Cheryl Senerchia has been named to the board of directors at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, where she will serve as a member of the finance committee. Senerchia is senior vice president of the community reinvestment administration at Citizens Bank, where she oversees all corporate CRA and Fair Lending initiatives and programs. She has a B.S. from Rhode Island College and an MBA from Bryant University.
PBN: What are you looking forward to as a member of the board for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank?
SENERCHIA: The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is a strong, effective, well-run nonprofit organization with a wonderful and dedicated staff led by the executive director, Andrew Schiff. As a new board member, I am looking forward to providing oversight to the agency so together we can continue to respond to the changing needs in our community and make a measurable program impact.
PBN: What kinds of projects or initiatives will you assist the food bank with?
SENERCHIA: I plan to be an effective board member by maintaining an active engagement in the organization and keeping current on the operations in order to give proper oversight and guidance to the food bank. I plan to support the organization with fundraising efforts and by building relationships. As a part of the finance committee, I will assist with oversight of all aspects of fiscal management, from budgeting, to tracking the nonprofit’s investment activities, to providing oversight of audit procedures.
PBN: To improve service for their target audience and advance development, how can community-based organizations and nonprofits increase access to finance information and/or financial advisers?
SENERCHIA: It is all about building crucial, long-term, effective relationships. The most successful nonprofits understand their corporate donor’s organizational structure and giving guidelines. At Citizens, we like to build partnerships with the nonprofits we support. We have open discussions with the organization about the needs of the community and how we can work together to support those needs. An example of such a partnership is our very successful Striking Out Hunger program, a partnership with Cox Communications, the PawSox and the Food Bank. This multifaceted initiative raises awareness through public service announcements on Cox, food through colleague collections and money from donors. This spring, the partnership will celebrate its third year. •