About Our Team: Learn a little about who we are
Due to our structure no one position is more or less important than another. We are all inextricably entwined forming the wheels on our bus. So we decided to present the staff stories alphabetical order.
Penny Loughan: CEO
Penny Loughan’s personal and professional life has one common thread all the way through: service to others.
Penny served in the US Army for 21 years protecting the freedoms we so take for granted, before retiring and being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
Making Broward County her home after the Army, Penny brought her skills and hard work with her. She dedicated eight years to our young people as a JROTC teacher at Piper High School, between 1995 & 2003, leaving as one of the most popular teachers amongst the students, who still seek out her guidance. One of her most successful students was her daughter, Sergeant First Class Lauralynne, now 27, who followed in her mother’s footsteps. Under Penny’s command, the JROTC unit at Piper High School was designated by the Army as a “JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction”.
Penny’s next humanitarian effort was position with the Cooperative Feeding Program, an agency feeding Fort Lauderdale’s homeless and families who had fallen on hard times. Penny took control of the agency’s complex logistics and warehouse challenges. Thanks to Penny the CFP had one of the most efficient warehouse management programs in the country, reducing waste, improving food storage conditions and significantly saving limited resources. Penny was there with a helping, soothing and understanding hand realizing that “but for the grace of God, there go I”.
It was at the CFP that Penny took particular interest in the plight of seniors. Penny worked for almost a year on the design and implementation of a unique social service agency focused on the specific needs of seniors in need on low fixed incomes and grandparents raising their grandchildren.
The Pantry of Broward opened its doors in July 2008 and is a one stop shop for seniors seeking services. In a short period this lead agency has carved an important leadership niche in the growing spectrum of social service needs. With the support of more than 100 volunteers, is having a major impact on reducing the discomfort and suffering of seniors throughout Broward County.
In summary, Penny Loughan believes in honesty and integrity, and always eager to take on a challenge. Penny@thepantryofbroward.org
Lydya Chapman, Director of Volunteers
Lydya came to the Pantry before our doors were when we were working out of an old warehouse with no AC or windows, trains that ran by every few minutes shaking the light fixtures and one computer. Welcome to our world Lydya, the land of Non-profit – say goodbye to the world of Profit that you had done so well at for nineteen years. So the former Customer Service Driving standards Analyst for DHL said, “Volunteer Director? Sure I can do that, I’ll learn to do that” and so she did.
We asked Lydya to keep a journal for a day. On the top of the page was what she planned to do that day, and then an “OOOPS” list of everything urgent that came up and tell us what actually happened.
It was the beginning of August, therefore she planned to enter all the hours our volunteers worked for the month in the data base, she had processed three volunteer information sheets and was going to call them back, she had to make a flyer for our up-coming Health and Resources Fair, write a three year strategy plans and goals proposal and attend the weekly staff meeting. Then, the day actually started. First she got called to fix an errant printer, got a call that an emergency food box needed to be delivered immediately and handled two unexpected calls from groups that had food drives and now needed them picked up TODAY. The CEO was done with the old on-line calendar and wanted a new one, NOW please. People discovered that they were all out of something and needed it ordered, had to fix a computer that had decided to run amuck, actually started the flyer, but then she had to uninstall and reinstall Microsoft Office on another computer. At that moment our “BIG JOB” Printer decided to sigh and die. Two hours with customer service and parts department ensued.
At this point we leave The Story of LYDYA , having only touched the tip of the iceberg that she handles, but hoping that you enjoyed the trip and have better INSIGHT in to what OUR Director of Volunteers does. firstname.lastname@example.org
Veralynne Williams, Sr. Consultant
Veralynne has been with The Pantry of Broward from the beginning; think working in a teeny-tiny, hot warehouse with much to do. She is what we like to call our “Jack of all Trades, Master of MANY” – expert tour guide, clever wordsmith, culinary genius, discipline enforcer, sage advice giver, etc.
Veralynne also added to her list making sure each and every person receives a personal thank you from The Pantry for their donations, their time, their efforts to help us fulfill our mission. She strongly believes that a simple Thank You means more than you could imagine. There isn’t a day at The Pantry that she isn’t called on to help pick up what may not be getting done, and does so with a smile.
Veralynne’s background is one filled with numerous accomplishments, highs & lows and all the makings of a fiction novel. Born in a time when women mostly became housewives, secretaries or nurses, she decided the road less traveled was more her speed. America was changing and she would be there to see it all – participating in Civil Rights protests, pioneering in male dominated industries, and starting over more times then she could count mostly because she could. This is a woman who went from working in the medical field to Director of Electroencephalography School at Louisiana State University, Allied Health and then starting her own Participating Physicians Mobile Diagnostic, Inc. business. Although career and independence are very important to her, Veralynne knew that there was a bigger job for her – motherhood. She is the proud parent of two fabulously, wonderful daughters. They are as different as night and day but both a clear reflection of this amazing woman.
Michael Greenstein: Warehouse Manager
Warehouse Manager & Pantry Humorist: Michael with the help of our warehouse volunteers helps to cover all the food brought in and sent out on a daily basis. Sounds pretty easy, however keep in mind that we supply a 55 pound of box each month to 425 clients, which helps to feed 1900 mouths. Daily pickups and delivery from our food drive participants, as well as coordinating with the food stores, and distribution centers of incoming deliveries. Even with his carefree attitude, always making sure he has a joke to share, or story to help our clients smile, without thinking Michael can tell you to the last kernel of corn how much food is where, and where it is going.
The other day in one of those rare serious sides that Michael occasionally shows, he said, “you know, the most fulfilling thing I do on this job is delivering food to our home-bound. It’s not the food, although of course they need it, it’s talking with them and listening to them for a little while. It always seems to perk them up” So does he lead an “ON EDGE” life-style? Well, if you consider taking your dog Jackson to the lake every afternoon to run and play, and visiting with pals “edgy” then he does. On Fridays as the crew is packing up getting ready for the weekend we ask each other what’s happening for fun this weekend? For Michael a really special and exciting time is driving to West Palm Beach to spend the weekend with his 94 year old grandmother. email@example.com
Terrence Smalley, Director of Marketing & Online Services
A college grad, was on the fast track of a career in corporate America, quickly reaching the pinnacle and enjoying all the perks until a health crisis sent him tumbling down Alice’s Rabbit Hole. Oh my, he thought what have we here? Nothing is as it appears. So from the pinnacle to the bottom in a blink of an eye, it was time to start assessing, who really am I? He tried a little of this and a bit of that but nothing quite fit, nothing was right.
O.K., it was time to “restock” his shelves. What was really important to Terrence? More to the point, who was Terrence? Music, his piano teacher who taught him one could hear music in everything, his parents who he loves dearly and admires greatly. What about money? Well he quickly realized that the “almighty “dollar wasn’t nearly as important as having just one dollar and sharing it with a friend. All right then time to stop chasing after the White Rabbit, and painting the roses red. It was time to actually grow the roses and see the results.
Now at 6”7” it definitely more difficult to “Stop and Smell the Roses” but of course he found a way. He started realizing that the ideals he had been raised by were now probably up to him to start living by. He was on a journey to The Pantry of Broward, he just didn’t know it quite yet. He was learning that laughter is the best medicine, as long as it never is at someone else’s expense, and all those folks that he talked to and he thought they “just didn’t get it”; really didn’t, because his brain and this speech were in over-drive and people had a hard time understanding him. So slowing down his speech and occasionally putting the emergency brake on his brain brought him lots of satisfaction.
He always puts his family first and knows how important a true friend could be, redirected his search for something rewarding. He was now ready for The Pantry, something totally new, out of his realm, and a challenge to undertake. He remembered his parent’s advice: Don’t be afraid to try, if you don’t try then you definitely will fail. Terrence has definitely not failed and he continues to grow with a totally new understanding of the concept of giving back and being part of: The community. We at The Pantry have been enriched by his computer knowledge, self-starter personality and an on-going sense of humor that makes our clients’ days less bleak and our lives less stressful and more enjoyable.
|Lawrence Lamb, Clinical Director LMHCLawrence, known to us as “Larry”, comes to us from Kids in Distress where he was fulfilling his personal mission of helping families find the strength to rise above their current situation and become fully functioning members of their community.
However, when we approached him with the opportunity to guide and help our grandchildren, their aging grandparents and our seniors, he envisioned a more complete way to use his skills and experience to they’re fullest. All the old rules that our seniors grew up and lived by have changed dramatically.
Today’s society is in a constant state of flux making it difficult, if not impossible, for many of our clients to navigate the murky, and to them, the treacherous seas of day to day living.
However, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, so yes Larry enjoys his hobbies – photography, traveling, and singing with a professional group of men who enjoy donning a tuxedo and breaking into a song and dance
Larry holds on to his Dad’s advice: “Remember son, the more keys on your key ring, the more responsibility you have to accept”. He also holds to his own personal mantra guiding him along, “when in doubt—DON’T”, he listens to