels increase its overall capacity. MOW serves more than 1 million meals to older adults across 13 counties in Ohio and Kentucky every year. However, Dunn said he’s most excited about this opportunity because of Meals on Wheels’ focus on what he called “much more than a meal.”

Meals on Wheels has grown into the largest service provider for older adults in Greater Cincinnati. It offers energy assistance, pet services, transportation, personal finance management and overall care coordination. It also operates a daily senior center in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

“A nutritious meal is essential for older adults, but so is the wide array of services MOW offers,” he said. “We will continue to grow and enhance service offerings for the older adults in our community.”

Meals on Wheels Southwest OH & Northern KY

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