WE MAKE POPCORN LIKE NOBODY ELSE

Popcorn for the People was established to create career opportunities for the disabled community.

82% OF DISABLED PEOPLE ARE UNEMPLOYED

The autistic prevalence rate has risen 20% in the last 20 years, and still 82% of disabled people are unemployed in 2022.  In a pivotal era of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the entire community of disabled adults are still being overlooked.  Often paid under minimum wage, struggling with transportation, and requiring flexible hours, Autistic adults, if able to get through an interview process, have no accommodations in the workplace. We are proud to establish not only jobs but also careers that focus on respect, equal wages and career advancement opportunities for our entire team who is leading the manufacturing and distribution of popcorn across the nation to prove the advantages of a neurodiverse workforce. 

OUR VALUES

  • FAIR WAGES

    Our entire team starts at New Jersey minimum wage, with opportunities for raises.

  • CAREER ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

    Our entire team has equal access to leadership and management roles to grow within our organization.

  • PROMOTING RESPECT AND EQUALITY

    We are not a sheltered workplace isolating individuals based on disability.

SAMUEL BIER, COFOUNDER

When we founded this organization in 2014, I had no working experience besides pushing shopping carts at a grocery store. No company was open to giving me an opportunity that felt fulfilling. My parents and I came together to create opportunities for not just me, but others struggling with employment too.

It's been 8 years since then and I have had the opportunity to learn so much and meet so many new interesting people at Popcorn for the People. Your support for our organization truly means the world to us and I am so happy that because of us joining together, we will be able to create a better future for everyone.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Meet our Board of Trustees!

  • MARK KATZ

    Board of Trustees Chairman

    Mark’s a dedicated C-level executive who fell in love with Popcorn For The People’s mission 3 years ago and hasn’t left our side since. He’s the proud father of 3 boys, the oldest of which is on the autistic spectrum. After beginning his career at Ernst & Young, he’s been helping founder-led businesses grow, from Calvin Klein to Ralph Lauren to most recently Vera Wang, as the COO/CFO of her globally-renowned eponymous brand. Clearly, his passion for fashion has transferred to popcorn and supporting neurodiverse employment: “we won’t stop until we are helping to employ thousands of autistic and disabled adults nationally!”

  • STEVEN BIER

    Cofounder & Board of Trustees Member

    Steven Bier has been involved with philanthropic work since he was fourteen-years-old. His family ran fundraisers in the 1970s for the National Association. of Patients on Hemodialysis and Transplant. He helped fund the first summer camp with dialysis machines so teenagers with renal disease could attend camp. He is a former board member of MyGOAL Autism and a co-founder of Popcorn for the People. He has coached in various Disability Leagues in NY and NJ. He currently is an attending at St. Peters University Hospital and Jersey City Medical Center.

  • BARBIE BIER

    Cofounder & Board of Trustees Member

    Barbie Zimmerman Bier M.D. is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician and mother of four children. Her clinical and research experience over the past 22 years has centered around improving medical care and services for children with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. She has been the P.I. and Co P.I on many research and service grants, including NJ Governor's Council for Medical Pilot Studies, NJ Autism Center of Excellence, industry funded clinical trials as well NIH and CDC Grants, Dr Zimmerman-Bier has also served as a Academic member of the New Jersey Governor's Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism and as a Board Member of MyGOAL Autism. When her oldest son, diagnosed with Autism, entered Adulthood, she was dismayed with the lack of job opportunities available for him. She co- founded Popcorn for the People with her husband Steven Bier in a quest to provide meaningful and sustainable employment for a growing neurodiverse workforce. 

OUR ADVISORS

Meet our Advisory Board!

  • LOVE WHELCHEL, II

    Advisory Board Member

    With a strong commitment to Popcorn For The People's mission, Love became an integral part of our team two years ago. His passion for our cause is unwavering. Love's impressive career spans over a decade, during which he has cultivated an extensive network of resources across diverse industries including entertainment, advertising, fashion, and technology.

    Notably, Love has previously served as the Head of HR at Vera Wang and held the position of Chief Human Resources Officer at Combs Enterprises/Bad Boy Worldwide, where he worked alongside renowned entertainer Sean “Diddy” Combs.

    “Let's collaborate to make a positive impact, empowering exceptional individuals to deliver remarkable results”. 

  • BOB KAUFMAN

    Advisory Board Member

    Bob Kaufman brings over three decades of invaluable experience in the food industry to our board of advisors. Currently serving as the divisional president of Woodstock Farms Manufacturing, a division of UNFI (the largest retail food distribution system in the country), Bob's extensive background speaks volumes. Before joining Woodstock Farms, he spent 31 years at Performance Food Group, where he served as the director of special segment sales and was previously on the board of directors for MOJO Organics. He discovered our nonprofit through a colleague and was instantly captivated by our mission. With a deep sense of gratitude for his own success, Bob is committed to paying it forward by championing the right causes and supporting meaningful initiatives in the food and beverage sector. 

  • STEVE FRANK

    Events Director & Advisory Board Member

    As a parent of an adult with special needs, Steve’s goal in life was to make sure that his daughter Mia had purpose beyond graduation from school. When Popcorn For The People was established in 2015, the dream became a reality and Mia is now an employee that is not judged by what she is not able to do but praised for the tasks that she was able to do. Steve left his job with the New York Times to become the event director for Popcorn For The People. “ At the age of 51,  I went from a dead end job with no meaning to getting up every day and fulfilling my dream of working side by side with a population that is showing the world their untapped potential." Steve resides in East Brunswick with his wife Gabrielle, his son Alex and his daughter Mia, who was his inspiration and driving force in making this career change come.

  • PRIYA SHUKLA

    Advisory Board Member

    Priya Shukla is a strategic PR and Communications Executive with over 15 years of expertise. She is an ambitious, highly entrepreneurial professional with a strong record of innovative program development and creative leadership. Born and raised in Australia, she has a cross cultural sensibility with international work experience. She resides in New York City with her husband and two daughters. A member of Priya's extended family is on the autism spectrum and this has inspired her passionate support of the mission.

  • AMY GESSNER

    Treasurer & Advisory Board Member

    Amy first encountered the nonprofit,  Popcorn for the People when helping her twins seek part-time employment while in High School. Initially, it was a small entity with a handful of employees that operated located in Brunswick Square Mall. Inspired by its mission statement, Amy joined the nonprofit organization and has been committed to its success as it has grown to over 70 employees and  maintains an edict to hire a majority of its staff from a neurodiverse community. Today, with 35 years of public Accounting experience, Amy is the Treasurer, handling both the financial and HR responsibilities of the nonprofit. 

MSG NETWORKS: POPCORN FOR THE PEOPLE

LET'S WORK FOR GOOD INC.

(EIN: 47-3892053)

Popcorn for the People was created by Let's Work for Good Inc. to fill a gap in the employment market where disabled individuals can have respectable job opportunities, equitable pay, proper training, and employment resources. 100% of the profits of Popcorn for the People get reinvested back into our organization to increase out impact. 

When you are donating to Let's Work for Good Inc. / Popcorn for the People, you are directly helping us create a neurodiverse future and expanding our mission.

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