About Us

Board of Directors

Thianda Manzara, PhD, is the founder and President of HFHK. Prior to starting HFHK, her career was focused on biology research and teaching. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in agronomy, and a Ph.D. in genetics. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of California, Berkeley, then became a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and later taught at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

More recently, motivated by a desire to improve children’s health, she combined her love of science and her passion for food, cooking and gardening to create HFHK. Inspired by the cooking of her Greek mother and grandmother, it’s her fervent desire to share her appreciation of garden-fresh vegetables with the next generation.

 

Thianda Manzara Ph.D.

Founder & President/CEO

E-mail: thianda@msn.com or tmanzara@healthyfoodsforhealthykids.org

Phone: 302-981-0043

Jill Simonds, MS, has been part of the HFHK Board since 2010 and currently holds the positions of Board Chair and of Governance Committee Chair. Jill is a native of Delaware. Married for 22 years, she has two boys, ages 16 and 19. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Jill worked in the financial services field for 14 years. She left the industry in 2008 to accept a position with a local non-profit organization focused on education. In 2010, Jill returned to the University of Delaware to pursue a graduate degree in Health Promotion, which she received in May of 2015.  Jill is currently working in Development Office at Nemours, focusing her time on Operations and Donor Stewardship.

Jill is passionate about the health and well-being of school-aged children and their families, and is excited to be part of Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids, where she hopes to make a difference in the lives of Delaware students.

C Anthony McDonald CLU, ChFC, MSFS is HFHK’s Vice-Chair and Development Committee Chair.  He is a Financial Professional for Independence Wealth Strategies, an office of Metlife and been associated with Metlife since 1979.  He is a current member and Past President of both NAIFA-DE and SFSP-DE, as well is a member of the Life and Health Advisory Council to the Delaware Insurance Commissioner.  Tony graduated from the University of Delaware with a business degree and from The American College with a Master’s degree in financial services.  He currently is Vice Chair of NAIFA-DE Charitable Foundation which benefits multiple non-profit organizations including HFHK.  Married, with one daughter, Tony also enjoys golf, gardening and mountain biking.

Linda O’Hara, MBA, Ph.D., is HFHK’s Treasurer.  A former CPA, she has fourteen years experience in management, financial reporting, budgeting, and business planning and over ten years in teaching and curriculum development.  She currently teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware and volunteers with SCORE Delaware, helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their goals.  Only recently learning to garden, one of her first projects in her new home in Newark was to put in a vegetable garden and she was thrilled to share her first (and only) watermelon with her neighbors.  She’s had better luck with tomatoes and basil.

Nancy J Littleton LUTCF is HFHK’s Secretary and Vice chairperson of Development Committee.  She is a Financial Professional for Independence Wealth Strategies, an office of Metlife and been associated with Metlife since 2008.  Nancy graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in English literature and an Associate degree from The American College and has been in the financial services profession for over a decade.  She currently serves on the board of NAIFA-DE Charitable Foundation which benefits multiple non-profit organizations including HFHK.  A longtime resident of Wilmington, Nancy enjoys the benefits of gardening, along with creating a recipe for the harvest, and reading a good book.

Madeline Dobbs is a marketing and development professional specializing in non-profit organizations for the past 12 years, and is HFHK's current Board Chair. Most recently, she served as director of development and marketing at the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), whose goal is to further the collective strength of public gardens to motivate the general public to conserve plants, become stewards of the environment, and support public gardens, where she was responsible for building long-term relationships and directing strategic partnerships and tactical communications initiatives.

 

Madeline received her MBA, from Wilmington University.  In 2014, she was awarded the Audrey K. Doberstein Award for Leadership.  She is the president of the Organizational Dynamics Network, and currently serves as adjunct faculty member at Wilmington University.  She teaches Organizational Dynamics and Global Marketing Management.  When she is not promoting people and organizations, her passions include family, food, fashion, flora and fashion.  

Frances Taccone (Griffith) is a PhD, RD/LDN with a passion for prevention and health. She has a lifetime career in nutrition services, community health, public policy, education and development at home and abroad. In fall 2009 she launched her private practice in nutrition. She also teaches nutrition at Widener University and Delaware State University. Dr. Taccone has held positions with Nemours Health & Prevention Services, Produce for Better Health Foundation, and the Food Bank of Delaware. She was an international development fellow of the WK Kellogg Foundation and Partners of the Americas.

Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids would like to thank the following individuals who have served on the Board of Directors in the past:

Barbara Boyce, RD, DHSc

Nathana Jackson, MS

Kristen Kuipers

Kathy Hoy, EdD, RD

Aguida Atkinson, MD

Sarah Deacle
Michelle Eichinger

Tony Gonzalez

Anthony Stella
Charlie Tomlinson