Leadership Team

Sari Vatske, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sari Vatske, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sari Vatske joined the Central Texas Food Bank in June of 2022 as the sixth President and CEO in our 40-year history. An experienced food bank executive, Sari came to the Central Texas Food Bank from Feeding South Florida (FSF)—the country's fifth largest food bank—where she was Executive Vice President. In her new CEO position, Sari also sits on the Feeding Texas Board of Directors.

During her tenure with Feeding South Florida, Sari was named a “Top 100 Most Influential Business Leaders” by Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine in 2021, “Top Workplace Professional” by the Sun-Sentinel in 2016 and was named to “40 Under 40” by the South Florida Business journal in 2014. Sari was also a member of the Feeding America Fundraising Services Advisory Council, a member of the City of Boynton Beach's Affordable Housing Committee, and advisor to the Health and Wellness Committee for the Broward County School District.

Prior to joining FSF in July of 2011, Sari served as the Florida Regional Manager for No Kid Hungry, a Washington, D.C.-based organization working to end childhood hunger in the United States. Also prior to joining FSF, from 2006-2008, she served as the District Press Secretary for a United States Congresswoman.

Sari holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Florida State University. She also has a certificate in High Performance Leadership from Cornell University and is a Six Sigma Green Belt as well as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

In her free time, she loves spending time with her rescue Mastiff, doing anything outdoors such as climbing or skiing, and is a huge sports fan, especially of the New York Giants.

 

Catrina Salinas, Chief People Officer

Catrina Salinas, Chief People Officer 

Catrina has over 18 years of experience in Human Resources and is responsible for driving the strategic vision of organizational culture across the Food Bank, as well as leading the full range of Human Resource functions.

Prior to joining the Food Bank, Catrina worked in a variety of industries including medical, financial, and technology. She has served as Director of Human Resources for Xenex Disinfection Services, a medical technology company and as Human Resources Manager at Avnet Technology Solutions. Catrina holds an MA in Training and Performance Improvement from Capella University and a BA from the University of Texas at Austin.

When Catrina is not busy with her son, she enjoys yoga, trying new restaurants, and outdoor activities.

 

Alan Robinson, Chief Financial Officer

Alan Robinson, Chief Financial Officer

Alan joined the Food Bank team as the Chief Financial Officer in June 2013. Prior to his current role, Alan gained 22 years of not-for-profit experience at College Houses, Inc. and Goodwill Industries of Central Texas. As CFO he is responsible for the overall Food Bank finances and ensuring that the management team has all of the information they need to fulfill the mission of nourishing hungry people and leading the community in ending hunger.

Alan was born in Mississippi but considers himself a naturalized Texan. He graduated from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Alan and his wife Susan enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.

 

Denise Blok, Chief Operations Officer

Denise Blok, Chief Operations Officer

Denise joined the Food Bank in February of 2019 with over 30 years of non-profit management experience, most recently with the Hays County Food Bank in San Marcos, Texas, where she served as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, Denise served in various capacities with the American Red Cross, capping her 26 year career there as Chief Operating Officer for the American Red Cross Central Texas Region.

She received her B.A. in History and American Studies from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Her community involvement has included leadership roles with the following organizations: Village of San Marcos, Safe Kids Austin Coalition, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department Aquatics Advisory Board, Hays Youth Soccer Association, Capital Area Youth Soccer Association, DSHS Preparedness Coordinating Council, Fuentes Elementary PTO and the Central Texas Water Safety Coalition.

She spends her free time with her husband, two daughters and a menagerie of pets.

 

Emily DeMaria, Chief Program Officer

Emily DeMaria, Chief Program Officer

Emily De Maria joined the Food Bank in August 2011 and is the Chief Program Officer. In this role, she directs programs and services that directly reach Central Texans in need and allow the Food Bank to tackle the hunger issue on three fronts — food distribution, income support and nutrition education.

Prior to her current role, Emily spent 10 years with United Way at the national and local levels, most notably as Vice President, Community Impact Development for United Way Worldwide (UWW). In this role, she led the development of UWW’s national initiative – the United Way Financial Stability Partnership™ - which promotes community-change strategies to help low-income families meet their basic needs while building long-term financial stability. 

She has spent her career directing a diverse range of national and local programs and building strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives that provide measurable results on important community issues. 

Emily is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and government, and a Master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She is a board member of RAISE Texas and the Central Texas Chapter of MADD and has served as a board member of Literacy Texas, the Central Texas Emergency Food and Shelter Board and the Austin Achievement Zone. Emily was a member of Leadership Austin’s Essentials Class of 2014 and was a 2009 recipient of the FDIC’s Pioneer Award for her work helping low-income Central Texans access affordable financial services.

Emily and her husband Mark Nicola have three boys and enjoy Texas music, traveling and spending time outdoors.

 

Mark Jackson, Chief Development Officer

Mark Jackson, Chief Development Officer

Mark joined the Food Bank in 2010, leading the fundraising, marketing, and volunteer resource efforts of the organization. His team inspires the community to provide resources to nourish our most vulnerable neighbors and allow the Food Bank to grow to meet the need for support in Central Texas.

Before joining the Food Bank, he graduated with a BA from the University of Colorado and started his career working in sales and marketing for international sports medicine company Ottobock. Mark transitioned to the non-profit sector to serve as Development Director at Project Transitions, a Food Bank Partner Agency that provides hospice and housing support for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. He has over 10 years of non-profit leadership experience.

In his free time, he enjoys traveling around the world with his wife.