In Conversation with Gerard Bullock
From a chance meeting during a warehouse tour to chairing the Operations and Effectiveness Committee at Second Harvest, Board Member Gerard Bullock has used his decades-long supply chain and logistics experience to advance the food bank’s mission. We recently sat down with Gerard at Second Harvest’s Martin Distribution Center in Nashville, to discuss his background, supply chain, and why he dedicates his time to serving his community.
What is your career background?
I am a principal broker and owner of Weichert Realtors Andrews Group here in Nashville, Mount Juliet and Murfreesboro. I have a transportation and logistics background. I worked for UPS for 14 years, and then I worked for Under Armour as the Director of North American Transportation and Wholesale Logistics here in Nashville. That is what brought me to Nashville. I love all things logistics and supply chain.
How did you first become introduced to Second Harvest?
When I was working at Under Armour, Kim Molnar, Second Harvest’s Chief Operating Officer, came by one day wanting a tour of our warehouse facilities. As I was giving her the tour, she asked me if I wanted to sit on Second Harvest’s Operations and Effectiveness committee. I have been on that committee for three years now. Kim then asked for me to chair the committee this past year.
I work in real estate now, but my background includes more than 20 years of supply chain experience. To be able to come in and look over all the transportation, and logistics, warehousing – this work gives me the opportunities to still tap into that experience and help on a larger scale.
Over the past year, supply chain issues have created a strain for many industries. Can you explain why food banks, like other organizations, are facing a challenge?
When you see us deliver food to families in need, many people may not realize all of the work and steps behind the scenes that make that delivery happen. At Second Harvest, we get a lot of our food from excess and people willing to donate. Whenever the supply chain has disruptions, we will experience it at the food bank. As an organization, we have to anticipate that coming. There are going to be situations where there may not be as much food available or donated that there used to be, but it’s on the way. So, with my previous supply chain experience, I am able to bring my knowledge to Second Harvest to plan for that and help the organization figure out what to do in the meantime to mitigate any issues
How has Second Harvest grown during your time on the board?
During my time at Second Harvest, I have seen a lot of positive change. I have seen the organization become increasingly more goal-driven, metric-driven, and taking a more critical look at how to improve processes. I have witnessed leadership and staff work tirelessly to scale up and grow the organization’s footprint, opening to facilities.
Setting the cost-per-pound of food delivered metric as a KPI (key performance indicator), really help set a benchmark for the how the organization was going to track success moving forward.
What has been one of your favorite memories?
It is hard to name just one. One of the more fulfilling memories was when the board of directors joined Second Harvest staff for a Mobile Pantry at the Nashville distribution center in December 2020. By the time we started, hundreds of cars were lined up with people who needed help. We had a set schedule of when the distribution was supposed to end but when that time came there were still hundreds of cars left in line. No one complained, or was bothered, that we were going to be out there longer than we had planned. The focus was getting the food out, and we did. It was an incredible day.
Why do you enjoy serving on Second Harvest’s board?
It’s fulfilling. It really is. To be able to help people and really make an impact alongside the one of the most prominent and best thought of nonprofit in Nashville, that does the most work to help people – it is incredibly fulfilling to be a part of that on a day-to-day basis. It is very, very clear that Second Harvest is very good at the work it does in the community, and I am happy to be part of it.