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Former Food Bank of Iowa COO to lead DMARC


The Des Moines Area Religious Council board of directors has named Matt Unger as the new CEO of DMARC, effective July 10. Unger most recently was chief operating officer for the Food Bank of Iowa.

Unger will succeed the Rev. Sarai Schnucker Rice, who in May announced plans to retire after leading the organization for 11 years. Ricee will continue working in a transitional role until at least the end of July. DMARC works with more than 125 member congregations from four faith communities in operating the DMARC Food Pantry Network and other basic needs programs.

“The Board believes that Matt will do an exceptional job leading DMARC, and I am excited to see how his perspectives and talents will grow our organization,” DMARC Board President Emily Webb said in a news release. 

Unger had worked for more than six years at the Food Bank of Iowa, beginning as program manager. Under his leadership, the organization distributed record amounts of food and implemented three new programs. During his tenure, Food Bank of Iowa merged with the Food Bank of Southern Iowa, and completed a remodel of its warehouse. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, Unger spent more than a dozen years working on political campaigns and in state government management.

Originally from Wisconsin, Unger moved to Des Moines to attend Drake University and has called Des Moines home for more than 20 years. He and wife Anita live in Des Moines’  Beaverdale neighborhood.

“It is a privilege to take the helm of an organization with a mission dedicated to meeting human needs in our community,” Unger said in a news release. “I’m excited to lead the team at DMARC and look forward to the future we’ll shape together.”

A retirement open house for Rice will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday at DMARC’s headquarters, 1435 Mulberry St. in Des Moines.

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