Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County today announced that the Board of Directors has selected Harald Herrmann as the new Chief Executive Officer.
Herrmann is an accomplished business and philanthropic leader in Southern California, with
more than 35 years of diverse restaurant industry experience. He most recently served as CEO of Mendocino Farms restaurants, a Los Angeles based portfolio company of TPG Growth. He currently serves as chairman of the board for Round It Up America, a nonprofit which he co-founded in 2009 in response to the effects of the economic downturn on food banks across the country. Round It Up America allows restaurant diners to round up their check totals, with those funds going to a variety of non-profit organizations and community food banks. In 2016, Herrmann was awarded the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor / 2016 Humanitarian of the Year award in recognition of that effort. He also serves on the advisory board for Seneca Agencies, which provides homes, care, treatment, and support services for abused, neglected and emotionally troubled children and their families.
Having gotten a taste for the restaurant business during high school as a part-time dishwasher, Herrmann’s passion for the restaurant industry grew as he served in a variety of increasingly responsible roles. In 1995, Herrmann was tapped to help launch the flagship Yard House restaurant in Long Beach. Yard House quickly emerged as one of Southern California’s most successful independent restaurants and Herrmann, having been named partner, began to lead the development and expansion of Yard House into new markets. After Yard House partnered with private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in 2007, Herrmann was named president and CEO until the Darden acquisition in 2012. In 2014 he was promoted to president of Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, which includes The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Eddie V’s, Bahama Breeze, and Yard House Restaurants.
“We are very excited to have someone of Harald’s experience and expertise lead Second Harvest Food Bank,” said Kate Klimow, board president of Second Harvest. “His true passion for our mission combined with his business acumen, creativity and leadership will elevate our organization.”
Herrmann served on the board of directors of the California Restaurant Association from 2003-2010 and as chairman of the board in 2011. He was the founding Chair of the California Susan G. Komen Pink Tie Ball, co-authored and published several books for Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach in support of children undergoing hospital treatment as well as children and families who are impacted by cancer.
“I am humbled and excited by this opportunity to help make a difference in my community and look forward to rolling up my sleeves in support of the entire Second Harvest Food Bank team and to closing the Orange County hunger gap,” stated Herrmann.
He takes the reins from Interim CEO Dave Coffaro to lead Second Harvest Food Bank, the largest nonprofit hunger relief organization in Orange County. Last year, Second Harvest provided a record 25.1 million meals for the hungry in Orange County. While great strides have been made in reducing hunger in the county, there is still work to be done. Second Harvest’s Bold Goal aims to increase the number of meals provided from 20 million to 30 million by 2021 – putting Second Harvest on pace to close the meal gap entirely by 2025.
“We would like to thank Dave Coffaro for his tremendous work as our interim CEO. Dave has been a valued board member and provided excellent leadership and continuity during this transition. We are fortunate to have a board and leadership continually committed to our mission and serving the community,” said Klimow.