STOP is a national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens by:
Chief Executive Officer
Deirdre Schlunegger, Chief Executive Officer for STOP Foodborne Illness has over twenty years of nonprofit and leadership experience. Deirdre joined the organization in August 2010 and serves as an advisory member of the Joint Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition and of Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy affordable, and sustainable food. Before joining STOP, she held the position of President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma. Prior to this, she was Vice-President of Chapter Relations at Breast Cancer Network of Strength. She has served as the Executive Director of a Chicago nonprofit organization and a national foundation, has been the Director of Child Life Programs in a number of Children’s Hospitals, and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Georgia during that time. She has worked in many other nonprofit environments, in a number of roles. Deirdre has also worked as a consultant for various organizations.
Deirdre graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies, completed a Child Life Internship at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital and completed a program in Nonprofit Management at the Kellogg School of Business. She has attended numerous leadership courses including ones at The Wharton School of Business and The University of Chicago. She previously served on the Chicago Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence Advisory Committee, the Illinois Juvenile Court Domestic Violence Committee and was a Board Member of the Illinois Coalition of Domestic Violence. Deirdre is fluent in Spanish and has worked on various translation projects over the years.
Maria has been working at STOP for the past two years as the organization's Operations Manager. Her job responsibilities include: Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, and Office Administration work. Maria has twenty years of accounting, administrative and member services experience at the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, a not-for-profit organization. In her last two years at the Bureau, she served as a liaison with the state government grant administration as a Grant Coordinator.
Maria is a graduate of Northwestern Business College in Chicago. Maria is excited to contribute to the growth and success of STOP Foodborne Illness.
Vanessa Coffman holds a Master's of Science in Global Public Health & the Environment from the University of California, Berkeley. Melding her passion for public and environmental health, Vanessa comes to STOP with a wide range of work and experience, most recently as a research and abatement team member with the City of Chicago Department of Public Health’s West Nile Virus Program. Vanessa is no stranger to hard work and her dedication has seen her serving as Senior Program Coordinator for a grant-funded medical mission in rural Bolivia; a Research Assistant conducting consumer protection investigations at the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, CA; and, as an intern with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (UN-FAO) in Sierra Leone, West Africa. When not working with advocates and coalition members to improve food safety, Vanessa also teaches Environmental Science at a local university. She is excited to use her teaching skills to advance foodborne illness educational awareness for STOP’s members and the public at large.
Stanley Rutledge is originally from southwest Iowa, where they’re famous for corn and naps. He read his first novel at age 28 (yeah, you read that right!) and he’s always ready to hear about your travels. He has a B.S. in Pastoral Ministry, a BFA in Interior Design and a lot of hours in the school called “Life.” His varied work experience has given him opportunities in such diverse fields as design, books, travel, food and now nonprofit where he gets to put all that experience to good use. As a STOP volunteer, Stanley wrote letters, organized the office and printed some pretty awesome labels. Currently, among other tasks, he wears the hats of research associate, website administrator, and idea man. He likes seeking and finding.