Carol J. Tienken

This entry is part 82 of 89 in the series

tienken,-CarolCarol J. Tienken

The Greater Boston Food Bank
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Distribution

Years with company:   15

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations: MSJ Northwestern University; BA Northwestern University; Newmarket Business Association (Board of Directors); Suffolk University, Masters in Public Administration (Board of Advisors); Boston University, Institute for Brands and Brand Relationships (Board of Directors)

Mentors and how have they assisted you in your career: Eve Epstein, OD consultant… gave an unemployed college kid a chance when no one else would. Bill O’Neill, CFO Polaroid Corporation who believed in me even when I thought he was nuts. Catherine D’Amato who had a vision about integrating business practices with non-profits and who coined the term: “charitable non-profits.”

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment oyour career to date? I am most proud that a visionary non-profit leader like Catherine D’Amato gave me an opportunity to take strong business skills learned at a great company like Polaroid Corporation and utilize them in a leadership role to grow and expand a cutting-edge food bank. Examples include bring food procurement specialists into GBFB to insure high value for our donated dollars and emphasizing nutrition and food safety across our inventory.

Most challenging part of your job: Knowing that there are people in E. Massachusetts who go to bed hungry despite heroic daily efforts by my team members.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:  Learn everyone’s name in your organization; treat them with respect. Act with integrity. Work in an organization that has meaning for you. Don’t sweat the little stuff.

Hobbies:  Scuba diving, tennis, hiking (with rescue pup, Sadie), sailing.