Leslie Isakoff, President & COO

Leslie has spent her career working to alleviate hunger and poverty.  She was a founding member of Universities Fighting World Hunger, worked for the United Nations World Food Programme, and worked for miraclefeet, a nonprofit dedicated to ending clubfoot as a disability worldwide.

Leslie has been with A Simple Gesture since 2016, is a proud alumna of Leadership Greensboro, the Nonprofit Consortium’s Executive Director Academy, and is a recipient of the Community Foundation’s Game Changer Award. Contact Leslie at leslie.isakoff@asimplegesturegso.org

Karen Brudnak-Slate, Director of Development and Outreach Coordinator for High Point

Karen joins A Simple Gesture with a background in educational publishing. That experience is a good fit with her role as Outreach Coordinator for High Point. “Kids who come to school hungry can’t learn,” Karen says. “Being able to meet the basic need of making sure children have sufficient food is the very first step in helping them succeed in life. Being a part of A Simple Gesture gives me the opportunity to directly impact—and improve—the future of children in Guilford County. There’s so much need—and so many ways to help.”

Karen has been an active volunteer with A Simple Gesture prior to joining the team. She has a master’s degree in liberal studies from UNCG and a certificate in nonprofit digital marketing. Karen also volunteers for Guilford County Schools, Girl Scouts, and her church. Contact Karen at karen@asimplegesturegso.org

Julia Osborne, National Program Coordinator

Julia Osborne comes to A Simple Gesture after a 30-year career as a teacher and administrator in Georgia’s largest school district. A serendipitous meeting with Leslie Isakoff in 2019 led Julia to enthusiastically join Leslie and the volunteers at A Simple Gesture on their mission to end childhood hunger in Guilford County as the Volunteer Coordinator.  She has a passion for sharing with others the foundational role nutrition plays in academic achievement and the corresponding long-term effects on community economic development.

Julia particularly enjoys the positive space A Simple Gesture holds in the community. As she often notes, she only deals with people who are at their best. People are happy to give food, collect bags, and otherwise donate their time and talents to the united cause of feeding their neighbors. She feels that it is truly a blessing it is to be surrounded by such extraordinary positivity and community spirit. Contact Julia at julia.osborne@asimplegesture.org

Rory Osborne, Director of Transportation and Logistics

Rory joins A Simple Gesture/RePurpose after 30 years working in various technical jobs including serving as an Officer onboard US Navy submarines, working as a Management Consultant, a Process Control Engineer, an Airline Captain, and an Aviation Safety Inspector for the FAA. Upon moving to Greensboro with the FAA, Rory became increasingly interested in volunteering and acting to help and improve the Greensboro community that he had quickly come to love.

Rory thoroughly enjoys volunteering with ASG and helping to get food to children and families in need. Through this affiliation, Rory discovered the efforts regarding sustainability, managing and reducing food waste. This mission spoke to Rory’s interest in systems and processes since it not only provides food to those who need it but also helps to eliminate waste and improve every step of the food cycle.

Rory brings his experience in process and system operations to help execute the organization’s current mission while preparing for future demands and developing additional programs to reduce waste in the food cycle.

Laura Oxner, Director of RePurpose (Food Recovery Program)

Laura has always been passionate about collaboration, the community and thinking creatively. She has rediscovered this in food recovery after several years as a Speech-Language Pathologist.

In 2016, Laura completed the Duke University Nonprofit Management Program. Her years as the NC Regional Director of Rock and Wrap It Up! (RWU), an award-winning food recovery think tank, has allowed for Guilford County to become a model of this work. RePurpose will continue this successful work of connecting donors of wholesome food and resources to vetted recipients in order to nourish the community rather than filling landfills. The core phrase of “feeding not wasting” is exactly what Laura strives for every day. Contact Laura directly at laura.repurpose@asimplegesturegso.org

Jan Swanton, Operations Manager

Jan joined A Simple Gesture in November 2021. Having grown up in Atlanta, she moved to North Carolina to attend Wake Forest University and earned a BA in Sociology. She comes to ASG most recently employed by Westminster Presbyterian Church for 11 years as Finance Manager and, prior to that, Director of Local Outreach.

Jan has a heart for volunteering with nonprofits that focus on hunger needs such as Mobile Meals, Out of the Garden Project and BackPack Beginnings. She has been an active volunteer with A Simple Gesture since its inception in Greensboro. She also spends time volunteering at her church and Guilford County Schools. To contact Jan, please email her at jan@asimplegesturegso.org


Tom Ricciardi, Board Chair

David Lees, Board Vice Chair

Jill Painter, Board Treasurer

Dr. Vicki Foust, Board Secretary

Jamilla Pinder

Delas Addison

Edwin Bass

Bob Biggerstaff, Board Emeritus

ASG’s Volunteer Board and Staff Donate Over 1,000 Hours a Month!


Anne Hendrix, Director of Volunteer Drivers, Greensboro

David Lees, Director of Volunteer Drivers, High Point

Denise Hill, Director of Warehouse Volunteers



Tom Ricciardi, Chair

Karen Brudnak-Slate

Sheri DuPuis

David Lees

Bobby Mitra