Mary Jane Melendez & Katie Stagliano
Mary Jane Melendez is the Executive Director of the General Mills Foundation where she leads General Mills’ charitable giving (~$140MM annually) and corporate volunteerism efforts. Mary Jane is responsible for the Foundation’s global philanthropic strategy; ensuring core corporate values, best practices, and innovation inform General Mills’ non-profit partnerships, signature philanthropic programs, global grant-making, and community and employee engagement programs, including the first-ever Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program.
Mary Jane’s strategic business leadership was recently recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as a 2016 Women in Business Award Winner. Mary Jane earned both her MBA and Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.
Katie Stagliano, 19, is the founder and Chief Executive Gardener of Katie’s Krops, a not-for-profit organization that empowers kids across the country to grow fresh produce locally to fight hunger in their communities. Today, there are approximately 100 Katie’s Krops gardens growing in schools and communities across the country including cities like Austin, Chicago and New York. Last year alone, more than 39,000 pounds of food was donated to soup kitchens, shelters and food banks. Over the last seven years, young volunteers have served more than 17,000 meals using healthy produce grown in these gardens.
A current student at the College of Charleston, Katie was named one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers and became the youngest recipient ever of the Clinton Global Citizen Award in 2012. This summer, General Mills announced Katie as the grand prize winner of the first-ever, General Mills Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program.