Tell us a little bit about your background and why you joined Workforce Matters. 

I currently oversee Kessler Foundation’s comprehensive grant making program and its communications department. During my tenure, the Foundation has awarded more than $50 million in grant support for national and community-based employment programs. For more than 25 years, I have worked with non-profit organizations in the areas of board development, fundraising, marketing, and business development.

I joined Workforce Matters to network with other Workforce funders and advocate on the importance of recognizing that people with disabilities (PWD) are often overlooked as a talent pool for employment. As 1 in 4, or more than 53 million Americans have disabilities, there are already PWD in your projects that are unrecognized. Furthermore, disability needs to be recognized as part of diversity and employment justice funding.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing this year with the Steering Committee?

I look forward to continuing the theme of our recent conference “ Further Together” with our Steering Committee and members. The strength of our sector is through discovery, networking, and collaboration.  Shared learning, whether it’s positive outcomes from our grants projects or learning from the challenges, creates a body knowledge that moves our journey to advance equity through workforce philanthropy.

What is something people might not know about you?

Before my career at Kessler Foundation where I am finishing up my 23rd year, my career journey began as a speech pathologist ( I still hold my national certification) and included working as insurance agent, administrator for refugee resettlement, consulting, and development director for a battered women’s shelter.