Our Team

Jana Elliott
Executive Director

Jana Elliott serves the Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality, Inc. as Executive Director of The Shepherd’s House (TSH) homeless shelter and Helping Hands Foundation of Surry County Inc. (HH), a food pantry. In this role, Jana is responsible for funding development and sustainability; compliance with federal, state, and local statutes, ordinances, regulations, and internal policies and procedures; fiscal management and policy development; program creation, coordination, and development; facility and operations administration and oversight; information technology and social media oversight; and staff development. 

Jana concurrently serves as the Executive Director of volunteer led Heroes Helping Heroes (HHH), where she oversees the implementation and execution of services and programming for children who are considered at-risk, in foster care, or who have been adopted.

Jana appreciates the opportunity to use her role as a platform for raising awareness of the statistics and needs relative to vulnerable members of our communities through educational outreach programs, speaking engagements, and collaborations with other resource agencies. Her goal is to draw upon the knowledge and resources of these partners to maximize service impact within the region, which is large, under-resourced and predominantly rural.

Jana is a graduate of Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and an emphasis in Public Relations, receiving Cum Laude honors.

Blanca Mares
Director of Operations

The Director of Operations (DO) is responsible for the Helping Hands Foundation of Surry, Inc. (HH) compliance with governance standards regarding food procurement, storage, and distribution. The DO will monitor and appropriately respond to trends impacting its local client base as it relates to goods and services relevant to the HH mission and vision. The DO will provide monthly status reports and statistics to The Greater Mt. Airy Ministry of Hospitality (TGMAMH) administrative team and Board of Directors (BOD) relative to services performed by HH staff and volunteers and food requisition and distribution.

The Directory of Operations trains and manages staff and volunteers, embracing HH core values to serve those in need with kindness and compassion.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Implements and enforces food pantry safety policies and procedures as directed by local, state, and federal program partners and providers.

  • Maintain official records and documents to ensure programs compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

  • Submits partner agency reports as required per vendor.

  • Manages supply orders, validate invoices, and secures receipt/delivery of said orders.

  • Stocks facility and ensures all food is sorted and stored in a safe and sanitary manner, utilizing FIFO (first in, first out) inventory practices to ensure food quality and minimize waste.

  • Forecasts pantry needs based on trends and historical data while ensuring adequate supplies are available to meet client demand.

  • Partners with area food suppliers and merchants, community organizations, businesses, and the public to garner donations of food and toiletry items through sustained donation programs as well as food/toiletry drives.

  • Reviews and approves social media communications.

  • Communicates with and reports to the TGMAMH Executive Director and Operations Director regarding pantry needs, operational functionalities, and statistics and trends.

  • Plans logistical and staffing needs necessary to execute programmatic functions of HH, such as the Friday Food distribution.

  • Communicate with client base, local media groups, and area partners regarding HH programming and functions.

Personnel Supervision:

  • Hires, trains, motivates, supervises, and evaluates paid staff.
  • Maintains documentation of staff hours, PTO, and job performance.
  • Recruits and trains volunteer staff.
  • Schedules staff to ensure consistent, adequate support for operations.
Marisol Garcia
Assistant Director

The Assistant Director (AD) reports to the Director of Operations (DO) and assists in affairs pertaining to the operation of Helping Hands Foundation of Surry. 

The role is to facilitate the management and operation of the foundation.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Works with OD to manage the long-term planning, development, communications, and operational activities of the organization.
  • Welcomes and processes all clients and greets all visitors.
  • Communicate with the clients, volunteers, and donors regarding HH programming and functions in person ad via electronic/social media platforms.
  • Answers phone courteously and provide helpful information as needed.
  • Works with OD to maintain official records and documents to ensure programs’ compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Stocks and organizes pantry shelves and inventory.
  • Follows food pantry policies and procedures.