Bahamas Feeding Network Announces Appointment of Royal Caribbean VP Russell Benford to Board of Directors


The Bahamas Feeding Network today announced the appointment of Russell Benford, Royal Caribbean Group Vice President, Government Relations, Americas, to the board of directors with effect immediately. 

Benford, a former deputy mayor of Miami-Dade County, has had a regular presence in The Bahamas since assuming his role with Royal Caribbean in 2017 with responsibility for North, Central and South America, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. He also serves as chairman of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Operations Committee. 

“The Bahamas Feeding Network has had a long-standing relationship with Royal Caribbean International, whose generosity has helped feed tens of thousands over the past five years,” said BFN Chairman Felix Stubbs. “We have always maintained a close relationship with our single largest corporate sponsor and enjoyed open channels of communication. In taking the partnership to a new level, we are extremely pleased to welcome to the board Mr. Benford who brings a world of international solutions-oriented experience.” 

In his leadership position in Miami-Dade County, with a population of more than 2.9 million, Benford had direct oversight of public safety and social services.

“I have been impressed by the Bahamas Feeding Network’s amazing work since our team first joined volunteers on a human assembly line, preparing and serving hot meals,” said Benford. “It’sIt’s been incredible to see the organization grow from serving hundreds to serving thousands over the years, and I look forward to helping the Bahamas Feeding Network grow while looking at new ways to source healthy foods.”

Stubbs and Benford agreed that one area that will gain more attention this year with the panic of the pandemic fading into the rear-view mirror is exploring ways to add more fresh vegetables and produce to food parcels. Last month, BFN fed more than 3,200 families through a network of churches and feeding centres, providing staples, canned goods and fresh poultry.  

In addition to the experience Benford brings from his most recent posts, he served as City Manager of North Miami and City Administrator of West Park, Florida. He also served as Village Manager of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. Benford holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, where he concentrated in Public Administration and Management and was named a Woodrow Wilson Public Policy and International Studies Fellow.

Other members of the board of directors include Fr. James Palacious, Sean Moree, Shayne Davis, Robin Symonette, Elaine Pinder, Mario Carey, Peter Whitehead, Patricia Hermanns (Hon.) and Philip Smith. Rev. Lester Ferguson is a director of BFNI, the organization’s international board with US tax credit status.  

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