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

 

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.

VW@thepantryofbroward.org

 

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. michael@thepantryofbroward.org

 
  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
routine to sold out audiences. Larry Recently performed in London in “A Sing for a Cure” raising breast cancer awareness and has also performed at the Broward Center for The Performing Arts, and is just as likely to be found in a nursing home or a local church.

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
that little voice inside him, it’s speaking for a reason.   At home you will always find his fridge stocked with butter, chocolate syrup and milk. There’s also vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, and Kahlua for the topping on the ice cream (making a Saturday night oh so comforting)