Meals On Wheels Director Named President

Barrie Yochim, Jamestown Meals on Wheels executive director, has been named president of the Meals on Wheels Association of New York state.

Yochim was elected to the office by his peers from across the state last fall. He replaces Phil Shippers, who is director for Meals on Wheels through the Visiting Nurse Service in Rochester.

Meals on Wheels Association of New York State represents all sizes of meal and senior nutrition programs from across the state.

“This is a great honor for our Meals on Wheels program,” Yochim said. “It gives me an opportunity to continue to serve not only our local senior citizens, but all senior citizens in New York state.”

Prior to this past year, Yochim served as the state Meals on Wheels’ vice president for four years. A change in the organization’s bylaws in 2011 eliminated the position of vice president, but added president-elect – a position which still serves the organization underneath the president.

“Phil and I have been together leading the state organization for the past five years, and this change will give me the opportunity to take advantage of all I’ve learned,” Yochim said.

Yochim will serve a two-year term, which will end in December 2014.

The Meals on Wheels Association of New York State employs no staff, instead utilizes current professionals who represent all sizes of Meals on Wheels and senior nutrition program in New York. Besides Jamestown and Rochester, the association’s board of directors represents Meals on Wheels and senior nutrition programs stretching from Buffalo, Syracuse and North Syracuse, to Corning, Elmira, Binghamton and Rockland County, just west of New York City. Membership in the organization comes from all areas of the state.

The group helps to promote best program practices within the state, as well as link together to advocate on behalf of the state’s frailest adults who require Meals on Wheels services. In 2008, Yochim led the group in lobbying Gov. David Paterson to make sure funding for home-delivered meal programs was not reduced in the state’s 2009-10 budget. Despite the state’s expected multi-billion dollar budget deficit, funding for home-delivered meal programs wasn’t cut in the budget.

Yochim has also served as a statewide leader in marketing and communications for meal delivery programs, and has led a variety of educational workshops at the state organization’s annual conference. In October at the state conference in Binghamton, Yochim moderated a full-conference session about meal program services, promotion and fund-raising within a meal delivery or congregate meal program.

He has been executive director of Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown Area since 1999. The local Meals on Wheels program serves more than 130,000 meals each year.

From 1994 to 1999, Yochim served as director of communications for United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. During his time at United Way, he helped establish the New York Statewide Marketing Task Force, a group of individuals from United Way organizations located within New York state who worked to improve marketing and communications of their programs. He served as co-chair of the task force from 1997 to 1999.

From 1990 to 1994, he served as Cattaraugus County bureau chief and as a Jamestown city reporter for The Post-Journal. Yochim, a Marietta College and Clymer Central School graduate, lives in West Ellicott with his wife, Julie, and daughters Emilie and Maddie.