Randi Shubin Dresner
Randi Shubin Dresner has served as president and chief executive officer of Island Harvest Food Bank since 2001 and continues to be an advocate on behalf of people in need. Her work has raised awareness of people with disabilities, the insidious, yet often unrecognized problem of chronic hunger on Long Island and other important issues.
Prior to joining Island Harvest, Randi made her mark on several national and local organizations including the Heckscher Museum of Art, March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, The Viscardi Center, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Utilizing her nonprofit management skills, she propelled Island Harvest’s unprecedented growth in its collection and distribution of donated food by more than 350% in the past 13 years. The organization now distributes more than 11 million meals to Long Islanders in need. And, as a result of robust funding growth, Island Harvest recently opened a 24,000 square-foot distribution center which supports many important programs including their innovative SNAP outreach and enrollment initiatives, and specialized mobile services programs for targeted populations such as veterans, children and seniors. Island Harvest reaches beyond specialized feeding programs— creating important education, outreach, training and advocacy initiatives designed to help people in need transition from uncertainty to stability. Under Randi’s leadership, Island Harvest is among the region’s lead agencies in disaster-relief food and product distribution and support, as evidenced by the organization’s rapid and continued response to superstorm Sandy, and other disasters.
The late Long Island Association economist Pearl Kamer once noted in her report on hunger on Long Island that, “other nonprofits . . . might consider incorporating elements of the business model used by Island Harvest” whereby more than 95 cents of every dollar contributed is directed toward program expenses. Island Harvest has been consistently rated with high marks by nonprofit watchdog agencies like Charity Navigator, and has been awarded Accredited Charity Status by the Better Business Bureau.
Randi’s grasp of hunger and related issues has made her the go-to source for the press and government leaders, and as a result, serves on many state and local councils, including U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s NYS Agriculture Working Group and the Suffolk County Food Policy Council. Randi was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the Farmingdale State College Council, has been awarded an honorary doctorate of law degree from St Joseph’s College and is a member of the Energeia Partnership at Molloy College. Randi recently retired after more than 22 years as an adjunct faculty member at Molloy College and LIU CW Post in the Non-Profit Management/Fundraising Certificate Programs. She has been twice recognized as one of Long Island’s Top-50 Most Influential Women in Business and in 2014 Outstanding CEO by Long Island Business News. Randi was also presented with the 2013 New York State Woman of Distinction Award by Senator Kemp Hannon.