Lori Nikkel did everything to keep her family together when her husband left her abruptly, their rent in arrears by $10,000. She sent her children to stay with her sister for six weeks and took every shift at the bar where she worked, sleeping on the floor when it closed. She made enough to convince the landlord not to evict them.
Lori worked several jobs to make ends meet while finding time to finish her high school degree. One of those jobs was nutrition coordinator at her kids’ middle school, which helped feed them.
At that school, she met someone who believed in her abilities, invested in her personal development and gave Lori the confidence to be and do more. With a focus on improving food security, Lori went from coordinator to manager to an extraordinary leader. Her sphere of influence went from local to national.
Wanting to stay close to home, she took a job at Second Harvest, a small organization that, under her watch, has grown into the largest food recovery organization in Canada. She matches food, that would otherwise go to landfills, with people in need.
That once-struggling Mom still focuses on food security research, advocacy, education and training. Now a recipient of the Order of Ontario, Lori was named Canada’s Most Admired CEO, Transformational Leadership 2021; selected one of the Top 25 Women of Influence 2021; and sits on Canada’s Food Policy Advisory Council.
Chatter That Matters is hosted by the Marketing Hall of Legends and the Canadian Marketing and PR Hall of Fame Inductee Tony Chapman. Each week Tony chats with an inspiring person who matters. Someone with the courage and conviction to overcome circumstances to chase their dreams and change their world and ours for the better. The show is about positivity and the possibility of countering all the negativity and growing sense of impossibility. Download and subscribe to chatter that matters wherever you get your podcasts, or click here.
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