Former Statehouse candidate Meaghan Miller named executive director of EATS Park City
After votes were tallied and Meaghan Miller-Gitlin knew she would not be serving as a representative for House District 54 in the Utah Legislature, she asked herself a question: What now?
She continued to be a wife, a mother of two and the development manager of the People’s Health Clinic. But Miller-Gitlin, who narrowly lost in her attempt to unseat incumbent Rep. Tim Quinn in November, was ready to go down a new career path. When she saw EATS Park City was hiring an executive director, she immediately sent in her application. She was announced as the new leader of the nonprofit, which helps improve the nutrition and education at schools in the area, last week.
Miller-Gitlin is set to start in her new role on March 4 after she leaves her position at the People’s Health Clinic on March 1. She has worked at the clinic, which provides health care to uninsured individuals in Summit and Wasatch counties, since October of 2014.
She said the clinic’s executive director, Beth Armstrong, encouraged her to go after the position at EATS. She said Armstrong thought it would be a good opportunity for Miller-Gitlin to take on more responsibilities.
Miller-Gitlin said she has always been interested in food and nutrition, which is why the EATS Park City position appealed to her. She graduated with a minor in nutrition, and she said nutrition was influential in the work she did as an athletic trainer during and after college.
“Up until now there was never really a meaningful opportunity to bring food and nutrition to the forefront for my career,” she said.
Now, Miller-Gitlin will lead EATS (Eat Awesome Things at School) Park City, which launched in 2013. It hosts cooking classes that utilize healthy recipes and works with Park City School District to provide lessons and gardens to students.
Miller-Gitlin said she believes in the work EATS Park City has done, and she is excited to direct the nonprofit as it expands.
She said she will bring her experience working at People’s Health Clinic, where she learned about the importance of collaboration. She plans to continue to increase the nonprofit’s partnerships and improve community buy-in.
She said she enjoys working in the nonprofit sector because of the positive effects they have on the community. In Park City, the tight-knit community values the nonprofits and is willing to donate to help them thrive.
But she also likes working at nonprofits because she is involved in making meaningful changes. She ran for the Legislature last year because she wanted to be help change policies, she said. She saw the executive director position as another way for her to help shape policies and be impactful in the community.
“For me, it’s not necessarily about politics, it’s about being willing to get your hands messy and have conversations and hopefully drive things forward,” she said. “I’m really grateful that a door I’ve always been interested in has opened so that I can go down that path and have the adventure of being part of shaping our food education.”
A Parkite who immigrated to the U.S. when he was 13 is giving scholarships and internships to three first-generation graduates from PCHS.