Beth Henry has been elected chair, and Pastor Alfred D. Watts has been elected vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the newly merged Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare.
A resident of Avon, CT, Beth is the Vice President of U.S. Business Marketing for Cigna. Beth has over 20 years of experience in health care and financial services. She has successfully managed diverse functions in marketing, finance, underwriting, sales support, and strategic planning. Prior to Cigna, Beth led brand and marketing for the Hartford’s Group Benefits Division. She also completed the management associate training program at Citibank. Beth has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bryn Mawr College and an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She and her husband have four children and are active in their community.
“I am honored to step into the role of board chair for this unified organization,” Beth said. “I am excited to see the impact the food bank will have on the people of Connecticut who struggle with food insecurity and proud to help advance the mission of our organization in the months and years to come.”
A native of New Haven, CT, Pastor Watts began ministering the Word of God in 1993 while attending the Howard University School of Law. After graduating from law school in 1995, he moved to Connecticut to serve as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Ellen Bree Burns of the United States District Court in New Haven. Pastor Watts and his wife were searching for a church to call home. The Lord led them to Cornerstone Christian Center in Milford, where they quickly joined and began serving. Pastor Watts served as the Youth Director for five years while practicing corporate law as an associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell and legal counsel at Mitsubishi Chemical America, Inc. in New York. In June 2001, Pastor Watts left the legal profession and became the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone. The first ministry he began as Senior Pastor was The Storehouse Food Pantry, a food bank partner since 2002. Pastor Watts and his wife, Akiba, currently reside in Hamden, CT, with their two sons.
“I am grateful to see the direction in which this organization is heading,” said Pastor Watts. “As a combined food bank, we now have a strong community network of partner agencies that we will continue to work with and support throughout the state to make sure no one in Connecticut goes hungry.”
Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank officially combined into one organization on January 30, 2021. They continue to operate out of their warehouses in Wallingford and Bloomfield; and Jason Jakubowski continues as the President & CEO.
“Both Beth and Pastor Watts bring a tremendous wealth of knowledge to our food bank,” Jakubowski said. “Their leadership will be critical as we continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19 on our community. Their passion for our work is infectious, and I’m eager to continue working with them in the years ahead.”
About Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare:
Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare is the food bank of Connecticut and a member of the national Feeding America network. We provide nearly 40 million meals each year through a network of more than 700 community-based hunger relief programs, including food pantries, community kitchens, and emergency shelters; while also working on long-term solutions. More than 8,000 volunteers help power the work of the food bank. Last year, they gave more than 62,000 hours of service. In Connecticut, food insecurity was estimated to increase by an alarming 28% in 2020 because of the pandemic, for a total of 545,000 people (1 in 7 people), including 164,000 children (1 in 4 children), across Connecticut who are at risk of hunger.