Our team is made of hospitality professionals, who specialize in healthy meals and have demonstrated time and again a commitment to meeting the needs of our customers. Collectively, we have over 35 years of food service experience and have served more than 300 million meals.
Founder and CEO
Jeff is a mission-driven innovator and entrepreneur, motivated by a passion for solving problems that create a lasting social impact. Most recently Jeff served as the Director of Food and Nutrition Services for D.C. Public Schools (DCPS), ensuring that nearly 50,000 students at over 100 schools received high quality meals every day. At DCPS, Jeff proved it's possible to dramatically improve the taste, quality and nutritional standards of school food, all while controlling costs and increasing the number of students eating. His efforts have been recognized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
Jeff’s career began in the Boston and New York City hospitality industry, where restaurateurs sought his insight to help their venues operate more profitably and garner more press. By age 28, Jeff owned and operated the critically acclaimed Manhattan restaurant, the Biltmore Room, which received a coveted 3 star review from The New York Times, and was named Top New Restaurant in New York City by Zagat.
With 25 years in the food services industry, Jeff is most proud of the work he led at DCPS to demonstrate that better food quality and increased meal participation correlated with students' improved academic performance. For him, this cemented the idea that the food we choose to serve represents so much more than just sustenance, and ultimately led to the creation of Genuine Foods.
VP Programs and Innovation
Jennifer has more than a decade of experience in program design, implementation and public and external affairs. At Genuine Foods, she leads program and strategic partnership development. She leads efforts to continuously grow, refine and innovate service offerings, sourcing and supply chain management and community engagement.
Prior to joining Genuine Foods, she was a Vice President with Spitfire Strategies, a DC and San Francisco-based communications and campaign firm and a partner at a national nonprofit network called Education Cities. She has developed communication plans and advocacy campaigns for national and local policy issues including healthy school food, digital rights and privacy, K12 education and public health. Jennifer was also the press secretary for DC Public Schools during Chancellor Michelle Rhee's tenure and she served as Director of Communications and Special Projects for the DC Commission on National and Community Service.
Director of Operations
Dane has enjoyed 20+ years as a leader in the food industry. He oversees day-to-day operations for Genuine Foods. Before joining the Genuine Foods team, he most recently served as Director of Operations for Au Bon Pain where he was responsible for maintaining and growing the brand, as well as overseeing of all day-to-day operations in the New York City area. He previously served as the Area Director for Pinkberry, where he spearheaded all operational aspects of bringing the brand to the East Coast, opening 8 stores, staffing them, and monitoring day to day operations of customer service, quality control, and facility maintenance.
Barry Maiden is a nationally recognized, award-winning fine-dining chef and culinary instructor with over twenty years of experience cooking. After attending the New England Culinary Institute, Barry settled in Boston, Massachusetts, eventually opening his own restaurant, Hungry Mother, in 2008. Serving homestyle, southern fare, Hungry Mother was widely recognized as one of the best restaurants in Boston. In 2015, Barry was awarded the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef in New England.
Born and raised in southern Virginia, Barry has a passion for Mid-Atlantic cuisine.
Chief Financial Officer
Over the last 14 years, Joel Metlen has overseen numerous high-profile public/private partnerships and managed multi-million dollar business operations.
In New York City, Joel was the Deputy Director of Concessions for NYC Parks, where he oversaw the administration of hundreds of businesses, including the restaurants Tavern on the Green in Central Park and the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. In parts of the city without easy access to fresh produce, he led efforts to install fruit and vegetable stands, and replaced the conventional hot dog carts with specialty carts selling wholesome food like organic sandwiches and handmade soups.
Joel left New York to pursue a masters degree from John Hopkins University. While in DC, he managed business operations for DC Public Schools' Office of Food and Nutrition Services, where he reined in costs and reduced spending by millions of dollars per year.
After receiving his masters, Joel moved back to the Pacific Northwest, where he was born and raised. He went to work for the State of Oregon, managing statewide government improvement projects. Most recently, Joel became the Communications and Legislative Manager of Oregon's health insurance marketplace.