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How Better Leadership Fights Hunger

By Rich Wellins, Ph.D.

Richard S. Wellins, Ph.D.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because I love to cook. Of all the dishes I make, I am easily satisfied with about a pound of stuffing, homemade gravy, and pumpkin pie with a ton of whipped cream. But my fondest memories of this special holiday go back to my Dad’s pharmacy—a typical, old-fashioned store with a soda fountain. Each year, our family would cook and serve about thirty meals to those far less fortunate than ourselves. I often wished we could do more.

As fortune would have it, several years ago I was sitting on a plane not minding my own business, listening in on a conversation with a guy from an organization called Feeding America. I introduced myself to my seat mate, Larry, who told me more about his organization. One in seven Americans, from the richest country in the world, goes hungry. Feeding America’s mission is to solve this problem by serving a network of two hundred food banks and 60,000 pantries. This year they will help provide more than three billion meals.

One thing led to another, and we invited Larry to talk to a small group at DDI about Feeding America’s mission. At the end of his presentation he had tears in his eyes, because we had decided we could offer Feeding America a special gift—by contributing DDI training, we could help improve the leadership skills of both Feeding America and local food bank leaders.

In the words of Phil Lund, head of talent development for Feeding America, “Our mission is accomplished through strong, knowledgeable and innovative leadership. DDI has provided the leadership training so critical to our success.” To date, DDI has certified 27 facilitators who have rolled out our training to 23 food banks.


During this Thanksgiving season, let’s all remember those less fortunate than ourselves. Consider making a contribution to Feeding America or to your local food bank.

Together, we can change the world with one better leader at a time.

Rich Wellins, Ph.D., is a senior vice president at DDI.

Posted: 17 Nov, 2015,
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