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On the job for four week, Bounty & Soul's new executive director Bruce Ganger brings a wealth of business experience to his job.

Bounty & Soul is a nonprofit health and wellness organization that supplies food and nutritional programs to qualifying residents of the Swannanoa Valley. The grassroots organization has two full-time and two part-time employees and an army of dedicated volunteers. Ali Casparian founded it and was its executive director until Ganger came on board.

Casparian is now director of the organization's current and future programs.

Ganger brings a wealth of experience to his position at Bounty & Soul.  For more than four years in Jacksonville, Fla., he was president and CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida, a similar organization to Bounty & Soul. He brought years of experience to that job from his work in marketing and sales.

It was while serving on the board of directors of the Florida organization that he realized he wanted to be in the nonprofit industry.

"I am home in the nonprofit arena and get a lot of personal fulfillment out of it," Ganger said. "My wife also ran a nonprofit organization in Florida. We became part of the community and part of the solutions to ending hunger. That is a good feeling.  We will do the same here.”

Bounty & Soul's board of directors hired Ganger. And Casparian couldn't be more pleased.

"Bruce brings with him a vast amount of business and marketing experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors," she said via email. "His skills in fundraising and donor cultivation are just what the organization needs to bring us to the next level of growth and sustainability.  He is personable, approachable and eager to connect with the community.  He is deeply committed to doing what is necessary to allow the organization to not only continue to serve the people of the community but also expand our (business) model.  Our vision is big, and I love that he thinks big as well.”

Ganger and his wife Peg prepared for 20 years to move to property they own in the Waynesville area.  He drives to Black Mountain three days a week and works from home the rest of the time.

“Working in the nonprofit area is not for the faint of heart,” he said.  “I do a lot of meetings with donors, help juggle manpower at the different sites of Bounty & Soul markets and work to strengthen the infrastructure of the organization.  I do whatever needs to be done at the time."

His job at Bounty & Soul "a great fit for me," he said.

"Its operational model is based on needs," he said. "The organization serves even a low-income senior center.  Since they can’t travel to us, we take the food to them.  We distribute food at a low-income day care center.  We serve working families, seniors and people between jobs, and whomever needs food. Bounty & Soul teaches people how to prepare the food in the healthiest way.”

One of the most important things Bounty & Soul does is build community, he said.

“At the markets we put neighbors in contact with neighbors and show them how to help each other," he said.  “Bounty & Soul is an example of taking care of our own in the best possible way through connecting people with food, nutritional knowledge and contacts. We know where to get the food, we know who needs it, and we bring them together.”

Bounty & Soul needs money donations as well as food.

“Every $1 donated I can turn into three to four days of nutritious food for someone who needs it,” Ganger said.  “Children can’t learn when they are hungry.  Adults can’t control diabetes until they learn to eat the proper foods that are prepared correctly, and we do that through our preventative programs.  Everyone in the community benefits from what Bounty & Soul does.”

For more, contact him at bruce.e.ganger@gmail.com.

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