"Along with attracting top talent from outside the organization, one of my top priorities is growing Feeding America's existing leadership team," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. "Matt and Phil each play a critical role in leading Feeding America into the future. Today's promotions are a result of their ability to think strategically on a national scale, the respect they've earned from their peers, network members and partners, and their significant contributions to the organization."
Knott previously served as Vice President of Planning. In his new role, he is responsible for the development of the organization's strategic plan, and working with the rest of the Executive Team and Board of Directors to establish and evaluate organizational outcomes, and assesses performance against agreed upon goals. He also provides assistance to member food banks in the areas of strategic and operational planning and analysis.
Prior to joining Feeding America in June 2008, Knott spent 12 years at PepsiCo where he was most recently Vice President of Marketing for Gatorade. His career with PepsiCo also encompassed financial analysis and brand management roles, with responsibility for strategy formation, performance assessment, new product development and innovation on other well known brands including Tropicana, Life Cereal, and Propel Fitness Water. He began his career with Arthur Andersen as a financial consultant.
Knott earned his undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Notre Dame and holds a master's degree in Management from the Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University.
Zepeda, who joined Feeding America as Vice President of Communications in August 2004, will continue responsibility for all strategic communications, including media relations, entertainment industry outreach, editorial services and internal communication. Additionally, he will now oversee online media initiatives for the organization.
Prior to Feeding America, Zepeda was the Vice President of Communication and Marketing at the American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington DC. Zepeda worked on more than 40 national disaster assignments, including the September 11 tragedies, the crash of EgyptAir in November 1999. Previously, he served as the Media Relations Manager for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
Zepeda earned a master's degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University.