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Introducing Our New Chief Programs Officer

Heidi Kessler is bringing her expertise in school food reform to the Chef Ann Foundation team!

Greetings! My name is Heidi Kessler and it is an honor and a privilege to introduce myself as the new Chief Programs Officer for the Chef Ann Foundation.

My life experience, starting from when I was a toddler eating strawberries from my mother’s garden, to studying public health and nutritional science throughout college and graduate school, to working in childhood obesity prevention and school food reform over the past decade, has culminated into this great opportunity to be able to contribute to the incredible mission of the Chef Ann Foundation.

I have been an admirer of Chef Ann Cooper’s work since 2009, when I first heard of the Renegade Lunch Lady. In my work with school nutrition programs, I have kept my eye on Chef Ann’s approach for inspiration, and have valued the Chef Ann Foundation not only for its visionary leadership towards what school meals can and should be, but also for the concrete, practical tools and trainings that can be used by school nutrition professionals immediately. Resources from The Lunch Box have been invaluable tools in my training of school nutrition professionals and partners for years.

As a strong advocate and supporter of school nutrition programs, I’ve developed a unique approach of partnering with school nutrition directors and managers that fosters collaborative decision making, addresses differences in school environments, and takes each school’s level of readiness into account. Ultimately, this means more kids are eating healthier food at school!

I’ve spent extensive time with school nutrition professionals, and I understand the rewards and challenges associated with feeding kids healthy school meals every day.

I am so proud to join an organization that has improved school nutrition for more than 2.7 million children in over 8,000 schools. It has been my mission to transform school meals for the nutritional benefit of children, and I could not be more excited to apply my energy to the Chef Ann Foundation!

Love at First Sight

When I first met the Chef Ann team, it felt like love at first sight. This is a team that is focused, committed, and creative in achieving and exceeding goals. Together, we will continue to provide training, funding, resources, and expertise to school nutrition professionals and advocates, and we will keep promoting the operational skills and strategic vision needed to accelerate school food reform and elevate child nutrition.

Keep your eye on the Chef Ann Foundation. We are changing the world one school lunch at a time!

I look forward to getting to know you. Thank you!

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