Southeast Texas Foodbank announces Harvey Zernial as CEO


Last updated 7/5/2022 at 4:40pm

Southeast Texas Foodbank has announced the hiring of Harvey Zernial as President & CEO of Southeast Texas Foodbank. He provides stability and confidence to our donors and agency partners and knows the Foodbank's inner workings having been a Board member for 15 years and a staff member for 5 years.Harvey grew up one of ten children to Ann and Harvey Zernial, Sr. in Lumberton, Texas. He and his family are members of Infant Jesus Catholic Church in Lumberton since 1967. He attended Lumberton Schools and graduated from Lumberton High School in 1980."My parents instilled in me a work ethic that I truly believe always pays off. My mother always told me that the rewards of great effort is not always in dollars but in the smiles and hope you may instill or give to others. These type rewards are the ones that define me and possibly create the biggest change both in my life and those impacted by my efforts. My mom is my superhero and the smartest person I have ever met. "Harvey spent 40 years total in the Retail Grocery business in leadership positions working for Market Basket, Kroger, and then retiring after 27 years with HEB Grocery Company as General Manager of one of the largest stores in the Houston Division. Harvey spent 8 years in HEB Supervision and 2 years in Human Resources overseeing 28 stores in the Houston and the East Texas region before settling back home in the HEB PLUS store in Beaumont, Texas. He has served on several community organizations Board of Directors to include Southeast Texas Food Bank, Young Mens Business League (YMBL), Gift of Life, Beaumont Public Schools Foundation (BPSF), Lumberton Education Foundation (LEF), and the Lumberton School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) to name a few of passion. Harvey started a second career at the Southeast Texas Food Bank in 2017 as the Director of Programs and thoroughly enjoys the work and continuing his passion for helping people."Harvey is the right leader for the Southeast Texas Food Bank," said Damon R Vacek, Chairman of the Board. "Harvey's extensive background in the Retail Grocery Business and his close working relationship with our partner agencies and donors will result in a smooth transition. The Board and I believe his strong leadership and experience will have a substantial impact toward achieving our mission to lead the fight against hunger in Southeast Texas."Harvey has been married to his wife Alejandra (Alex) for 33 years and has three beautiful children in Abby (32), Emily (29), and Zach (27) with one grandchild Rylan (13) who all still live in their hometown of Lumberton."I am very excited for this opportunity to continue to help my neighbors here in Southeast Texas by leading a great team of people who already share the same passions and goals. My choice paths in Food Retail and Community Service, as well as my Food Bank Board service and 5 years of employment already, I believe, have positioned me very well for this new adventure and challenge. I truly want to continue the current growth of the Food Bank and to assist more people in the goal of eliminating hunger here in Southeast Texas."


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