Brighter Bites Announces New Board Members

Houston, TX – Today, Brighter Bites announces the election of three new members to its board of directors. The newly elected board members are Dr. Faiyaz Bhojani, global health lead and regional health manager for Shellin North and South America, Joel Grade, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Sysco, and Vic Smith, chief executive officer of JV Smith Companies

“I am so excited and honored to welcome these three newest members to our board of directors,” said Brighter Bites CEO Rich Dachman. “They each have a unique background with diverse experiences that will make them an asset to the organization. Their membership will allow us to continue our strong momentum to expand the Brighter Bites program in our current cities and into new ones, improving the health of the families we serve through increased access to fresh produce and nutrition education.”

Faiyaz Bhojani, MD, DrPH– Dr. Faiyaz Bhojani is a health leader for Shell’s North & South American business, his responsibilities include thought leadership, strategic plan, advocacy, benchmarking and solution transfer across all business and community, in collaboration with HR, HSE, Business, and Social Investment. He is a graduate of the Dow Medical University of Karachi, Pakistan, has a master’s and a doctoral degree in public health, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, and American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Bhojani serves on numerous boards and is actively involved in academia, professional, and community organizations. He serves as an Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology and Environmental Sciences at UTSPH and Professor, Family, Community, and Internal Medicine Baylor College of Medicine. He is the CEO of MRZ Medical Practice, speaks at national and international meetings, and has published in peer-reviewed journals.

Joel Grade– Joel Grade became Sysco’s executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2015. He began his career at Sysco as a staff auditor in 1996 and has since held a variety of senior finance and commercial roles, including chief financial officer of Sysco Chicago in 2002 followed by chief financial officer of Sysco Canada in 2007. He was later promoted to president of Sysco Canada in 2010 and then became senior vice president of foodservice operations, north region and Canada in 2012. In 2014, Grade served as Sysco’s senior vice president of finance and chief accounting officer before being named EVP and CFO. Grade earned an undergraduate degree in accounting and finance with a specialization in international business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993 and an MBA in finance, strategy and marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2007.

Vic Smith– Vic Smith is CEO of JV Smith Companies, a diverse group of operations with farming, cooling and distribution facilities and shipping capacities in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Baja, Mexico. JV Smith Companies farm several commodities including romaine, iceberg lettuce, spinach, celery, mixed leaf and organic spring mix, carrots, and green onions. Since 1991, he has overseen all of the companies’ farming, packing, and cooling operations, including over 30,000 acres of vegetable production annually. Mr. Smith received his undergraduate degree from University of Colorado in economics and business law and studied finance at Arizona State University. He is currently on the board of directors of Western Growers Association and Center for Produce Safety. He is also a member and previously served on the boards of both United Fresh Produce Association and Produce Marketing Association.

These three new board members join Brighter Bites Founder Lisa Helfman, Brighter Bites Co-Founder Dr. Shreela Sharma, Steven Graubart, Scott McClelland, Ben Samuels, Manolo Sanchez, and Sue Smith in overseeing Brighter Bites’ finances and strategic planning. 

About Brighter Bites:

Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that creates communities of health through fresh food with the goal of changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health. Brighter Bites is an evidence-based, multi-component elementary school, preschool, and summer camp program that utilizes reliable access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and consistent exposure to recipes and messages that feature fresh food. Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided more than 25 million pounds of produce and millions of nutrition education materials to more than 275,000 individuals (including teachers) in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) named Brighter Bites the winner of the 2018 PHA Impact Award. In 2016, Brighter Bites won the Texas Health Champion Award. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit