Today on the blog, we are once again highlighting Dianne deJolsvay as she has transitioned from a Data Analyst to a Project Manager working directly with our partner food shelves. Read on to learn more about his volunteer role and expertise ...
How did you get involved with FFEN? How long have you been volunteering with FFEN?
I have been involved with FFEN since its inception. My first involvement was as a donor and in 2015 as a member of the board. My level of involvement has been determined, until lately, by how much time my job demanded. Since May, when I retired, I have been involved as a project manager out in the field.
What is your professional background and experience in and how does it relate to your volunteer role?
I went to school for engineering and have worked as an engineer, project manager, technical resource and people leader. Each of these roles has brought value to my work at FFEN. Food shelf layout, flow and change management are all similar in concept to the work that I did for 3M related to processes in the production facilities. It is great to transition to using my skill set in a way that results in more people having access to healthy food with dignity and respect.
What has your experience with FFEN looked like?
Even though I have been involved at some level for a long time, I didn't begin with FFEN with an extensive knowledge about the way food shelves and food banks work. I have learned along with the other volunteers as FFEN's work has expanded from working with individual food shelves to working throughout the system. I spent over a year working with data that was available from the food banks when the data's format was simply raw data. That work was the starting point for developing the Food Sourcing Analysis which provides a report that enables FFEN to have impactful conversations with food shelves about the service they provide.
How do you think your skill sets and professional experience support hunger relief work and food shelf engagements?
Hunger relief work is like most businesses and benefits from increased understanding of the problem which leads to better solutions. Ultimately leading to solutions that are efficient and effective. I have spent my career working on projects that focus on just that. Hunger relief work is a large arena, so my experience working at a large corporation that is solving big problems has enabled me to transfer those skills in a meaningful way.
How has volunteering with FFEN shifted your learning or understanding of your particular field or hunger relief?
Working with FFEN has increased my understanding of the entire system that contributes to hunger relief. I was previously not aware of the role that food banks play or the variety of ways that food shelves obtain food. I am fascinated with the opportunity to bring common approaches to many food shelves along with sharing learnings between the food shelves. But the opportunity that I most want to work on and contribute to is the efficiency that can be achieved due to the fact that FFEN works with so many food shelves across the state.
You can read about Dianne's work as a FFEN Data Analyst, prior to shifting to a FFEN Project Manager at the following: https://www.ffen.org/post/volunteer-profile-dianne-dejolsvay