Foundation CXO Recognized for Pandemic Relief Efforts

We’re excited to share that Frank Pappas, our Chief Experience Officer, was recently recognized for his pro-bono COVID-19 relief efforts by Volunteer Fairfax (Fairfax County, VA) who awarded him the 2022 “Hunger Hero” award for his efforts to fight food insecurity during the pandemic.

In the fear and confusion that reigned in the earliest days of COVID-19 lockdowns, Frank was asked by Fairfax County (Virginia’s largest county with a population of 1.1M) to help tackle a critical problem made worse by the pandemic: food insecurity. Coordinating with public safety officials, elected leaders, and county agencies and nonprofits, he envisioned and built the operations and partnerships needed to safely, scalably, and efficiently connect families in need with emergency food supplies.

In its first year alone, Frank produced 65 large-scale food distributions throughout the county, with the assistance of hundreds of paid county staff and volunteers from all walks of life providing needed planning and operational support. This ensured that more than 4,000,000 pounds of dairy, produce, meat, and baked goods reached families via home delivery, walk-up and drive-through events, and local nonprofits. He even partnered with Fairfax County’s Animal Shelter to distribute 70,000+ pounds of food to pets in need.

While Frank is exceptionally proud to have been chosen for this award, he points out that a year’s worth of hard, logistically- and physically-demanding events aren’t thanks to only one person. He’s incredibly proud of the TEAM and the PARTNERS who helped field these food distributions with such success.

Frank was supported in daily operations by three amazing people – Don Tillson, Sarah Masters, and Watkins Gray of the Fairfax County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Significant resources were also provided by John Butler, Fire ChiefJeffrey Katz, and Dana Powers of the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department. And you cannot ignore the hard work and support of so many others: Gaddafi Ismail of De Lune Corp.; our amazing St. Louis-based truck drivers Matthew and Jesse Hounslow; Fairfax County Police Department; Dan Dolan of the office of Supervisor Kathy Smith; Fairfax County Animal Shelter; Karrie Butler and his team at Fairfax Facilities Maintenance; Fastran; the Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department; and hundreds of volunteers who braved thousands of hours in punishing heat, bone-chilling cold, wind, rain, and snow to lessen the suffering of Fairfax County residents.

We’re incredibly proud of Frank and his efforts to fight against food insecurity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.