IPM Food Pantry names former nurse, nonprofit leader as CEO

IPM Food Pantry has appointed a former nurse with a lengthy background in nonprofit leadership as its new CEO and president.

The Mount Carmel-based food pantry announced the selection of Melissa Meyer on Thursday. Meyer most recently served as the executive director of Churches Active in Northside, or CAIN, where she oversaw the strategic direction and operations of its food pantry, community hub and anti-poverty advocacy efforts.

Meyer’s first day on the job is July 1.

Melissa Meyer

“Melissa brings a wealth of experience in nonprofits, particularly in Clermont and southwestern Ohio counties, and has faithfully served these communities for years,” said Kelly Holden, who heads IPM’s board. 

Holden went on to call Meyer an “empathetic leader who has experience in the food pantry sphere.”

“IPM’s board very much looks forward to the future under Melissa’s leadership to continue to serve our neighbors in need,” she said.

A time of positive growth

For 60 years, IPM has provided food relief to neighbors in eastern Cincinnati and adjacent communities, striving to create a thriving, food-secure region for everyone. For more than seven of those years, Alida Hart has played a considerable role in those efforts.

Meyer is set to replace Hart, who in March outlined plans to retire.

Hart began her formal relationship with IPM more than seven years ago as donor relations and communications manager. She assumed the role of chief executive in January 2019. Over the past five-and-a-half years and has been an important part of the nonprofit’s growth.

Last year, IPM underwent a $5 million capital campaign that secured the funding needed to move into a new 12,000-square-foot home in western Clermont County. This community initiative provided the opportunity for IPM to expand its footprint, create greater efficiencies and reach further and feed more throughout our region.

Since opening the new pantry and distribution center on Aicholtz Road last October, IPM has responded to increased need with a 69% growth in visits by households.

Hart plans to stay on in the interim to assist with the transition process.

“I am delighted with the Board’s decision,” Hart said. “I know Melissa will bring her food pantry expertise and personal passion for community service to IPM, ensuring that we will continue to reach further and feed more families struggling with food insecurity.”

Meet Melissa Meyer

Upon news of Hart’s impending retirement, IPM vowed to launch a national search to find her replacement.

Including her time with CAIN, Meyer has over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit, government and health care sectors. As a former nurse, Melissa brings a public health perspective to creating innovative solutions in the nonprofit sector, Holden said.

Meyer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in strategic organizational leadership from Wilmington College and a licensed practical nurse degree from the Cincinnati School of Practical Nursing.

A Clermont County resident, Melissa and her wife Amy live in Amelia.

“There is nothing more human or fundamental than feeding people,” Meyer said. “IPM is already doing phenomenal work in the community, and it is an honor to expand on that work in the same community I’ve lived in nearly all of my life.”

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