Just Food’s director of finance to serve as interim director

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Brett Salsbury, director of finance and development for Just Food, will soon take the helm as interim executive director, the Douglas County food bank announced Wednesday.

Salsbury joined Just Food as administrative assistant in August 2019. “His skill and willingness to take on new challenges quickly led to his promotion to Director of Finance and Development in March 2020,” according to the organization’s news release.

“I am honored to continue working with Just Food in this new capacity,” Salsbury said in the release.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges have required innovative solutions as the organization has continued to fight against hunger.

“Our work at Just Food and the fight against hunger has never been more prescient and important, and thanks to the support of the community we have also never been stronger,” he said. “I’m grateful to lead the organization alongside the rest of the Just Food team as we continue to adapt to meet whatever may arise and find new approaches to mitigate the impacts of hunger in Douglas County.”

Salsbury got his undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Before returning to Lawrence, Salsbury worked at the nonprofit Neon Museum in Las Vegas as a staff supervisor and worked as an English instructor at UNLV and, later, at KU, according to the release. He received certifications in proposal writing from Fort Hays State University and as a local food leader from Iowa State University last year. He also won this year’s Langston Hughes Award for his creative writing.

Salsbury’s interim position will begin May 14 as Executive Director Elizabeth Keever departs to join the staff of Heartland Community Health Center.

Keever spoke highly of Salsbury in the news release.

“Brett has demonstrated his tireless commitment to Just Food, especially during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “His consistent leadership gave Just Food the stability the organization needed to weather new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities to advance the organization.”

James Walden, Just Food board president, said in the release that “We believe naming Brett’s appointment at this time will reduce near-term uncertainty and allow him to work with Liz for the rest of her tenure as he transitions into his new interim role. We are confident that he and the rest of the talented Just Food staff will continue to effectively serve Douglas County as the board works towards new permanent leadership.”

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