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Culinary Angels founder McNaney to step down as executive director

Plans to shift to different role in nonprofit that provides nutritious meals to cancer patients, caregivers in Tri-Valley
Lisa McNaney, the founder and executive director of Culinary Angels, announced plans to make way for a successor to lead the organization as she transitions to a new role.

Tri-Valley nonprofit Culinary Angels is set to recruit for a new executive director after its founder and current leader announced plans to transition into a different role within the organization.

Lisa McNaney -- who kicked off the organization in 2016 in addition to serving as its inaugural executive director -- said she is seeking to focus more fully on her role as the nonprofit's founder by beginning the process of handing off the reins as organizational leader to a successor in a public statement released Friday.

"I'm very excited to focus more fully on my founder role and spread the word about our amazing organization in the marketing and communications capacity," McNaney said. "I expect to remain very active in the overall organization and tap into new resources and opportunities for Culinary Angels."

Culinary Angels delivers primarily organic, nutrient-rich, high-antioxidant meals to adult cancer patients and their caregivers throughout the Tri-Valley, providing services at no cost and running almost entirely on volunteer workers.

In addition to providing meals, they seek to educate people with cancer and their caregivers about how nutrition can function as a powerful medicine for those suffering from and undergoing treatment for the disease.

McNaney, a cancer survivor herself with a longtime passion for cooking and nutrition, came to believe that "food is medicine" following the role it played in her own treatment and recovery.

Culinary Angels began operations in Pleasanton and Livermore before rounding out their Tri-Valley services in Dublin, then to Danville and San Ramon in 2020.

The organization has now served more than 10,000 meals to cancer patients and their caregivers throughout the Tri-Valley.

With McNaney remaining in the executive director's seat until her successor is appointed, the organization's Board of Directors will be considering how to incorporate McNaney's vision for her new role as they enter the recruitment and appointment process for a new leader.

"We are extremely grateful for both Lisa's vision as founder in creating such an amazing organization, as well as her commitment and efforts as executive director to develop the infrastructure and expand the services we provide," the board said in a statement.

With a background in marketing and graphic design and a bachelor's degree in journalism from San Francisco State University, McNaney said her goal of participating more fully in the organization's marketing and communications efforts will see her returning to her roots in this capacity for numerous Bay Area nonprofits over the course of 24 years, prior to establishing Culinary Angels.

"We look forward to Lisa's continuing involvement in guiding (Culinary Angels') vision as both founder and board member. We are excited to bring on a new executive director to further evolve and grow Culinary Angels to serve more in need in our community," the board said.


About the Author: Jeanita Lyman

Jeanita joined the Pleasanton Weekly in September 2020 and covers the Danville and San Ramon beat. She studied journalism at Skyline College and Mills College while covering the Peninsula for the San Mateo Daily Journal, returning to the area in 2013.
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