March 25, 2024

Joining Hands in Food Ministry Chief Operating Officer Richard Cassem Retiring

1.3 min read| Published On: March 25th, 2024|

By Kyle Coppola

Joining Hands in Food Ministry Chief Operating Officer Richard Cassem Retiring

1.3 min read| Published On: March 25th, 2024|

Richard Cassem, who is the Chief Operating Officer for Joining Hands in Food Ministry in Leesburg, will be retiring at the end of 2024. Cassem made a statement and applauded the tremendous growth that the program has seen.

Under Cassem’s leadership, the monthly food drive at Gloria Dei Church in Leesburg has experienced amazing growth. In fact, when the group started, they distributed 70,000 lbs worth of food in 2015. Those numbers have skyrocketed to over 133,000 lbs in 2022. Those numbers could reach well over 140,000 lbs in the future. You can read about that story here.

From Richard Cassem – “Joining Hands in Food Ministry (JHIFM) has grown tremendously since 2014 when I first began volunteering. I have enjoyed my years as a volunteer and as Chief Operating Officer (COO); however, each new year brings new challenges and, of course, more duties and responsibilities that take much more of my time. Therefore, when my current two-year term expires on December 31, 2024, I will be retiring as JHIFM COO. I will continue to represent Gloria Dei on the board of directors and in that capacity will attend our monthly steering committee meetings as well. I will also continue to volunteer at our monthly food distributions.

I am announcing my retirement now in order to lead the effort to recruit and cross-train teams of volunteers to assume some of the tasks and responsibilities for which I have been responsible. In the coming weeks, I will be notifying JHIFM’s volunteers of the team vacancies that need to be filled. Please consider volunteering for one or more of these teams.

It has been my privilege to have served as JHIFM’s Chief Operating Officer for the past 10 years, and it is my sincere desire to ensure that our food ministry continues its mission of fighting hunger in our local community in 2025.

Very Respectfully,

Richard K. Cassem

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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