Staff

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Feeding Matters is fortunate to have the support of our staff. This dedicated group is working diligently to provide a vast array of resources to both parents and medical professionals who care for children with pediatric feeding disorders.

Chris Linn, President and CEO

Chris Linn

President and CEO

Bachelor of Science in Management, Arizona State University

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Chris Linn graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management.  She has a 13-year financial industry background with expertise in project management and customer relations. Prior to joining Feeding Matters, she held a Vice President position at one of the top 5 banks in the United States.

Chris is passionate about conquering pediatric feeding struggles to nourish healthy futures. Born at just 25 weeks gestation, her daughter Emilie experienced severe feeding struggles and was fed through a feeding tube for the first 6 years of her life.  In September of 2008, Chris became Feeding Matters’® first Executive Director, and is dedicating her career to helping other families who face similar struggles.  She has spearheaded this effort by facilitating a national consortium of medical experts who are taking their place at the table to bring this issue to the forefront. By partnering with these medical experts, the one-of-a-kind Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire© was developed and is paving the way for earlier identification for the nearly 1 million infants and children nationwide who struggle to eat.

Chris is an Adjunct Faculty member serving the Arizona State University College of Health Solutions.  She is contributing to the development of the first-of-its kind interdisciplinary pediatric feeding certificate program and will be involved in teaching students about the parent perspective. 

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Michael Colbert

Planned Giving Encore Fellow

Master of Business Administration, University of Notre Dame, Master of Arts in International Relations, Boston University, Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, United States Military Academy

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After graduating from West Point, Lt Colonel Colbert, USA, Ret, served our country both on active duty and in the Reserves as an Army officer for 23 years in numerous leadership and staff capacities. In the civilian sector, Mr Colbert has worked for over three decades as a financial services, investment,  and insurance professional, mostly in management positions as a Securities Registered Principal and Director of Field Training and Development. Professional designations include CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), and CASL (Chartered Advisor in Senior Living).

Michael received his Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation in 2014. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona, President of his church Foundation and is an active supporter of several nonprofit organizations, including Tumbleweed, UMOM, and Open Table. Joining the staff at Feeding Matters has put a “cap” on his career and his efforts are focused on building capacity and endowment infrastructure through legacy initiatives to support Feeding Matters for future generations.

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Karla Dille

Office Manager

Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Arizona State University

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Karla graduated from ASU with a B.S. in Political Science and certificates in Arabic Studies and Islamic Studies. Her background includes customer service, research, administrative assistance, and business office experience. She enjoys the Non-Profit sector and is excited to be part of the Feeding Matters team.

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Jalenna Francois, Executive Assistant

Jalenna Francois

Executive Assistant

Bachelor of Science in Family Studies, Brigham Young University

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While earning her degree in Family Studies, Jalenna discovered a passion for strengthening families and a desire to work for a nonprofit. Combining these interests has brought Jalenna to the Feeding Matters team. She is a recent graduate with an educational emphasis in family dynamics and processes. She is excited to start a career in the nonprofit field and is passionate about empowering women and children.

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Kate Jacobsen, Communications Coordinator

Kate Jacobsen

Marketing and Communications Manager

Bachelor of Arts in US History, Bachelor of Arts in French Language, Cornell College

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Over the years, Kate Jacobsen’s work in the nonprofit sector has centered on improving the lives of all people with disabilities. At Feeding Matters, a large part of her focus is on the use of design and social channel optimization to build strong marketing campaigns. She is a graduate of Cornell College with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both French Language and US History.

Prior to joining Feeding Matters, Kate served as the Executive Director of the largest Center for Independent Living in Iowa. While in this position she optimized both Federal and state grants to ensure her team of six employees could provide services to people with disabilities in an 8-county area. She is currently a member of the Welcome to America Project’s communications committee, and a longtime volunteer with the American Lung Association in Arizona. Kate has dedicated her career to the nonprofit sector and enjoys utilizing her passions for problem solving and social media to bring communities together.

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Jaclyn Goris, Program Manager at Feeding Matters

Jaclyn Goris

Senior Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives

Master of Science in Healthcare Innovation, Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Arizona State University, Nonprofit Professional Certification

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Ms. Goris holds a Master of Science in Healthcare Innovation and a Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Leadership/Management from Arizona State University. With more than 10 years’ experience in program development, Jaclyn is familiar with programming in the public and social sectors. Her professional experience includes program and strategic initiative design, fund development, special events, grant writing, and community engagement. She uses transformational leadership principals in her everyday work. Jaclyn strives to build energized and efficient teams to create significant organizational and systemic change for children with pediatric feeding disorders.

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Suzye Kleiner, Development Manager

Suzye Kleiner

Development Manager

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Arizona

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A personal journey led Suzye to Feeding Matters as one of her two sons has severe food allergies, eosinophilic esophagitis and gastric reflux. Initially she experienced Feeding Matters first-hand as a member of the Marketing & Media Taskforce. Suzye is now excited to contribute as a member of the team whose thought leadership is trailblazing efforts to raise awareness, understanding and support for children with pediatric feeding struggles.

A Phoenix native with a diverse background in public relations, marketing and sales, Suzye has worked in hospitality, insurance and high tech before transitioning to freelance public relations, helping several start-ups and nonprofits. Suzye values strategic planning, messaging and cultivating relationships. She is passionate about improving the lives of children and has served on the board of Swift Youth Foundation since 2007. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in Marketing.

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Rebecca Pierson

Director of Development

Arizona State University

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Becky comes to Feeding Matters with 18+ years of professional experience in the field of healthcare philanthropy, building partnerships and strategies that help to strengthen community services.  She leads the development department’s vison and goals while fostering relationships with individuals, foundations and corporations to advance the mission of Feeding Matters.

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Heidi Van der Molen, Program Coordinator

Heidi Van der Molen

Program Coordinator

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

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Heidi is a mother to Hadyn Jude, her charming, 5 year old son and was a passionate volunteer with Feeding Matters for 3 years before recently joining the staff as Program Coordinator. While her background is in fine arts, with over 15 years experience both as an artist and an administrator, Heidi left the art world to care for Hadyn, who was born with a rare chromosome disorder called 18Q Deletion. Hadyn’s diagnosis brought many challenges, but feeding has been the most difficult. Heidi works diligently to feed her son orally along with supplementing his caloric needs with G-tube meals. She is determined to help her son become a 100% oral eater. Her experience over the years with Hadyn, has made her committed to helping other families who are going through this painful struggle and continues to educate herself on the many facets of feeding struggles.

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Craig Willis

Interim Chief Operations and Finance Officer

Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Real Estate and Finance, University of Arkansas

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Craig is Regional Vice President of Foundation Management, Inc.  He also works independently as Principal of Blueprint for Good, offering consulting services for both non-profit and philanthropic organizations. Craig’s expertise is based on 16 years of experience as a Senior Program Officer at the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, a private grant-making foundation which awarded an average of $115 million annually through targeted programs. The Foundation consistently ranked among the top 20 nationally for funds distributed annually, and was recognized as one of the most efficient grant-making operations in the nation.

With a background in real estate and construction, Craig was engaged in all aspects of the Foundation’s cornerstone grant-making program that awarded an average of $51 million annually for capital projects at exemplary nonprofit cultural, human services, education and health organizations. Craig investigated, analyzed and evaluated applicants for the $32 million Oklahoma community centers initiative, ensuring successful outcomes through researching applicants’ strategic planning, program effectiveness, architectural planning and financial performance.

Craig also led the Foundation’s Hunger Relief Initiative, overseeing $80 million in planning, program and capital awards to advance effective and efficient charitable food distribution, including the funding and establishment of a network of hunger organizations in multiple states. He managed the research, development, launch and administration of the program, and led a planning team that included key national philanthropic partners, national industry leaders, direct service providers and key governmental partners.

In addition to his role at the Foundation, Craig was an active board member of Philanthropy Southwest, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities to exchange ideas, build relationships and advance philanthropic excellence. Craig has participated in numerous national and regional philanthropy conferences, as well as sharing his expertise through speaking engagements.

Craig earned a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree in Real Estate and Finance from University of Arkansas.  He also completed additional coursework in accounting and was a licensed real estate broker in Colorado, Iowa and Oklahoma.

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