Bounty & Soul executive director steps down

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Bruce Ganger, executive director of Black Mountain-based nonprofit organization Bounty & Soul, announced his resignation on Sept. 18.

A well-known Black Mountain nonprofit is seeking a new executive director following the departure of its previous leader. 

Bounty & Soul, an organization that works to improve the overall health of the community by providing healthy food and education on health and wellness, announced the resignation of Bruce Ganger on Sept. 18. 

Ganger stepped into the role in 2016 after moving to the area from Jacksonville, Florida, where he was the president and CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. 

Bounty & Soul founder and director of programs Ali Casparian said in a statement that Ganger had planned to retire after three years with the organization, which would have been December of this year. 

“Due to personal reasons, he has made the hard decision to accelerate this date to the present,” continued the statement from Casparian, who will serve as the interim executive director, a position that she held prior to Ganger’s arrival. “Bruce has brought a lot to Bounty & Soul, and to the community, and he will be missed.”

Berdjette Barker, the chair of Bounty & Soul's board of directors, credited Ganger for working tirelessly for the organization since joining in 2016. 

"Bruce came new to this community and wasted no time getting acclimated with this valley and meeting the wonderful people that make up this community," Barker said in a statement. "The awareness of Bounty & Soul has increased and the mission of connecting people to food, education and each other has steadily grown stronger."

Bounty & Soul has distributed over 1.5 million pounds of produce and whole foods since it was established as a nonprofit in 2014. The organization has served nearly 140,000 area residents representing nearly 50,000 households through its weekly Produce to the People markets.

The organization's Rooted in Health programs feature cooking demonstrations, yoga classes, wellness lessons and group health-coaching classes, among others. Bounty & Soul celebrated its fifth anniversary with a fundraiser at Native Kitchen & Social Pub on Aug. 28. 

Casparian served as the executive director prior to the arrival of Ganger, under whom the organization experienced "tremendous growth" in attendance at its weekly food distribution markets, according to Barker. 

"I wish Bruce all the best and hope these years of retirement will be very fulfilling and bring him great rest and joy," the board chair said in the statement. "We look forward to continuing to partner with the community as we work towards our vision of cultivating a community where no one is hungry, and everyone is healthy."