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New Leadership at The Idaho Foodbank

Earlier this year, Karen Vauk, The Idaho Foodbank’s President & CEO, announced her plans to retire after 14 years leading the organization.  

Following a national search, and a robust vetting and interview process, the Board of Directors has unanimously chosen Randy Ford, The Idaho Foodbank’s current Chief Operating Officer (COO), to succeed Karen as President & CEO. Karen and Randy are ensuring a seamless transition as Randy takes on the role.  Randy will assume the position on October 9th, and Karen will serve in an Advisory role until November 3rd

Randy has served as COO since 2021 and came to The Idaho Foodbank with a significant background in food manufacturing and 20 years of leading organizational business units. He has successfully led teams of diverse professionals, spearheaded strategic initiatives that have driven organizational growth, implemented efficient solutions, and made numerous positive impacts here at The Foodbank for our neighbors, partners and employees. 

Randy joined The Idaho Foodbank during the height of the pandemic and successfully navigated the challenges of our food flow throughout that period. Prior to working at The Foodbank, Randy spent six years as the Senior Manager of North America Supply Chain & Commercialization at Materne North America where he led the commissioning of what is now the nation’s largest apple sauce manufacturing facility. Before that, he spent two years as the Strategic Sourcing Director of Nurture Incorporated, playing an instrumental role in the company being acquired by a multi-national CPG. He also has prior experience at St. Luke’s Health System as the Senior Continuous Improvement Coach and as the Raw Materials and Commodities Planner at Micron. Randy has certifications as a Lean Six/Sigma Black Belt; Certified Materials and Resource Professional; DuPont Sustainable Solutions Behavior-Based Safety Certified Trainer and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from George Fox University. 

“I am incredibly enthusiastic about leading The Idaho Foodbank and working alongside a proven and dedicated team, partner organizations, and supporters to address food insecurity throughout the state. I am confident that our shared vision and unwavering commitment to serving the community will continue to make positive impacts,” said Randy.  

Karen led The Idaho Foodbank through significant changes, including an increase in the volume of free nutritious food distributed across the state, along with launching a focus on providing healthy food and nutrition education to support good health. During Karen’s tenure, she focused on building partnerships and collaborations with others who share an interest in promoting strong individuals, families and communities. She’s known for saying “We’re not going to end hunger alone, no one is.” To that end, she has overseen the development of partnerships with local communities, and has participated on many local, state and national taskforces and Boards of Directors with organizations that share the vison of creating strong and healthy communities. She plans to continue engaging in that work. 

“I have loved my time with The Idaho Foodbank. It has been amazing to work with so many individuals, communities, non-profits, and businesses in Idaho to help our neighbors improve their lives,” said Karen Vauk. “I am proud that we have been able to expand our programs and services, and I will cherish the many new friends I met along the way.”    

Thank you, Karen, for all of your hard work to help solve hunger in Idaho. We wish you the best in your retirement!  
Welcome Randy! We look forward to introducing Randy to The Foodbank’s many supporters and partners.
Randy Ford, Karen Vauk with Tyson Foods and the IFB Team at 7 Cares
Randy Ford, Karen Vauk with Tyson Foods and the IFB Team at 7 Cares