I am writing to let you know of my decision to step down as the President and Executive Director of Food Allergy Education Network. This has been a difficult decision for me, as FAEN has been a primary focus of mine for the last 5 years. I know that this organization makes a difference in our community, and I am proud of the services and resources that we provide. However, my position has been a full-time, volunteer job and I no longer have those hours to give. My passion remains as strong as ever, but I feel I can better serve the food allergy community by reaching the widest audience possible. To that extent, for the last year or so, I have been serving as a food allergy consultant for parents, schools and businesses and working on projects on a national scale.
Five years ago, FAEN was just an idea. I could have never anticipated that we would accomplish all that we have in such a short period of time. This would not have been possible without the hands and hearts of many people. From Daniela Balzano, who offered me the room to hold my first meeting, to Theresa and Anne (the only 2 people to attend that first meeting), to the full team of volunteers that we have now and everyone in between. I am extremely thankful to every person who has lent their time, attended an event, donated funds or services, shared a story of how FAEN has helped them, or supported us in any way. It all has made a difference and continues to be the motivating force behind FAEN’s mission.
I am especially thankful to my family for their support over the past 5 years. My parents and their friends constituted our sole financial support in the early years of the organization and still continue to be our largest donors. I will be forever grateful to them for believing in me and supporting FAEN’s mission. For my husband and children, there were many, many days and nights when I was unavailable while working on FAEN. They understood my passion and supported me. I am looking forward to devoting more of my time and energy to them.
I am leaving FAEN following our most successful year yet. We have the largest funding in place we have ever had, and all of our programs are successfully established. FAEN will be left in the very capable hands of Erin Spaulding and Robin Comey, two talented women who helped to create and build FAEN to what it is today. I am confident in their ability to guide this organization and I am excited to see all that FAEN will accomplish in the next 5 years.
Thank you all,
Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed.
Founder, Food Allergy Education Network