Our Team

We may be young, but we’re experienced. Our team has a combined 20+ years of food recovery and hunger fighting experience. Four of our current team members have been recognized by former President Obama for their service. Our Executive Director alone has over ten years of experience with emergency feeding systems and working on hunger policy. Learn more about our individual team members below, and get in touch with who you need to speak to.

Maria Rose Belding

Maria Rose Belding

Co-Founder and Executive Director

As the author of more than a dozen nationally published pieces on food security and poverty, Maria Rose has also had the privilege to speak on the same issues in 25 states. Her work has not gone unnoticed, with recognition from Points of Light, L’Oreal Paris,  and the Obama White House with President’s Volunteer Service awards in 2014 and 2016, along with being named a 2018 Glamour College Woman of the Year. In December 2018 at age 23, she became the youngest-ever female CNN Hero of the Year. Maria Rose graduated from American University in Washington, DC in May 2019,  receiving a B.S. in public health while on the premed track. In her free time, she enjoys being asleep.

Jennifer Tu

Jennifer Tu

Lead Developer

Jennifer Tu is a co-founder of Cohere LLC, a software consultancy focused on engineering leadership and education. She’s worked in roles from systems administration to product engineering, at both industry giants and Series A startups. Her favorite part of each of these roles? Helping teams align to produce real, useful software that helps real users — like the people who use MEANS Database to fight hunger in their communities.

Sammie Paul

Sammie Paul

Chief Operating Officer

Sammie has worked with MEANS for more than two years, starting as an Outreach Volunteer, then becoming the Appalachian Regional Coordinator, and currently serving as Chief Operating Officer. She has a history of service with public health nonprofits both in the United States with SOS Children’s Villages and abroad with Lea Toto in Nairobi, Kenya. Sammie received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President Obama for her work with MEANS in 2016, and continues to work with MEANS to grow and expand its impact nationally. In her free time, Sammie loves going on runs and taking advantage of the DC restaurant scene.

Julia Uricheck

Julia Uricheck

Senior Project Manager

Julia is a Senior Project Manager, who oversees Outreach and partnerships in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West regions. She joined the MEANS team in May of 2018 as an Outreach Intern.

She is the primary contact for Ambassador Program: a network of volunteers fighting for food stability in their local communities. She manages our Donor Engagement Campaign and oversees all Social Media Strategy. She is thrilled to be working for an organization that values sustainability and food recovery. In her free time, Julia likes to volunteer at nonprofits such as Horton’s Kids and DC Reads, or relax in the outdoors.

Rachel Groves

Rachel Groves

Senior Project Manager

Rachel started as an Outreach Intern and quickly rose through the ranks to Senior Project Manager. She conducts outreach in the Northeast, coordinates the Rhode Island Department of Health partnership, and assists the team with grant writing. As a volunteer for her local food pantry, she has the opportunity to serve 125 families every week. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors and traveling!

Hannah Gumpert

Hannah Gumpert

Senior Project Manager

Hannah studies finance and entrepreneurship at American University. She began working at MEANS in May 2018 as an Outreach Intern, and now accompanies the management team as a Senior Project Manager. She oversees operations and partnerships on the West Coast.  In her free time, she loves exploring museums and restaurants in DC and doing yoga!

Renee Jean-Baptiste

Renee Jean-Baptiste

Grant Writing Intern

Renee is a freshman at American University majoring in Journalism and Business Administration. She is joined the MEANS Team in January as a Grant Writing Intern.

Renee has volunteered with local health centers in her hometown and has previously been a lifeguard for CampDewitt. In her free time Renee enjoys reading and watching Netflix. 

Winnie Brandfield-Harvey

Winnie Brandfield-Harvey

Grant Writing Intern

Winnie is a rising senior at Princeton University, majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is currently working as a Grantwriting Intern for the summer. She serves as a leader at Princeton for Sexual Harassment Assault/Advising, Resources and Education (SHARE) and writes for the campus newspaper. In her free time, she likes to play guitar and spontaneously run 5ks.

Sahana Raju

Sahana Raju

Grant Writing Intern

Sahana is a freshman at the George Washington University studying International Affairs and Arabic. She serves on the planning committee for TEDxFoggyBottom and executive board of the Indian’s Student’s Association. She joined MEANS in January of 2019 as a grant writing intern. In her free time, Sahana enjoys staying active and exploring DC.

Emily Dwyer

Emily Dwyer

ELCA Outreach Intern

Emily is a sophomore at Virginia Tech majoring in Nutrition and Psychology. She first got involved with hunger ministries and social justice back in high school through a state-wide youth group. She worked with churches all across Maryland and Delaware to raise support for food and school supply drives.

She joins MEANS as an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Outreach Intern to help connect churches across the US to MEANS. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading and napping.

Allison Rever

Allison Rever

Business Outreach Intern

Allison first became interested in giving back to her community through her youth groups during high school at her home in NJ. She worked both in her state with local food banks and travelled to New Orleans, LA and Houston, TX to help people who’s lives have been devastated by hurricanes.

In her free time, she loves binge watching tv and listening to new music. Welcome to MEANS Allison we are so happy to have you!

Grace Hoening

Grace Hoening

ELCA Outreach Intern

Grace is a senior in High School who plans on majoring in music therapy in college. Grace became interested in working with MEANS after she attended ELCA youth gathering. She is working this summer as an ELCA outreach intern to help connect churches with MEANS Database.

Grace’s previous volunteering experience includes helping summer lunch programs and biking over 200 miles to raise awareness of food insecurity and world hunger. In her free time, Grace enjoys playing music and going to concerts.

Oliver Johnson

Oliver Johnson

Data Analyst

Oliver is a sophomore at Colgate University studying Economics and Computer Science. He has been a member of our web development team since June 2017.

In his free time, you can find Oliver listening to Brockhampton, training to beat his roommate in Mortal Kombat, or watching the Office.

Cohere

Cohere

Development Team

Cohere is a team of three highly-skilled and experienced developers that work to maintain our platform and bring new features to MEANS Database.

Years spent both writing software and leading those efforts have led the members of Cohere separately to the same place: software is delivered best by high-functioning teams. Their work and contributions in and out of our codebase has made MEANS Database more effective than ever before.

Alexa Mitchell

Alexa Mitchell

Data Analyst

Alexa is a junior at Robinson Secondary School who has worked with MEANS since she was 14. She became interested in solving hunger issues after volunteering with her 4-H club at many local food pantries and soup kitchens.

In her free time, she rewatches Stranger Things on Netflix and binges microwave popcorn.