Gaithersburg executive, anti-hunger advocate, dies
Brady remembered for creating chariy
Stephen J. Brady, a Gaithersburg resident and activist in the fight against hunger, died at home Saturday after a two-year bout with cancer.
Brady was senior vice president for corporate communications at Gaithersburg-based food industry giant Sodexo and president of the charitable Sodexo Foundation, which supports programs to help children and families in the U. S. who are at risk of hunger.
He was 66.
Pascale Brady, Stephen's wife, characterized her late husband as a humble, kind and caring man who embraced a healthy lifestyle and loved sports and helping others.
When people learned that he was in hospice care, the family began receiving dozens, if not hundreds, of messages from around the world, she said.
"Those messages each and every one of them are from people who say that he changed their life, that he was the best mentor they could have ever had," she said.
Brady began his career with Sodexo in 1990 as vice president of strategic development. He also served as vice president of health care operations, regional vice president of education operations and vice president of marketing and communications, according to a company profile.
He started the Sodexo Foundation in 1999 and it became his passion for the rest of his life.
"There is enough food in America to feed all children, yet millions are at risk of suffering long-term effects on their health, education and future potential because they do not have dependable access to nutritious food," Brady said in a Jan. 31 press release announcing new grants for summer meal programs in Maryland, Virginia and Florida.
In recent years, Brady shifted the focus of the foundation to concentrate on eradicating childhood hunger and engaging young people in hunger-prevention programs, said Shondra Jenkins, director of community relations for Sodexo.
"He was always in awe of the dedication that young people could bring to projects in their communities," Jenkins said. "Through their eyes, it is just not fair that people don't have enough to eat, particularly children."
In 2007, Brady created the Stop Hunger scholarship; 100 young adults applied that year. Last year, the foundation received more than 9,000 applications.
In the dozen years since its creation, the foundation has expanded to 39 different countries on six continents, Jenkins said. More than $15 million has been given to food banks and other hunger-related organizations in the United States.
"His vision was that we would have no hunger," Jenkins said. "There are 17 million hungry children in the U.S. He thought that was not fair."
Brady had also served on the boards of Feeding America (formerly known as America's Second Harvest) and the Alliance to End Hunger.
He was born June 30, 1944, in Tinley Park, Ill., to Arnold Wilson Brady and Marion Elizabeth Temple. He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Boston University and attended the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Brady is survived by Pascale Brady; his son, Jason, and daughter-in-law, Carolyn, of Acton, Mass., and their children Graham, Ryan and Millie; his daughters, Lauren, of Boston, Mass., and Suzanne and Eva Brady of Gaithersburg; and his sister, Patricia Anderson, of Poway, Calif.
There will be a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sodexo Foundation, 9801 Washingtonian Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878 or online www.SodexoFoundation.org.