Candace Nesbit* – Co-President
Candy Nesbit, a native of Cheshire and local business owner has been actively involved in community service since 1980. Candy is a Founding Director of the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc., and the Chairperson of the March Madness Fundraising Committee. Candy also serves on the Technology Committee and Building Committee, and she is the co-chair for the CCFP Gala Event.


Tina Kurtz – Co-President
Tina Kurtz, a lifelong Cheshire resident, has been involved in community service since 1999. Tina began serving the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc., in 2012 as a volunteer on the March Madness Fundraising Committee. In 2013, Tina was invited to serve on the Board of Directors and serves on the Fundraising Committee and Building Committee.


Mark E. Wagner* – Vice President, Operations
Mark Wagner, a resident of Cheshire since 1987, serves as Vice President of Operations for the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc.  Mark began his tenure at the Pantry after retiring as District Manager from Stop and Shop in 2009. He serves on the Executive Committee and Building Committee.


Leslie Marinaro – Director
Leslie has been very active in community service for the Town of Cheshire and in the State of Connecticut almost her entire life. Currently she serves on the CCFP Board and the Annual Benefit Committee while working full time for Lincoln Financial Advisers and as a Partner in her family’s business 581 Highland Avenue Partnership.   She is very active in her support of our veterans and serves as Vice Chair for the Army Air Force Roundtable of CT, is on the Cheshire Veterans Council and the Annual Memorial Day Parade Committee.


John Palmeri, CPA, Esq., LL.M.  – Treasurer
John Palmeri is a Certified Public Accountant and has a law office in Cheshire, CT. Attorney Palmeri has served on several Committees and Boards including the Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Bar Association. John joined the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc. Board of Directors in the Fall of 2015. John serves on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee and Building Committee.


Reverend Jeffrey V. Romans – Director
The Reverend Jeffrey V. Romans was appointed Pastor of Saint Bridget Parish on May 17, 2014, and shortly after began serving the Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc., on the Board of Directors. In 2017, he became the Founding Pastor of the newly established Saint Bridget of Sweden Parish. Father Romans feels that serving the Cheshire community and its residents is very special to him, especially helping to meet the needs of our neighbors. Since 2014, Father Romans has served on various committees at CCFP and currently serves on the Finance Committee, Personnel Committee, and Building Committee.


Karen Hays – Director
Karen Hays has lived most of her life as a member of the Cheshire community.  She has been a volunteer with the CCFP Gala fundraiser since 2015 and became a member of the board in 2019.  Karen serves on the Fundraising Committee and is also active with the Benefit Others Foundation.


Sean Fogarty – Director
Sean Fogarty has been the manager for Ion Bank’s Cheshire branch since 2014 and has served on the Pantry board since 2018, including the finance committee. Sean believes that serving the Cheshire community and its residents aligns with Ion’s service philosophy and his own. Sean is an active member of the community given his involvement with the Cheshire Chamber of Commerce as well, having served on the board for almost 6 years. He also currently serves on the board for Abilities Without Boundaries.


Tom Monroe – Director
Tom Monroe, a resident of Cheshire for the past 41 years, joined the Board of Directors in 2020.  Tom believes that serving on the board is a great way to give back to the local community.  In addition to serving as a Board member, Tom also serves on the Finance Committee.


Lianne Fuller – Director
Lianne has been a Cheshire resident for over 30 years and has been actively involved in her church, St. Bridget of Sweden Parish as a member of the Finance Council and as a volunteer at other faith-based organizations. Food insecurity is a cause that she is very passionate about. She serves as a cook at the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen and as a volunteer at the Cheshire Community Food Pantry. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Pantry in November 2021 and Secretary in March 2022.


Kate Jerome – Director
Kate is a native of Cheshire and currently resides here. Kate has been a social worker in Connecticut for the last 17 years. Kate is a member of the Board of Directors for Cheshire Community Food Pantry, Inc and is active in fundraising in Cheshire and surrounding areas. 


David DeFeo – Executive Director
Dave comes to the pantry from both an education and IT background having taught in Connecticut Public Schools for 35 years-10 of which were spent managing district wide technology curriculum & infrastructure. Dave is also a long-time adjunct at CCSU with over 25 years in that role, teaching technology-based courses. For 15 years, Dave was very active in scouting, primarily in Southbury where he held leadership roles including treasurer and committee chair for Troop 1607.


Judy Collins – Pantry Manager
Judy Collins, a lifelong resident of Cheshire, became involved with CCFP as a volunteer in 2011 after retiring from Stop & Shop as a General Manager. In 2018, Judy was hired as the Pantry Manager.


*Founding Director