Sam Newman is the Executive Director of Brighter Bites, a Houston-based non-profit whose mission is to Create Communities of Health through Fresh Food.
Sam joined Brighter Bites in January 2016 following over a decade working in international business and development, marketing, research, and retail. In his role as ED, Sam oversees operations of an organization with 42 employees and a $3.2M annual budget. In 2016, Brighter Bites and its partners distributed more than 5,000,000 pounds of produce and over 600,000 pieces of nutrition education material to nearly 20,000 families in over 100 sites in Houston, Dallas, and Austin.
In addition to the day-to-day, and together with the founders, board, and staff, Sam is charged with formulating and executing Brighter Bites’ strategic plan, which envisages a rollout of the program to under-served areas around the country with the ultimate goal of changing long-term health outcomes for school children, their families, and the broader community.
Sam’s immediate past position was with San Antonio-based grocer H-E-B, one of the largest independently owned food retailers in the nation, operating over 360 stores in Texas and Mexico, with more than 80,000 employees and annual sales of $22 billion. Here he was a senior member of the research team charged with formulating company-wide initiatives designed to inform and inspire better business and marketing decisions.
Prior to working with H-E-B, Sam held various positions in Washington, D.C., either in government or directly related to it. He started his career post-college with Quinn Gillespie, one of the first bi-partisan public affairs shops. After this he joined the Commerce Department as a political appointee, where he coordinated U.S. government advocacy on behalf of American companies pursuing foreign government procurement opportunities in Turkey, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. He was later seconded to the Office of the U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank where he played a similar business liaison role, then went on as an advisor with the Office of Institutional Integrity (the Bank’s internal fraud and corruption unit).
Sam is originally from Austin. He holds a BA in Government from the University of Texas and an MBA from Georgetown University. He and his wife Marjory (a Houston native) moved to Houston in early 2016. They have two sons, who occasionally serve as able and at times even willing test subjects for Brighter Bites recipe tastings.