Former DeBaca County Administrator MelindaJoy Pattison is the new interim executive director of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, the organization's board announced Thursday.
Food bank board President Allan Isbell of Clovis said Pattison will temporarily fill the position held by Nancy Taylor, who died unexpectedly Aug. 2. Isbell said the decision to offer Pattison the position was approved at the board's meeting Tuesday.
"Ms. Pattison has experience working within local and state governments as well as serving on the board of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico for a period of one year," Isbell said in a press release."Her business experience, along with her people skills, makes MelindaJoy a perfect fit for the residents of Curry, Roosevelt, DeBaca, Quay and Guadalupe counties."
Pattison is a native of Clovis and daughter of former state legislator Hoyt Pattison. She served 15 months as administrator of DeBaca County and now lives in Santa Fe.
She also serves on the state workers compensation advisory board.
Isbell declined to specify Pattison's salary, saying only that she is making at least $40,000 annually. He said the board will likely decide at its meeting next month how and when it will go about the process of seeking a permanent executive director. Isbell said he expected the current arrangement to continue at least through the first of next year.
He also said the board told Pattison she was welcome to apply for the permanent job.
Pattison said she had no intention of trying to fill the shoes of Taylor, who helped start the food bank in 1983.
"That's not even in my vocabulary." Pattison said when reached by phone. "Nancy was a unique and amazing individual (who)...moved the food bank forward in an inspired way. I think our job now is to bring that vision to a new level."
Pattison said she intends to remain in Santa Fe and commute to the food bank area, spending three to four days a week in Clovis. She and Isbell said the arrangement was approved by the board.
Pattison also said she didn't know if she intended to seek the job permanently.
"When the time comes for that to happen," Pattison said, "I will know the answer to that."
The nonprofit Food Bank serves residents across the region, assisting close to 200 agencies and schools and distributing about 1 million pounds of food annually.