AACFB Announces New CEO

The Board of Directors and staff of the Anne Arundel County Food Bank (AACFB) are pleased to announce that Leah Aiello Paley has been selected to be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Executive Director, Susan Thomas, has transitioned into the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Paley brings demonstrated nonprofit leadership experience to AACFB, most recently serving as the Executive Director of Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, Inc. (LARS) for the past six years, and as Deputy Director and Director of Emergency and Homeless Services four years prior. LARS is a nonprofit dedicated to addressing food and housing insecurity in the Greater Laurel Area. She has also served as Community Development and Programs Manager for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maryland Chapter and as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Community-School Partnership Coordinator for the Greater Homewood Community Corporation (now named Strong City Baltimore).

Paley earned a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a concentration in management and community organizing, and a specialization in social action and community development. She is also a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW). 

“As an Anne Arundel County resident, I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve my community as the CEO of the Anne Arundel County Food Bank,” said Paley, incoming CEO of AACFB. “We live in one of the wealthiest counties in Maryland and yet close to 10% of our county’s residents have limited or uncertain availability of adequate and nutritious food. I commend the food bank team for their hard work and dedication to ensuring that all Anne Arundel County residents have access to food. I look forward to continuing to build and strengthen relationships with our community partners and working to end food insecurity throughout our county.” 

Paley’s appointment concludes a three-month extensive search process completed by a search and transition committee, led by Mary Burkholder, Board Secretary. 

“AACFB began its transformational journey in June 2020 to support the rapid growth of the organization while continuing to achieve its goals of fighting hunger and eliminating food insecurity in Anne Arundel County,” said Bappa Pal, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “In order to keep up with the growing demand, the Board felt the need to build AACFB’s organizational capacity including strengthening executive leadership with an eye towards the future. In that regard, we were very fortunate to find a partner and exceptional leader in Leah Paley who can quickly help us accelerate our growth and position us well for the future.”

Please join the Board of Directors and staff of AACFB in welcoming Leah Aiello Paley to our organization.

About Anne Arundel County Food Bank

Anne Arundel County Food Bank was founded in 1986 to collect, purchase, and distribute food to nonprofit organizations in Anne Arundel County. The Food Bank works alongside local, county, community, and civic organizations to provide essential basic necessities to those in need and to help families and individuals get out of crisis and become self-sufficient. For more information on how to help, or how to receive help from an Anne Arundel County Food Bank, please go to www.aafoodbank.org