Combating Hunger, Creating Opportunity

DC Central Kitchen is America's leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise.
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Executive Team

MikeCurtain_headshotMike Curtin
Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from Williams College in 1986 with a BA in Religion, Mike lived and worked in Osaka, Japan for three years as a teacher, copywriter for a Japanese advertising firm, and bartender at his neighborhood pub. Upon returning to the United States, Mike began a 20 year career in the hospitality business, which included owning and operating his own restaurant, The Broad Street Grill in Falls Church Virginia, before joining DC Central Kitchen in 2004.

Drawing on his experiences as an entrepreneur in the restaurant business, Mike has spent significant time expanding the Kitchen’s revenue generating social enterprise initiatives.  Under his leadership, DC Central Kitchen’s Fresh Start Catering has expanded from traditional catering opportunities to include contracts to provide locally-sourced, scratched-cooked meals to schools in DC. This is an extension of a program that the Kitchen started in 2008, using locally-sourced product to provide school meals to Washington Jesuit Academy, a middle school for at-risk boys in Northeast Washington, DC. Since 2010, DC Central Kitchen has generated over $20 million from these businesses and social enterprise now accounts for roughly 65% of their total operating budget. Because of these and DC Central Kitchen’s many other social service programs, the Kitchen now employs over 130 people, approximately 40% of whom are graduates of the Kitchen’s nationally recognized Culinary Job Training Program.

In order to secure sustainable, healthy food for the Kitchen, Mike has developed strategic partnerships to purchase unclassified produce from local farms. This initiative has saved money and employed more graduates of the Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training Program. The Kitchen’s new focus on procuring local produce garnered a Mayor’s Environmental Excellence Award and the Washington Business Journal’s Green Business Award for Innovation.

These programs, as well as many others, will continue to grow as a result of DC Central Kitchen’s Nutrition Lab facility, which was funded and opened under Mike’s leadership. The new space has allowed DCCK to take on more contracts, rapidly increase investments in purchasing from local farms, and improve the efficiency of production. Additionally, the lessons learned at the Nutrition Lab are helping to improve the production and distribution of the 5,000 meals DC Central Kitchen provides each day to social service agencies throughout the community. Most recently, this led to the Kitchen’s Healthy Corners Program that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables to corner stores in the City’s food deserts. The DC Chamber of Commerce gave DC Central Kitchen its 2012 Community Impact Award in recognition of its many innovative programs.

Mike has spoken on the Kitchen’s many innovative programs at the Partnership for a Healthier America Conference, Social Enterprise Alliance Conference, World Social Enterprise Summit, and the Social Capital Conference.  He has also been a featured speaker at Georgetown University, the Yale Sustainable Food Program, Williams College, the Darden School of Business, and many other academic institutions across the country.

Mike is a Chair Emeritus of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and a Board Member for The Common Market in Philadelphia. He also is on the Advisory Board of DC Greens and Catalyst Kitchens, the Leadership Council of DC Hunger Solutions, and an Advisory Board member for the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

Mike was honored as the Gael of the Year in DC’s 2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in recognition of his significant contributions to the community. In December of 2011, he was awarded the Pedro Arrupe Award by Gonzaga College High School, his alma mater, in recognition of his work with DC Central Kitchen. Mike was previously honored by Gonzaga College High School with the St. Aloysius Medal and by the Ignatian Volunteer Corps with the Della Strada Award for his commitment to the Jesuit ideals of social justice. He is a recipient of the 2010 Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman EXCEL Award for excellence in chief executive leadership.

Mike lives with his wife Maureen and their three children, Maeve, Michael III and Ciara, in Falls Church, VA.

GlendaGlenda Cognevich
Chief Financial Officer

Glenda joined DCCK as the Chief Financial Officer in the Spring of 2006.  In the fall of 2009, she took an 18-month sabbatical to work overseas and returned to DCCK as the CFO in June of 2011. Originally from New Orleans, Glenda has a B.S. degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration from the University of New Orleans and an MBA from George Washington University.

After a 10-year stint working for a variety of hotels and restaurants in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Glenda joined the Peace Corps and went to Uzbekistan in 1992 as part of the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in the Former Soviet Union.  In 1998, Glenda moved to Washington DC and started working for non-profits as a financial manager.  She was the Controller and CFO of Search for Common Ground before joining the team at DC Central Kitchen.  During her sabbatical, she was the Director of Finance and Administration for Just Vision in Israel.

afinkeAndy Finke
Chief Operating Officer

Andy Finke serves as Chief Operating Officer leading DCCK’s overall business operations, strategic partnerships and Revenue Generating Operations. Joining the kitchen in 2011, Andy brings DCCK a broad based knowledge of contract and school food production, catering and restaurant experience and food service technology solutions. Raised in Northern New Jersey, Andy has a BA from George Washington University, and received his culinary training at The French Culinary Academy in Manhattan.

Andy has worked for over 25 years in stand-alone restaurants, caterers, hospitals, nursing homes and public school food systems in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and The DC Metro area.

Andy currently lives in Montgomery County Maryland with his wife, three children, and two dogs.