Leslie R. Genovese
Director, Community Engagement and Corporate Relations
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
Leslie Genovese is currently the Director, Community Engagement and Corporate Relations for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, recognized as Feeding America’s 2012 Food Bank of the Year. The Foodbank was founded in 1982 and serves eight counties, distributing emergency food and other essential items to more than 580 hunger-relief partners who serve thousands of individuals each year. In 2020, the Foodbank distributed the equivalent of 27.4 million meals to families in need with the help of its network of partners.
During her 17-year tenure at the Foodbank, Leslie has held many roles and currently leads the fundraising initiatives for community and corporate engagement, raising millions of dollars and thousands of pounds of food for people in need each year.
A native of Northeast Ohio, Leslie Genovese is a graduate of Northwest High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in health administration from Ohio University. Additionally, Leslie is a graduate of the Inaugural Leadership Stark County Spotlight Young Professionals program and a graduate of Leadership Stark County Signature Program, 28th Class. She is active in the community as a sustaining member of the Junior League of Stark County, OH, Inc., Alumni member of Torchbearers Akron, and an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Northeast Ohio Chapter. Leslie resides in the Portage Lakes with her husband, Jim, daughter Gia (10), and son Bryce (5).
Faith R. Barbato
Senior Manager, Stark County Community Engagement
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
Faith Barbato started her journey as the Executive Director of Community Harvest in 2009. The Community Harvest program was created through the combined efforts of the Tri-County Restaurant Association and other concerned members of the community. Its aim was to increase the involvement of the restaurant and food service industry by collecting excess prepared and perishable food and delivering it to community agencies serving homeless individuals and people facing hunger in the community.
The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank merged with Community Harvest in 2017 to better serve the individuals and families in Stark County struggling with hunger. This merger has helped acquire new food streams in Stark County while expanding the food rescue program into other counties currently served by the Foodbank. In her current role, Faith continues to oversee Community Harvest operations, in addition to engaging key community partners in Stark County.
Faith is a graduate of Central Catholic High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State University, followed by her master’s degree in counseling & human development from Walsh University. Her involvement includes more than 10 years as a Canton Jaycee Board Member and past President, graduate of Leadership Stark County Signature Program,18th Class, Hall of Fame community parade volunteer, JCI Senator and current sustaining member of Junior League of Stark County, OH, Inc. Faith resides in East Canton with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Lilliana (10). Her son, Michael Todd (27), lives in North Canton.