Guadagno to become CEO of Fulfill, former Monmouth/Ocean food bank

Former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno now runs Fulfill. (File photo)

Former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has joined Fulfill as its new CEO and president, starting Monday, the organization formerly known as the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties announced Friday.

Guadagno, who served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Chris Christie from 2010 to 2018, will lead Fulfill’s efforts to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

“Our mission is driven by a desire to help those who have fallen on hard times,” Jeremy Grunin, chair of Fulfill’s board of trustees, said in a prepared statement. “In searching for a new CEO, we wanted someone with an established history of charitable giving and involvement; extensive connections that could bring new resources to the organization; and who could help bring greater attention to Fulfill and its programs so we can serve as a model for other nonprofits statewide.

“We have found that, and more, in Lt. Gov. Guadagno.”

Guadagno, who has been a partner with Roseland-based Connell Foley for the past year, will continue in her role with the law firm — which has represented Fulfill for decades, the organization noted.

“As Fulfill’s CEO, I plan to bring a voice to the growing number of our neighbors who do not know where their next meal will come from,” Guadagno said in a statement. “Over the next few months, I hope to reach every corner of Monmouth and Ocean counties to raise awareness of the problem of hunger in our own backyard and to raise awareness of the services Fulfill provides to try to solve the problem.

“No child should ever go to bed not knowing where his or her next meal will come from. No parent should ever struggle to put food on their table.”

Guadagno has been a Monmouth County resident for almost 30 years, including serving as county sheriff among other government roles.

“In selecting Kim Guadagno as their new president and CEO, Fulfill has found the perfect person to lead their fight against hunger,” New Jersey Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Tom Bracken said in a statement. “Her experience and business expertise make her uniquely qualified to highlight and bring even greater attention to the organization and its goal of helping the people of Monmouth and Ocean counties.”

Fulfill has a network of 300 food pantries and kitchens, as well as a culinary arts training program, among other services.

“We are excited to continue our work with New Jersey’s first lieutenant governor as the new president and CEO of Fulfill,” New Jersey Food Council CEO and President Linda Doherty said in a statement. “We know of Kim Guadagno’s deep personal commitment to this organization and those in need in Monmouth and Ocean counties. She will be a fierce advocate, strong ally and effective leader for Fulfill, and we stand ready to work together and continue to fight food insecurity in communities throughout the region.”