I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and in fact knew Ira Kaplan, another Keep Austin Fed founding member, in elementary school. I personally understand the impact an organization like Keep Austin Fed can have on one’s life.
Being far removed from hunger and the multiple issues it brings while growing up in Dallas, I have felt it first hand as a young mother while raising my own children. I became all too familiar with each week trying to figure out how to buy groceries with my weekly budget of $25, at times having to depend on our church food pantry. The pain of pushing an empty grocery cart around the store searching for food that was affordable was overwhelming at times being uncertain if I could find anything while other moms passed by me with their carts full. Every morsel of food was precious. I have always felt there was too much food going to waste that could instead feed many people. I am now fortunate enough to be in a position to help others in need and I am truly honored to be a part of the leadership team for Keep Austin Fed.
With many years in photo and film production, my business network includes large corporate clients to smaller local restaurants. Through my broad project management experience, I bring the skills to run and manage a complex multifaceted organization and I bring balance by having a strong understanding and respect for both corporate structure and the beauty of having a diverse group of people on one’s team. My work also includes interior design, logo merchandise, art installations and marketing for restaurants. I attended the University of Texas in Business Finance and have served on the Board of Directors of St. Francis School (Austin) as Chair of Business Development and Marketing and for two years as Co-Chair of Shelton School (Dallas) Annual Fundraiser and have contributed to the success of a range of charity events in Austin and Dallas, strengthening my relationships with the philanthropic communities in both cities.
After being a single parent, I married into the restaurant world of my husband, Michael Nahkunst, who has worked with some of the largest and most recognizable food chains in the country. We enjoy life with our two dogs, four children and my incredible grass roots volunteer mother.
I come from a long line of grass roots volunteers and politicians who strive to make this a better place for all of us to live in. Feeding hungry neighbors out of his Houston area grocery store (Middleton Supermarket) was the way my grandfather, gave back to his community during The Great Depression. He believed that taking care of one’s neighbor was the right thing to do …..the right way to foster a healthy community. I agree with him and I feel this is my time to give back and make a difference.