van-zee-annIntroducing: Ann Van Zee.  You've seen her name, you've undoubtedly read her blog posts.  But what do you know about Ann?

Ann is the AmeriCorps Program Director and Community Engagement Manger with Harvesters--The Community Food Network.  She has two main areas of responsibility in this position: 1.) Manage all aspects of the AmeriCorps State programs including recruiting, selecting, training, and evaluation of members; compliance with grant requirements and applicable federal/state regulations; and support of future funding requests; and 2.) Manage Harvesters’ community engagement programs (including our internships) to leverage increased community engagement through volunteering and food drives, and to support hunger advocacy goals; develop and implement strategies to increase external speaking opportunities and awareness of regional hunger issues.

From her own words on her career path: "Over the past 20 years in volunteer and program management, I have worked primarily with adult learners, as a small group facilitator, panel moderator, trainer and presenter in a variety of corporate and nonprofit settings.  Prior to moving to Kansas City in 2008, I facilitated volunteer engagement and training to support Department of Defense family programs and social services at three US Army installations and four US military bases in Germany. I was so excited when I got my first "job" in the nonprofit world, even though it was part-time, they were paying me!"

But most importantly, her favorite part of being a member of KACE: "I've so enjoyed being an active participant in this group, over the past 4 years. KACE is one of the very few associations which cuts across education, government, business, and non-profit lines.  For a non-profit like Harvesters, it’s essential to be engaged with other organizations that share some of our key qualities like being mission driven, focusing on continuous improvement, and measuring performance.  For me personally, I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from, and share with, such a diverse group of members.  People are open to new ideas and experiences but are equally generous with their own best practices, networking contacts, etc. I’ve also learned so much about new technology trends, communication tools, and media applications – areas that I was definitely not familiar or comfortable with!"

Want to connect with Ann?  Want to learn about her alternate career option of being a food writer (you know, when she grows up)?  You can connect with her at avanzee@harvesters.org.