Harvest Hope CEO Denise Holland steps down after 20 years


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH)-- Harvest Hope Food Bank announced the retirement of their CEO Thursday.

Denise Holland who has been with the company for two decades has decided to part ways with company.

"There are many memories, many many memories. You know, there's a little high anxiety about leaving," Holland told WACH FOX News.

COO, Keith Ferrell will be stepping up to the plate as the interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

“Denise has given her heart and soul to Harvest Hope, and we couldn’t be more thankful,” said Davis Bourne, chairman of the Harvest Hope Board. “Under her guidance, we’ve grown both in size and service ability; we’ve served more than 360 million meals in her 20 years and we can now reach 20 counties in South Carolina. Without Denise, Harvest Hope simply would not be what it is today.”

“I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to see Harvest Hope grow and reach more of our neighbors who are experiencing hunger,” said Holland. “It’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life, but it’s time for me to pass the torch. I’m looking forward to the next challenge, and watching Harvest Hope continue to carry this mission forward.”

Holland joined Harvest Hope in the fall of 1998, after spending 16 years at the American Red Cross. Her experience there brought her to Beaumont, Texas in 2005, where she coordinated feeding efforts of multiple agencies on behalf of Feeding America. “It was right after Hurricane Rita and not long after Katrina,” Holland said. “It was highly stressful, but one of the most memorable, exciting and rewarding experiences God gave me to be a part of.” It would prepare Holland for a greater challenge – responding to the 1,000-year flood and Hurricane Matthew, where during both disasters Harvest Hope distributed food equal to over 2.5 million meals.

Her last day with the organization is July 31.

"Feeding hungry people has always been something of high value for my family, I learned it from my parents," explained Holland.

Holland is seeking other opportunities and says she is excited for her next chapter.

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