TasteWise Kids Staff
TasteWise Kids Board of Directors 2021
TasteWise Kids is committed to diversity and inclusion for its board, staff, volunteers, and community. The Board assesses member composition and promotes diversity and inclusion for board recruitment, programs, decision-making and operations by considering and respecting diversity of skills, experiences and demographics to ensure that all voices are valued and heard.
Lon Engel, J.D., serves as Board President and counsel to TasteWise Kids. He has been involved since TasteWise Kids’ origination and with its Days of Taste program since 2006. Lon is the managing attorney for Engel Law Group, a firm dating back to 1949. He is also co-owner of Engel Family Vineyards in St. Helena, Napa Valley. His favorite vegetable is corn and his favorite comfort food is Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream.
Renee Evans serves as Board Vice President. She has been a board member since 2017. Professionally, she is the Vice President of Human Resources for Pompeian Inc., a manufacturer of olive oils, vinegars, and cooking wines. Growing up on a small farm in Ohio, Renee fondly remembers picking fresh vegetables out of the garden and bringing in eggs from the chicken coop. Today, Renee and her husband enjoy traveling the globe and experiencing different foods and cultures. Always open to new experiences, she’s tried some interesting dishes during those travels. Her favorite vegetables include red beets, peas, and tomatoes.
Kimberly Barker serves as the Board Secretary of TasteWise Kids. She is Director of Marketing Operations at M&T Bank. M&T is a $120 billion bank with more than 700 branches. Kimberly is responsible for marketing risk management, budgeting and forecasting, project management and change management, as well as the division’s continuous efforts to improve its operating model. She is also responsible for the division’s leadership and talent development program, as well as employee engagement. Until 2016, Kimberly also managed the enterprise direct marketing program, driving process improvement, brand consistency and improved revenue generation. Prior to her current role, Kimberly was the Strategic Internal Communications Manager at M&T, overseeing the development of all messaging and marketing to employees, as well as the implementation of internal communications/branding best practices. Before joining M&T, Kimberly was the Creative Services Manager at Provident Bank, a $6.1 billion institution with more than 150 offices in Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and Virginia. She has more than 16 years of bank marketing experience including advertising, direct response marketing, internal communications, sales collateral, merchandising, Web site content development, marketing risk management and operations. Ms. Barker has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. She is also a graduate and now a faculty member of the School of Bank Marketing and Management. She is also a member of the Notre Dame of Maryland University Business and Economics Department advisory board. Her favorite vegetable (even though she knows it's a fruit) is tomatoes.
Jeff Reinhardt, CPA, CVA, serves as Treasurer of TasteWise Kids and has been involved since September 2016. Professionally, Jeff is partner/stakeholder with KBST&M Certified Public Accountants and Consultants. In Jeff’s spare time, he enjoys golf, football and coaching youth sports. His favorite vegetable is broccoli.
Michael Abboud, MBA, joined the board of TasteWise Kids in July of 2018. He comes to the board from BGE where he is currently the Manager of Regional Distribution Engineering. Michael is responsible for leading an engineering team focused on improving the system reliability of Baltimore and surrounding counties. He has worked at BGE for 14 years and served in various roles from Design & Engineering, Project Management, Customer Relations, Utility Training and Business Operations. Michael’s most recent position was working directly for CEO of BGE where he was responsible for providing analytical and business support for the CEO. Prior to joining the board of TasteWise Kids, Michael has been actively involved as a coach for the Bel Air Terps youth football program and the Baltimore Lutheran Saints. Michael brings his passion for food to TasteWise Kids which was developed early in his childhood while working at his family’s restaurant in Bel Air, MD. Michael holds a B.S. from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Loyola University. He lives in Harford County with his wife and two daughters who love to enjoy the outdoors, cook wonderful meals and travel to new destinations. His favorite vegetable is sweet potato.
Neal Crowley joined the TasteWise Kids Board of Directors in 2020. He is Director of Global Insurance Management at Franklin Templeton. This includes devising strategies for risk mitigation across the firm, coordinating corporate and affiliate coverage needs, and providing management and advocacy for all insurance claims. Neal has a BBA in finance and JD from the University of Georgia. In addition, Neal is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He enjoys staying active, traveling, cooking and discovering new foods and listening to music. His favorite vegetable is collard greens, a nod to his southern upbringing.
Riva Eichner Kahn
Riva Eichner Kahn, PhD, has been involved with the Days of Taste program since its inception in the Baltimore area in 1998, and has been National Days of Taste Chair since 2006. Riva retired from the Faculty of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Riva has been invited to speak at many state and national conferences on food education, student wellness programs and farm-to-school initiatives, and represented Days of Taste at Michelle Obama’s launch of Chefs Move to Schools at the White House in June 2010. Outside of TasteWise Kids and Days of Taste, she is active in several Baltimore area cultural organizations. Her favorite fruits and vegetables are radishes, zucchini, pomegranates and watermelon - depending on the time of year.
Amber Perry joined the TasteWise Kids Board of Directors in 2021. She has been with the Exelon Corporation for 13 years is currently a Director in the Exelon Audit Services team. In her current role she is responsible for leading the Utilities Core Assurance and Advisory team as well as the Anti-Fraud efforts across the organization. Prior to her current role, she held roles in other areas of Exelon including time in the Continuous Improvement team leading various efforts that drove improved efficiencies and productivity across the organization, Commercial IT transforming their financial reporting processes and improving the control environment, Nuclear on the financial systems implementation team and in Corporate FP&A leading the forecasting and Long Range Planning (LRP) processes. Prior to her experience at Exelon, Amber has held roles in Finance, IT and Continuous Improvement across the Power and Utilities, Consumer Products, Telecommunications and Financial Services industries. Amber has her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and completed her Master Black Belt Lean Six Sigma training in 2016.
In addition to Amber’s current role at Exelon, she created the Exelon sponsored STEM GEMS after school program at the Cardinal Shehan School in Baltimore, Maryland and is a mentor with the STEM Leadership Academy. Amber and her family live in Silver Spring, MD and love food festivals, traveling and tennis. Amber is a big foodie and is always looking for new, creative ways to elevate her favorite vegetable, brussels sprouts.
Dana Slater has been involved with TasteWise Kids since it began in 2015. She has also been part the planning committee for the Farm to Chef Maryland event since 2012. Outside of TasteWise Kids, produces the ORIGINS speaker series held monthly at Artifact Coffee. Her favorite vegetable is butternut squash.
Wendy Jeffries, MPP, serves as the Executive Director of TasteWise Kids and was part of a group committed to founding the non-profit in December 2015. In her role as Executive Director, she manages the organization’s core functions, works closely with the Board of Directors, and is building partnerships to increase the reach of the organization. Prior to TasteWise Kids, she was involved with the Days of Taste program since 2009. Wendy has over 20 years of experience in the education and non-profit arenas. She brings her expertise in using data and research-based practices to improve programs and outcomes for kids and families. She lives in Baltimore City with her husband and two daughters where they love to stay active, cook up great meals after buying ingredients at our city’s great farmers’ markets, and visiting new restaurants. While she loves to buy whatever is in season, her favorites are watermelon and butternut squash.