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.
President and CEO
Bachelor of Science in Management, Arizona State University
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 making a better world for children with pediatric feeding disorders. 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 with a pediatric feeding disorder.
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.
Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Arizona State University
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.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Bachelor of Arts in US History, Bachelor of Arts in French Language, Cornell College
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 Access 2 Independence, 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.
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Arizona
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 disorders.
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.
Jen Lambert, M.Ed.
Director of Programs
Master of Science in Early Childhood Education, Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, Miami University
Jen comes to us with over nine years experience in early childhood programs at Head Start. During that time she held leadership positions of increasing responsibility focused on delivering high quality health services to children and families in need. She is excited to be part of a team that is continuing to make great strides to improve the quality of life for so many.
Jane Otenyo, MPH
Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health, Bachelor of Science in Public Health, University of Arizona
Jane comes to Feeding Matters with a background in family and child health. Her passion is in addressing socioeconomic, cultural, political and physiological issues that affect the health of children and families. Jane has experience working in gender-based violence prevention in college campus environments. She is excited to work closely with the team to support the mission of collaborative care for children and families.
Heidi Van der Molen
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
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.
Chief Operations and Finance Officer
Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Real Estate and Finance, University of Arkansas
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.
Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Business and Communications, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Arizona State University
A graduate of Arizona State University, Lynita earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Business and Communications. For over a decade, Lynita has managed public relations strategy, development and execution for a diverse roster of non-profit, wellness, sports and entertainment, hospitality and tourism, and consumer goods clients. From conceptualizing, planning and budgeting through strategic partnership development, key audience engagement and task management, Lynita has helped local, national and international companies meet their business and fundraising goals.
Her many career highlights include handling local press access for U2’s 360 Tour, which set records for the highest-grossing and highest-attended concert tour; managing media credentials and the auxiliary press box during the 2007 MLB Division Championship at Chase Field; and earning coverage in national publications, including Epicurious, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Thrillist, USA Today and Zagat.
In addition to managing public relations efforts for local events supporting St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Lynita’s community involvement includes spending six years on the ALS Arizona Bite Nite committee and volunteering with the ASK Youth Tutoring Program.
Bachelors of Science in Public Health, Psychological Sciences Minor, Northern Arizona University
Kelly graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health and a minor in Psychological Sciences. Her internship at Make-A-Wish Arizona sparked her interest in development and nonprofit management. She is excited to work closely with a team dedicated to moving forward an important cause.
Chief Development Officer
Thunderbird School of Global Management
Debbie comes to Feeding Matters with a strong background in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Before entering the non-profit arena, Debbie worked as the Community Relations Manager for Westcor and its parent company Macerich. During her tenure with Westcor/Macerich she marketed and branded high-end shopping centers, championed non-profits in 78 communities across the country and built a national cause branding program that benefitted over 600,000 women. During her last two years with Macerich Debbie took on the added responsibility of chairing events and raising over 5 million dollars for causes that support women and children, including Fresh Start, Phoenix Children's Hospital, City of Hope and Step Up Women's Foundation in Los Angeles. From there her passion for helping others led her to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, where she served as the Vice President of Operations and Development and then to Ryan House where she served as the Executive Director.
In 2012 Debbie started TRC Strategies, a boutique-consulting firm that specializes in creating innovative solutions through training, resources and coaching. Through TRC Debbie was able to combine her love of working with both for profits and non-profits in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, business and board development, brand management, team building and Emotional Intelligence.
Over the years Debbie has continued to serve as an advisor to several non-profits including Feeding Matters. Debbie is thrilled to be part of the Feeding Matters staff and looks forward to helping further the mission in both the local and national markets.
Jaclyn Pederson, MHI
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
Mrs. Pederson holds a Master of Science in Healthcare Innovation and a Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Leadership/Management from Arizona State University. With more than a decade of 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.