Brian Burton named CEO of Arkansas Foodbank

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,197 views 

Arkansas Foodbank announced Monday (Aug. 22) the appointment of Brian Burton, a native Arkansan, as CEO effective October 10.

Burton succeeds current CEO Rhonda Sanders. He brings over 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience to the role.

“We’re grateful to have had Rhonda at the helm the last 10 years, and as a result of her leadership, the organization is stronger and more impactful than ever before,” said Anton Janik, the Foodbank’s board president. “With Burton’s wealth of experience and knowledge about not only food banking, but organizational growth, strategy, public policy and fundraising, the future of our organization holds great promise.”

After Sanders announced her retirement in March 2022, the Foodbank’s board of directors contracted an executive search firm to lead a nationwide recruitment process inviting the most qualified and experienced candidates to apply. With more than 130 applicants from across the country, Burton’s knowledge of Arkansas and previous food bank experience were key differentiators.

During his 11-year tenure at Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, Burton nearly tripled the amount of food provided to the community. His professional expertise includes organizational growth and development, program sustainability, community engagement, public policy work and diversified fundraising.

“It’s been a life-changing joy to spend 11 years in Las Vegas leading Three Square Food Bank and seeing truly how generous a large community can be, through donations and in spirit and service,” Burton said. “But, as they say, ‘home is where the heart is,’ and I look forward to getting back to Arkansas to inspire and lead the way for the next chapter of the Arkansas Foodbank.”

In her time as CEO, Sanders has led the organization through some of its most pivotal and transformational years, including a merger with the Arkansas Rice Depot, a global pandemic and facility expansions including a new branch in Lexa. Under her leadership, the Foodbank has more than doubled the amount of food provided to Arkansans facing hunger.

Arkansas Foodbank, the largest hunger relief organization in Arkansas, offers innovative programming focused on serving hungry Arkansans with healthy and nutritious food. The organization delivered 34 million meals in 2020.