our Team

Smith County Food Security Council Team

Meet the team that’s working together to end hunger in Smith County

Our team brings together areas of expertise from healthcare, non-profits, social services, education, government, faith-based organizations, public health, business, and agriculture so we can develop multi-sector solutions to end food insecurity in Smith County.

Caleb White

Caleb White

Caleb is a local farmer and is the director of the farm-to-school division of Micro Family Farms. His dream is for every family to know how to grow their own food to increase their individual freedom and improve our community’s wellness.

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Celeste Fisher

Celeste Fisher

Celeste is a registered nurse, a graduate student in public health, and a passionate advocate for the poor and underserved. She is an accomplished nurse leader with over 15 years of experience managing interdisciplinary teams in home health, hospice, clinic, and long-term care settings. She currently serves as an Ambulatory Care Nurse Manager at Christus Trinity Clinic.  In addition to serving on the Smith County Food Security Council, Celeste serves on the East Texas HIV/AIDS Coalition, and the East Texas Youth Orchestra board of directors.

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Christina Fulsom

Christina Fulsom

Leadership Team Member

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Christina is the Founder and Network Weaver of the East Texas Human Needs Network (ETHNN). ETHNN is made up of more than 100 organizations that include government, congregations, business, and non-profit sectors across four counties in East Texas. Christina has spent 18 years in leadership roles in the nonprofit sector, and she currently serves on the Boards of Goodwill Industries, the Tyler Area Partnership 4 Education, and the Smith County Food Security Council.

Christina served on the Boards of Texas Homeless Network and the Balance of State Continuum of Care and on leadership teams in the areas of housing, disabilities, veterans, behavioral health, primary health, and education. Christina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Certificate of Nonprofit Leadership from Southern Methodist University.

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Cindy Ross

Cindy Ross

Leadership Team Member

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Cindy Ross joined CDF-Texas in October 2016 and serves as Community Health Outreach Coordinator for the following East Texas Counties: Smith, Rusk, Cherokee, and San Augustine. For eleven years prior to joining CDF, Cindy was a Head Start Case Manager for Tyler Independent School District. Through Head Start, Cindy served as an advocate for low-income children and families, providing services in six areas: Social Services, Nutrition, Health, Mental Health, Disabilities/Education, and Parental Involvement.

In 2015, Cindy became a certified Community Health Worker through Health and Human Services. Cindy builds relationships to increase health knowledge and self-sufficiency through outreach, community education, social support, and advocacy. With CDF-Texas, Cindy continues to work to improve access to affordable healthcare for children and other valuable resources that strengthen vulnerable families.

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Dennis Cullinane

Dennis Cullinane

Leadership Team Member

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Dennis has been the Chief Executive Officer of the East Texas Food Bank since 2010. He is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Hospitality Management. He is also an MBA graduate from the University of Phoenix, and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy from the American College.

His 30-year career as a food industry executive has given him valuable experience in organizational development, strategic team building, financial analysis/budget administration, project management, warehousing, inventory management, and distribution logistics.

He is the East Texas Chapter President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, former Board Chair of Feeding Texas, inaugural Board Director on the Collaborative for Fresh Produce, and member of the Tyler Rotary Club.

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George Roberts

George Roberts

Leadership Team Member

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George has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northeast Texas Public Health District since November, 2006. The services provided by the Health District include the Center for Healthy Living, Community Outreach, Environmental Health, Immunizations, Tuberculosis Control, Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Regional Laboratory, Vital Statistics, and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program.

The Health District primarily serves Tyler and Smith County, but also provides services in 21 counties in East Texas. The WIC Program serves a 20-county area and Public Health Emergency Preparedness serves a seven-county region.

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Gloria Bell

Gloria Bell

Gloria is currently serving as the Facilitator of Family & Community Engagement for the Tyler ISD Title I Program (The Parent Center). She has served in various capacities in Tyler ISD including former Director of Head Start, Coordinator of Head Start Instructional Services, Director of Federal Programs, Coordinator of Title I, and Director of Technology as a Second Language for Stewart-Edison Junior Academy.

Gloria has spent her career as an educator of children and families. She has a passion for serving. In addition to the Food Security Council, she also serves on the East Texas Human Needs Network council, the Mentoring Alliance Board, and the Tyler Area Partnership for Education Leadership Council.

Gloria holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Tyler, and a Master of Education from Texas A&M University at Texarkana.

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Herwanea Sirles

Herwanea Sirles

Herwanea Sirles serves as the Manager of Outreach Services for Tyler Family Circle of Care a federally qualified healthcare center "where compassion, quality, and healthcare come full circle."

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Jackie Erlandson

Jackie Erlandson

Jackie is the Family Wellness Coordinator at St. Paul Children’s Foundation and consultant nutritionist for the TISD Head Start Program. Her interest in agriculture stems from the deep desire to see people return to eating whole foods. The shared work and mutual enjoyment involved in growing, cooking and eating together increase individual, family and community wellness.

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Kinsey Jeffers, RD

Kinsey Jeffers, RD

Kinsey was born and raised in Longview, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in nutrition. She completed her dietetic internship program through Abilene Christian University at City Square in Dallas, Texas. Kinsey currently works as the nutrition education manager at the East Texas Food Bank in Tyler, Texas, overseeing their SNAP-Ed program.

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Michele Bosworth

Michele Bosworth

Leadership Team Member

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Dr. Bosworth serves as the Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer for the UT East Texas North Tyler Campus and Executive Director of the Center for Population Health, Analytics, and Quality Advancement, where the goal is to develop a cultural structure that ensures the highest quality of care coupled with a commitment to patient safety.

The team at UT Health East Texas is dedicated to delivering patient-centered care that is supported by evidence based practices and continuous performance improvement. They strive to enhance the experience of each and every patient that walks through their doors where excellence becomes the standard.

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Nelida Medina

Nelida Medina

Nelida is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Masters in Social Work degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. Nelida has worked with all age groups in both healthcare and mental health settings. Her passion is to help empower people to be their best.

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Sarah Tison Malone

Sarah Tison Malone

Sarah is the Outreach Coordinator for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Maternal Smoking Cessation grant. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Utah State University in 2005 and is currently finishing up her Master of Public Health Degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

Sarah serves on the American Cancer Society Volunteer Leadership Council of Smith County, The Smith County Food Security Council, the Student Health Advisory Council for Lindale Independent School District, and the 2018-2019 Student Senate as the Historian. After the completion of her MPH degree in August 2019, Sarah will become a dedicated public health advocate to prevent health disparities in her region by educating community members. She firmly believes that education and training improve public health across the nation.

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Teccora Smith

Teccora Smith

Leadership Team Member

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Tecora Smith currently serves as the Director of WIC for the Northeast Texas Public Health District. She manages 20 WIC clinics located in various counties throughout the Northeast Texas area, and oversees the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, WIC Peer Dad Program, and Healthy Texas Babies grant addressing infant mortality rates in Smith County.

Tecora holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Stephen F. Austin State University. She is a member of the Texas Association of Local WIC Directors. She was voted TALWD Newcomer of the Year in 2011 and served as President from 2016-2017. Tecora serves as a member of numerous local community coalitions to improve the health outcomes of Smith County.

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Tierney Tallant

Tierney Tallant

Leadership Team Member

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Tierney is the Better Living to Texans Assistant in Smith County, working for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. With a specialty in educating the community on living a healthy lifestyle on a budget, Tierney’s programs are free and offer an abundance of information on eating healthy, healthy recipes, food demonstrations and, fitness programs.

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Tim Butler

Tim Butler

Tim joined the East Texas Food Bank in August 2012 as the Volunteer Coordinator, coming from a management position at FRESH by Brookshire’s. He has since worked in the Child Hunger Programs Department, and moved into his current role as the Programs Services Director in 2017.

From an early age Tim has been involved in missions across the globe. He has a strong desire to help people in need, and is grateful to be part of an organization that makes such a big difference in the community. Tim earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Tyler.


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Valerie Smith, MD FAAP

Valerie Smith, MD FAAP

Dr. Smith is a pediatrician at St. Paul Children’s Foundation in Tyler, Texas where she leads the Community-Centered Health Home Initiative. She is a graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed her residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Smith chairs the Smith County Food Security Council and serves on the Fit City Tyler Steering committee and the board of the East Texas Food Bank. She is co-chair of the Texas Pediatric Society Foster Care Committee and serves on the TPS Executive Legislative Committee and Board of Directors.

In addition, she serves as a consultant for Superior Healthcare on their Foster Care Centers of Excellence program. She is active in pediatric health advocacy and regularly testifies for the Texas legislature and authors editorials for the Dallas Morning News. She is the recipient of the 2019 W.T. “Doc” Ballard Award for Excellence in Public Health, the TPS Executive Board Award and the AAP Chapter Excellence Award.

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We share core values that keep us grounded, motivated, and driven to create solutions of enduring value

Equity:

All community members should be served through the coalition, with particular focus on disproportionately impacted groups.

Access:

All community members should have access to healthy foods.

Stewardship:

We will strive to utilize existing programs and resources and seek ways to divert food waste in our community.

Do these values
resonate with you?

It’s time to make a change to the way we help our neighbors.

Our team brings together areas of expertise from healthcare, non-profits, social services, education, government, faith-based organizations, public health, business, and agriculture so we can develop multi-sector solutions to end food insecurity in Smith County.

Join us to eradicate hunger in our community.