BIOGRAPHY OF JACKI DIRKSMEYER, DIRECTOR
Jacki Dirksmeyer is the Director of FEED MY PEEPS. She started this food ministry in the fall of 2012 after a life changing mission trip to Kenya. Jacki was involved with a young boy from Kenya named Koech who was 17 years old. He was a patient at St. John’s Mercy Hospital where he was receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer. Upon the conclusion of Koech’s treatment, Jacki joined a mission team under the direction of “Get the Word Out” to return Koech to his village in Africa. She realized that a bag of rice and beans were gold to Koech’s family as they cared for over fifty orphans. Koech passed away a few short weeks after the mission team returned to St. Louis. Koech’s family didn’t have the common comforts of water, electricity, food, medicine and resources. Jacki knew that Koech’s life had a purpose and meaning. God laid on her heart to simply move food through the resources she had and feed those in need.
Jacki retired as the Career Services Director at a local chef’s school after Koech passed away. She started a small ministry in September 2012 calling it FEED MY PEEPS.
Jacki has 30 years of culinary and hospitality experience from the following organizations: The Ritz-Carlton, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Catering St. Louis, Embassy Suites, The Butler’s Pantry Catering, Holly Berry Baking and Catering and L’Ecole Culinaire.
In 2013, Jacki was awarded the Local Food Hero Award from Gardens to Table at St. Louis University. Jacki has sown culinary seeds and the harvest shows as the network of local chefs generously support this food movement.
Pastor Rebekka Smith
Pastor Rebekka Smith became an ordained Minister in 2006 and has lead Higher Heights Ministry in North City for the past eight years. She holds another ten years of service leading bible study and home study. Pastor Rebekka is a mother of two wonderful daughters and four amazing grandchildren. She works in Nuclear Medicine at St. Louis University. Pastor Rebekka attends Saints Academy Bible College working on her Master’s Degree in Theology and Doctorate Degree in Theology. She has completed all coursework for a Master Degree and finalizing now with a Thesis. Pastor Rebekka has a serving spirit and partners with FEED MY PEEPS to serve those in need.
FEED MY PEEPS is honored to welcome our new Board Member Holly Cunningham. In 2001, St. Louis native Holly Cunningham launched Hollyberry Catering. Under her leadership, the company has grown to become one of the largest catering companies in the St. Louis area, according to St. Louis Business Journal, and is the preferred caterer at more than 30 top area venues.
Holly is committed to the St. Louis community. During the 2010 and 2009 holiday seasons, she partnered with St. Patrick’s Center and its BEGIN New Venture Center to create the “Gifts that Give Back!” Program. In 2008, Holly established a mentoring program with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. In 2012, Hollyberry partnered with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and Dierbergs Market, Inc. to create “Home Run Bars,” an all-natural, made-from-scratch bar that was the official snack of the 2012 “Homers for Health” initiative.
Holly has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious “40 under 40” list, as well as its “30 under 30” list. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a society of professional women leaders in the field of food. Hollyberry has been featured in Paula Dean’s Holiday Baking collector’s edition, Hollyberry cookies have been featured on The Rachael Ray Show as the “Snack of the Day” and named “best” by St. Louis Magazine. Holly was the 2002 Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a past finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Holly and her husband, Guy, are parents to twin, “tween” daughters, Genevieve and Isabelle. Together they enjoyed participating in a variety of family activities including spending time in the country, sailing and fitness.
Becky Stephens has joined as a member of our Board of Directors. She is a cancer survivor with a ginormous heart to serve others. Becky is a Hospice Nurse dedicated to helping families as a loved one crosses over. She also has a seasoned background of working as a Psychiatric Nurse Manager and Emergency Room Nurse. Becky was awarded Employee of the Year for her dedication and love toward her patients.
Becky received a four year diploma from Living Faith Training Center in Manassas, Virginia. She is now leading an Alumni Class to help graduates continue to stay connected and go deeper in their walk with the Lord.
Becky has served and ministered to the homeless in Manassas and Woodbridge for two years. She brings the message the first Sunday of each month to a homeless camp.
Becky organized a food drive which successfully brought in over 1,000 items to a local small trailer park. It was such a blessing to kick start this pantry for a neglected community.
Jennifer leads our outreach efforts in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. She is a nutrition and health expert based in Virginia. Her focus is on maintaining wellness through natural means and supplementation on resolving issues, such as, gastrointestinal distress, autoimmune distress and food allergies. Her skills are also sought by athletes and the parents who participate in competitive sports. Her clientele is diverse, as most anyone can benefit from her knowledge and services.
Jennifer is passionate to help the homeless community and those struggling with abusive relationships. Jennifer knows first hand how to be a survivor and is fortunate to help in local outreach efforts, civic groups and food pantries. She has a heart of philanthropy.
Chef Rick Culton
Rose Ervin is an asset to our FEED MY PEEPS family in the St. Louis Metro Area. Rose has a seasoned background in business, philanthropy and ministry. Rose has been a youth Pastor and is passionate about serving those in need. Currently, she is writing a book and working towards her degree in women’s ministry and counseling. We’re excited to have her her “can-do” attitude.
Tracey Leach is the dedicated husband and supporter to FEED MY PEEPS. Tracey and Jacki’s life changed in Kenya Africa in 2012. God called them to lead FEED MY PEEPS and the doors have continued to open wide. Tracey is a traveling Pathologist Assistant with 35 plus years in his medical field. He’s been a Youth Counselor, Elder, Deacon, Board of Trustees and seasoned leader in ministry. Tracey is a Preacher sharing the gospel to the lost. Tracey and Jacki are getting prepared to travel the world in a camper evangelizing to those in need. God is good.