The Batten Group was proud to partner with the East Texas Food Bank in its search for a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Congratulations to David Emerson on his appointment.

The East Texas Food Bank (ETFB) has announced David Emerson as the new Chief Executive Officer. The Batten Group Executive, Executive Search Firm is proud to have partnered with the ETFB board on David’s successful placement. This is an exciting new chapter for East Texas Food Bank.

David has a wealth of experience and passion for food banking and non-profit work. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Midwest Food Bank, where he increased revenue, expanded operations, and helped feed more people in four states. He also has a background in disaster relief with the American Red Cross in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

David holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Henderson State University in Arkansas and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia International University in South Carolina.

He said he has a heart for feeding the community and wants to continue the mission of the ETFB to fight hunger and feed hope in East Texas. He plans to focus on providing healthy and nutritious food, especially more produce, to the neighbors in need. He also wants to strengthen the partnerships with the agencies that distribute the food.

David will take over from Dennis Cullinane, who will retire at the end of June after 13 years of leading the ETFB. Dennis has been instrumental in growing the ETFB from serving 14 million meals a year to over 32 million meals a year.

“We are delighted that David will join our ETFB family as our sixth CEO in our 35-year history,” said Jeff Johnston, chair of the ETFB board. “He has the skills, the vision, and the heart to take our organization to the next level.”

Please join us in congratulating David and wishing him all the best in his new role!

About the East Texas Food Bank

Established in 1988, the East Texas Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief nonprofit in East Texas, covering 26 counties. ETFB provides over 27 million meals each year to 200 partner agencies and feeding programs. Their mission is to fight hunger and feed hope in East Texas.

About The Batten Group

The Batten Group is a premier national executive search and consultancy firm with over 75 years of collective experience in nonprofit, philanthropy, and talent evaluation and acquisition. We recruit exceptional candidates for nonprofit, healthcare, higher education, and mission-based organizations to build winning teams.

As experts in recruiting and talent acquisition, our goal is to connect exceptionally talented people with our mission-driven partners to help them achieve their most ambitious and strategic goals.

The Batten Group’s commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) is critical to our success and our partners’ success. We value and foster environments that reflect DEI.

We’d love to talk to you about your organization’s goals and recruiting needs! Contact us to discuss how we can help build a winning team for your organization to take it to the next level. Visit for more information, or click here for details on our hiring methodology. 

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