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India Pierce LeeGrantmaking
Senior Vice President, Program
Executive Assistant: Annabel Bryan 216.615.7177
India Pierce Lee is Senior Vice President, Program at the Cleveland Foundation. She leads the foundation’s grantmaking team, working with the board, staff, and community leaders to define Greater Cleveland’s critical needs and leverage resources to help meet them. Pierce Lee joined the foundation in 2006 as Program Director for Neighborhoods, Housing and Community Development. She worked with Cleveland’s community development corporations and neighborhood intermediary organizations, and oversaw the Greater University Circle Initiative, a multi-institutional neighborhood revitalization partnership, including Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and the City of Cleveland.
Prior to joining the Cleveland Foundation, Pierce Lee served as Senior Vice President of Programs at Neighborhood Progress Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Science in management from Cleveland’s Dyke College and is a graduate of the Louis Stokes Fellowship in Community Development from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, where she obtained a Master of Science in social administration.
In 2009, Pierce Lee completed the prestigious Loeb Fellowship from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where she studied neighborhood revitalization, with a special interest in sustainability. She completed a Master of Art in Psychology specializing in Diversity Management at Cleveland State University in May 2017.
Lillian A. KuriGrantmaking
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Executive Assistant: Mary Clare Donnelly 216.685.4000
In her role as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Lillian is leading the development of the foundation’s new strategic plan and the design execution, operations and community planning for the foundation’s move of its headquarters to MidTown/Hough, and she co-leads the foundation’s social impact investing strategy, a portfolio of investments including program related investments (PRIs) and recoverable grants. The Cleveland Foundation currently has a $34 million loan pool for PRIs. In 2019, the foundation announced a new goal of $150 million in social impact investments by 2022.
Lillian joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2005 as a consultant to develop a comprehensive strategy for one of the foundation’s priority strategic initiatives: the revitalization of the Greater University Circle area, now one of the nation’s leading comprehensive anchor institution development strategies. This placed-based initiative places equity and sustainability at its core through the integration of cross-cutting issues such as transportation, mixed-use development, housing incentives, education, sustainability, community health, and economic inclusion. Lillian was one of the early founders of the Evergreen Cooperatives – a groundbreaking initiative to create community wealth through a connected group of worker-owned businesses in Greater University Circle.
She officially joined the staff in 2007 as a Program Director and in 2016 was promoted to Vice President, Strategic Grantmaking, Arts & Urban Design, focusing her work on arts, culture and placemaking, including the foundation’s arts mastery initiatives, which bring year-round, rigorous, mastery-based programs in theater, music, and visual arts to over 3,000 underserved children annually. She also managed the foundation’s international residency program, Creative Fusion. Over the last several years, she has also played a key role in strengthening the foundation’s work in social impact and mission-related investing, economic and workforce development, and sustainability initiatives.
Lillian has more than 20 years of experience as a nonprofit executive. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Cleveland Public Art and held positions as the manager for the City of Cleveland’s Citywide Plan as well as project coordinator for the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. As the Executive Director of Cleveland Public Art from 2000-2004, she was responsible for the implementation of over $4 million in projects over her 4-year tenure.
Lillian holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University, as well as a Bachelor of Architecture from Kent State University. She is a licensed architect in the state of Ohio and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Cleveland Planning Commission.
Dale Robinson AnglinGrantmaking
Vice President, Program
Program Coordinator: Emma Kopp 216.615.7179
Dale Robinson Anglin joined the foundation in May 2017 as a consultant, and was hired in October 2017 as Program Director for Youth and Social Services. In her current role as Vice President, Program, Dale works to align the foundation’s grantmaking initiatives to the ongoing needs of diverse communities in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
Prior to joining the Cleveland Foundation, Dale was Associate Director for Programs at the Victoria Foundation in Newark, NJ, where she was responsible for successful programming in higher education, STEM/STEAM, K-12 education, summer youth employment and leadership efforts. Dale has served as Director of Resource Development for New Community Corporation in Newark, as the Executive Director of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, and was a social analyst for the Congressional Research Service, both in Washington D.C.
Dale earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in government and African American Studies from Smith College, and a master’s degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. She served as an Alfred P. Sloan/Association for Public Policy and Management Fellow.
Dale served on the Community Foundation of New Jersey board for nine years, the state’s largest community foundation, and she currently serves on the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation board. She is originally from Chicago, IL and is excited to be back in the Midwest.
Program Director for Arts & Culture and Racial Equity Initiatives
Courtenay A. Barton joined the foundation in September 2017 as a National Urban Fellow and was hired in September 2018 as Program Manager for Arts & Culture. Courtenay has more than 12 years’ experience in nonprofit management in media, arts, and education. Prior to joining the foundation, Courtenay was the Associate Director of Stewardship at the Brooklyn College Foundation. She also had roles at New York City’s public television station Thirteen/WNET and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Courtenay earned a bachelor of arts degree in English, Creative Writing, and African American Studies from Columbia University. She also received a master of public administration degree from Bernard M. Baruch College, Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. Her Master’s thesis, “A Foundation for Equity: Philanthropic Strategies to End Racial Inequity in Cleveland” won a Philip J. Rutledge Award for Outstanding Academic Capstone Achievement.
Karen Bartrum JansenGrantmaking
Karen Bartrum Jansen joined the Cleveland Foundation more than 10 years ago. She currently works in Grants Management, helping donors and grantees through the foundation’s systems and processes. Prior to joining the foundation, Karen worked in various sales and office management roles for a metal broker, a small computer company, and an international plastics manufacturer.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business with a minor in computer information systems from Ohio State University.
Program Director, Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement
Administrative Assistant: Ciba Jones 216.615.7184
Nelson is the Program Director for Neighborhood Revitalization & Engagement. He rejoined the foundation in January 2018 after spending four years at Saint Luke’s Foundation, where he served as Senior Program Officer for a Strong Neighborhood. In that role, Nelson oversaw their Strong Neighborhood program, with the goal of making enhancements to the built environment and improving social conditions in the Buckeye-Shaker, Mt. Pleasant and Woodland Hills neighborhoods. Before that, Nelson served as Program Officer for the Cleveland Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking, focusing on community development, environmental sustainability and program management of the Summer Internship program.
Nelson has also worked for the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, University Hospitals Health System, Cole Managed Vision, and the American Red Cross. Nelson also served with the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Psychology from Cleveland State University. Nelson and his wife are empty nesters and live in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland.
Program Officer, Education
Katie Brennan joined the Foundation in 2016 as 2016-2017 Public Service Fellow, during which time she staffed the Cleveland Community Police Commission and assisted on projects within the Foundation. She now serves as a Program Officer with projects focusing on education and youth-related issues.
Katie graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame—where she was a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar—with a Bachelor’s in Sociology and minors in Irish Studies and Irish Language & Literature. She received a Master’s with Distinction in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland. Her MA thesis focused on police reform in Cleveland and what could be learned from Northern Ireland’s reform process.
Katie also serves as a teacher in the St. Ignatius/Walsh Jesuit Irish Studies Program and has worked at length with the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership. Previously she has also served as a research assistant on the Northern Ireland Project at the University of Notre Dame, a 1916 Easter Rising Project at Notre Dame, and with the Cleveland Irish American Archives Society. She also served as an intern on a PBS/BBC documentary about the Irish 1916 Easter Rising.
Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President
Annabel Bryan joined the foundation in 2004 as a program assistant and supported board-directed and special initiatives for two program directors in Arts and Urban Design and Community Development. She now serves as executive assistant to the Senior Vice President of Program. In this capacity, she provides project and meeting management support to internal and external partners including Board members and senior management. Annabel also coordinates the local nomination and selection process for the American Marshall Memorial Fellows program in partnership with the German Marshall Fund in DC. Her previous experience includes working as an executive assistant at Hyatt Legal Plans and as a research assistant at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
Annabel received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Boston University. She currently volunteers in Cleveland schools.
Program Officer, Arts & Culture
Joi Carter joined the Cleveland Foundation in July 2021 as Program Officer of Arts and Culture. Her role is to research, develop, implement, and evaluate strategic initiatives and programs in the arts and culture sector. Prior to joining the foundation, Joi worked as the Senior Manager of Community Empowerment for MidTown Cleveland, where she was responsible for co-creating networks for and initiatives with the community that focused on preserving history, celebrating culture and the arts, and providing access to meaningful resources that moved residents toward leadership, economic ownership and being champions for their neighborhoods. Prior experiences also include Brand Experience Manager of Live Events for United Way of Greater Cleveland and Project Coordination Intern for LAND Studio. Joi graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Apparel Merchandising and Product Development with minors in marketing and art and was a Crain’s Cleveland Business “20 in Their 20s” award recipient in 2020.
Senior Project Director, Cleveland Purpose Built Communities
Kimalon Dixon brings extensive experience in public and community service to the Cleveland Foundation. Kimalon served as Program Officer of Health at the Cleveland Foundation from October 2013 until May 2018. She is now Senior Project Director, Cleveland Purpose Built Communities – a joint initiative of the Saint Luke’s Foundation and the Cleveland Foundation. Cleveland Purpose Built Communities is a holistic neighborhood revitalization initiative with a goal of transforming areas within the Buckeye/Woodhill and Glenville neighborhoods. The initiative is modeled after the successful Purpose Built Communities’ model that originated in a community outside of Atlanta, GA approximately 20 years ago. The model is built upon multi-sector collaboration of three strategic focus areas - education; mixed income housing; and community health & wellness.
Prior to joining the Cleveland Foundation, Kimalon was Project Director at the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) where she managed a multi-sector collaborative that focused on the elimination of childhood lead poisoning and pursuit of healthy homes in Greater Cleveland. Kimalon earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Management & Labor Relations from Cleveland State University. She has been recognized by the City of Cleveland and State of Ohio with awards for her impactful work at CDPH and was honored by Who’s Who in Black Cleveland in 2012. Kimalon is a graduate of the Cleveland Management Academy. She was selected by Grantmakers In Health’s Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy Fellow in 2016. Kimalon was recently selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader, Cohort 3.
Mary Clare DonnellyGrantmaking
Executive Assistant/Program Assistant Coordinator
Mary Clare Donnelly joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2004 as a program assistant and now serves as the executive assistant to the vice president, strategic grantmaking, arts & urban design initiatives. She provides advanced administrative support, and included among her duties are coordination and communication with senior management and board members, extensive calendar maintenance, management of various in-house processes, and collaborative work across all departments.
Her prior experience includes various executive administrative positions at IMG, a global sports, fashion, and media business, and in the legal department at Key Bank.
Program Manager, Economic & Workforce Development
Administrative Assistant: Ciba Jones 216.615.7184
Keisha González joined the Cleveland Foundation in June 2018 as the Program Officer for Community Revitalization and Engagement. In her current role, Keisha is responsible for supporting the foundation's Social Impact Investing initiatives through the management of both current and future investment opportunities that will lead to equitable economic growth. She works in collaboration with colleagues to position the foundation’s strategy for community development innovation, supporting efforts to strengthen the sector’s capacity and appetite for innovative risk.
Prior to joining the foundation, Keisha served as the Managing Director for Metro West Community Development Organization. In this capacity, she implemented the organization’s strategic plan, management of programs and operations, and cultivated productive relationships in the public, private and civic sector. During her career at Metro West, Keisha also held the positions of Community Organizer (2014) and Director of Economic Development (2016). In these capacities, she focused on community-building initiatives designed to improve conditions in the neighborhood through the involvement of residents, businesses and community institutions.
Keisha earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Cleveland State University and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from the University of Delaware. During her time at the University of Delaware she worked for the Mid-Atlantic Historic Buildings and Landscape Survey at the Centre for Historic Architecture and Design documenting at-risk historic dwellings, infrastructure and landscapes for local and state governments.
Committed to the equitable placemaking, Keisha has worked on many key projects in the cities where she has lived. Locally, Keisha was a part of the executive steering committee that launched La Placita and has elevated the La Villa Hispana as a priority placemaking initiative for the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. On the east coast, she worked on the Delaware City Oral History Project, a campaign designed to digitally document local recollections pertaining specifically to the history of the natural areas surrounding Delaware City, Delaware.
Program Director, Leadership Development
Administrative Assistant: Ciba Jones 216.615.7184
Kathleen Hallissey is currently the Program Director for Leadership Development at the Cleveland Foundation where she has responsibility for its leadership programs including the Foundation’s summer internship program, the Public Service Fellowship program and the Encore Cleveland Initiative which focuses on tapping into the time, energy and talents of experienced Clevelanders to solve community challenges and fill unmet needs. She also oversees grantmaking and provides leadership in the aging and early learning sectors.
She joined The Cleveland Foundation in August 2005 as a program officer, focusing on education and health, human services grants, and strengthening nonprofit organizations across Greater Cleveland. She was promoted to Director of Community Responsive Grantmaking where she worked with a team of program officers to align grantmaking with the needs of the community and the foundation’s priorities.
Previously, Kathy served as a management consultant to the Head Start community working on special projects such as the grantee monitoring system, data analysis and the development of training and technical assistance materials. She served as a program analyst in the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, focusing on programs and policies impacting children, youth and families specifically Head Start and Early Head Start. She began her career in the federal government as a Presidential Management Fellow. This two-year program was designed to build excellence in the public sector. During her fellowship she completed key projects in legislative affairs, planning and evaluation, and program implementation.
Kathy earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Drew University in New Jersey. She is a 2013 Leadership Cleveland graduate and a graduate of the YWCA Women’s Momentum program.
Ciba “CJ” Jones is the program coordinator for community-responsive grantmaking and two program officers. CJ joined the foundation in August 2003. Prior to that, she was the human resources coordinator for the Benjamin Rose Institute’s administrative office.
CJ received a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University, an artistic diploma in theory from the Royal College of Music, and an artistic diploma in performance from the Julliard School.
Director, Grants Management
Diane Kaszei has been with the foundation since 1990. She was promoted to grants manager in 2004 when the foundation centralized its grantmaking. Prior to that, Diane worked in the Gift Planning and Donor Relations Department helping donors with grantmaking and as an assistant in the civic and economic development program area.
Diane holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Myers University.
Program Officer, Grantmaking Initiatives
Andrew Katusin joined the Cleveland Foundation in August 2021 as the Program Officer, Grantmaking Initiatives, where he oversees various investments across the nonprofit sector in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga Counties. Prior to joining the Foundation, Andrew served as the Director of Basic Needs at United Way of Greater Cleveland and managed the organization’s responsive grantmaking in the areas of housing, homeless services, and food access. In addition, he supported the Community Investment team’s special projects including Right to Counsel and the Family Stability Initiative.
Andrew is a Licensed Social Worker and holds a Master of Social Science Administration from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Andrew serves on the Community Advisory Council for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and volunteers with the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation in his neighborhood.
Emma Kopp joined the Cleveland Foundation in September 2020 as the Program Coordinator for the Youth, Health, and Human Services team and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. In this position, Emma assists in implementing and managing major programmatic initiatives, processing internal and external grant requests, monitoring budgets and expenses, analyzing past and present grantmaking data, and acts as the point-of-contact for outside inquiries. Prior to her current position, Emma was a 2019-2020 Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellow placed at the City of Cleveland Department of Aging. Other past experience includes serving as the Heritage Home Program Assistant at the Cleveland Restoration Society and as a Job Coach at Linking Employment, Abilities, and Potential (LEAP).
Emma earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology/Sociology and Religion from Denison University. A native Clevelander, Emma enjoys being active in her community and holds leadership roles in a number of civic and philanthropic organizations.
Karen R. LongGrantmaking
Manager, Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
Program Coordinator: Emma Kopp, 216.615.7179
Karen R. Long manages the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, the only juried prize given each year for the best books to confront racism and contribute to our understanding of rich human cultures. She supports the jury deliberations, the celebration of the winners and works to bring the Anisfield-Wolf canon – stretching back to 1935 – into the lives of more readers each year.
Karen came to the Cleveland Foundation in 2013 after eight years as book editor of the Plain Dealer. She continues as a literary critic, writing for Newsday, Kirkus, the Seattle Times and the Los Angeles Times. In 2016, she finished a seven-year stretch as a vice president for the National Book Critics Circle, where she was a judge for its six annual prizes, awarded each spring in New York City.
In addition, Karen served the Plain Dealer as a science writer, investigative reporter and a religion and ethics writer, and served her co-workers as a vice president of Local One of the Newspaper Guild. She won a Penny Missouri award for best magazine feature and an Associated Press award for best feature writing. A voracious reader since she wore her cat-eyed glasses to kindergarten in Seattle, Karen was educated at the University of Washington and Oxford University in England. She raised three children in Cleveland Heights with her husband Joe Frolik. In 2015, Cleveland Magazine named her one of the most interesting people in the city.
Program Manager, Environmental Initiatives
Stephen Love joined the Foundation in 2014 as part of the community responsive grantmaking team. In this capacity, Stephen also managed the Foundation’s Summer Internship Program and oversaw implementation of the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship. In 2018, Stephen became the Foundation’s Environment Program Officer, overseeing development of an Environmental Grantmaking strategy, including efforts to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the parks and greenspaces we enjoy by supporting policies and practices that link environmental protection, climate action, health, equity and economic prosperity.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2014, Stephen worked for the Cuyahoga Land Bank, researching and compiling property data for vacant property reuse opportunities as part of the President’s Special Projects team. Additionally, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, focusing on neighborhood stabilization and urban agriculture projects. Stephen founded a volunteer beach cleanup and advocacy effort directed at improving Euclid Beach Park. Previously, he served on the board of directors of the Cleveland Lakefront Conservancy and the Northeast Shores Development Corporation.
Jane Marquiss formally joined the foundation in December 2013 as a Grants Assistant after serving as a consultant from 2012-2013. In her new capacity, Jane supports higher education students by managing online data for the summer internship program and a broad range of scholarships.
Jane previously served as the Assistant Director for Administration in Student Health Services, at The Ohio State University, retiring in 1994 after 15 years employment. Since that time, she served in a volunteer capacity for various organizations performing administrative and database management functions.
Jane holds a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Professions from The Ohio State University.
Colleen McCaughey joined the Cleveland Foundation in August 2021 as a Grants Coordinator. In her role, she supports the Program team and external grantee partners to facilitate the grantmaking process. Prior to joining the Foundation, Colleen spent six years at Cleveland Public Theatre as a core member of their Development team, primarily managing institutional giving.
Originally from Hudson, Ohio, Colleen has worked across Northeast Ohio as a stage manager, performer, and singer. Most recently, she served as the Production Stage Manager for Working Theater’s 2020 national virtual tour of Leila Buck’s “American Dreams.” From 2013-2015, she worked in New York City as a stage manager for various theatre companies including The Play Company, The Flea Theater, and Lincoln Center, while serving as the Administrative Associate for Dixon Place Theater. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in both Theatre and Political Science from Allegheny College.
Program Officer, Leadership Development
As Program Officer, Stephanie provides support for the planning, implementation, and management of the foundation’s programs focused on community leadership and development, including the Cleveland Foundation Public Service Fellowship and Summer Internship Programs, scholarships, and Encore Cleveland.
Stephanie joined the foundation as a summer intern in 2016, first supporting Greater Cleveland Volunteers. She then interned with the foundation's Community Responsive Grantmaking team, helping plan and manage the Summer Internship and Public Service Fellowship programs.
Stephanie is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration as well as a certificate in nonprofit management at Cleveland State University. She earned her bachelor of science in education from Kent State University. She is a former teacher and two-term AmeriCorps Alumna, having served with the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, Florida, and Notre Dame Mission Volunteers in Washington, D.C.
Zaija Pelligree joined the Cleveland Foundation in May 2021 as a Program Coordinator. In this role, she provides administrative and project support to Stephen Love, Program Manager for Environmental Initiatives, and other program staff as assigned in alignment with their strategic initiatives.
Before joining the foundation, Zaija worked as Urban Programs Coordinator at Western Reserve Land Conservancy (WRLC), where she provided coordination and support for all urban program areas, including land banks, community forestry, property inventory initiatives and vacant land redevelopment.
Zaija has great passion for urban greening and community organizing. In addition to her academic and professional experience, she also volunteered with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms in Costa Rica, and currently serves as a Council Appointed Member of South Euclid Tree Commission as well as Board Vice President of Organic Connections Inc.
Zaija graduated magna cum laude from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies with a minor in Sustainable Development.
Debbie Slocum provides administrative support to the program director for education and the director of institutional learning and arts initiatives. In that role, Debbie manages calendars, budgets, and travel; arranges meetings; and serves as a liaison to staff and external clients to support her directors’ initiatives.
Debbie joined the foundation in March 2012 and brings several years of senior executive-assistant support experience from varied industries, including insurance, accounting, a trade association, and, most recently, education.
She is actively involved with the International Association of Administrative Professionals, a nonprofit professional association for office professionals. She serves as board president of IAAP’s North Coast chapter.
Associate Director, Grants Management
Kirby Suntala provides administrative support to the Program, Advancement and Finance teams, as well as external grantee partners, to structure and coordinate workflow and communication around the grantmaking process.
Prior to joining the Foundation’s Program team in August 2019, Kirby served Cleveland’s youth and families as Rainey Institute’s Administrative Assistant, where he carried out registration, marketing, proposal writing, and business development functions for the community arts center. While at Rainey, Kirby also served as Graduate Assistant to the Director of the Master of Public Administration Program at Cleveland State’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. There he analyzed and coded emergency communications by state and local officials across several social media platforms.
Kirby holds a Master of Public Administration and dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Nonprofit Administration & Urban Studies from Cleveland State University. Alongside his work in the nonprofit sector, Kirby is passionate about the arts and is an actively performing musician in the community.
Program Officer, Health & Human Services
Kate Terrell joined the Cleveland Foundation in June 2019 and currently serves as a Program Officer focusing on projects related to health and human services. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kate spent nearly a decade working with and for out-of-school time programs across Cleveland where she focused on leveraging education, outreach, and direct service provision in order to promote well-being for youth and families. Most recently, she coordinated fund development and evaluation design for the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, an organization that provides outreach and case management services to at-risk and gang-involved youth. Kate began her career in the classroom where she taught literature, journalism, and creative writing to high school students.
Kate holds a Master of Science in Urban Studies with a concentration in Public Policy from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Science in Integrated English Language Arts with a concentration in Cultural Studies and Public Life from Miami University. She is an involved and active community member and currently serves on the board of Twelve Literary Arts and the Junior League of Cleveland.
Program Officer, Youth & Human Services
Darlene Toney joined the Cleveland Foundation in August 2019 and currently serves as a Program Officer focusing on projects related to Youth and Human Services. Prior to joining the Foundation, Darlene spent many years dedicated to serving Cleveland area youth and families, most recently as a Community Resource Manager with College Now Greater Cleveland. As Community Resource Manager she partnered with community organizations to align community, school, and family resources to eliminate the barriers of student development and post-secondary success. Throughout her career she has developed and championed programs and strategies that engage youth and families to participate in the academic process, out of school time enrichment and leadership development activities that advance the whole child. Darlene earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University and her Masters of Public Administration from Cleveland State University, with a graduate certificate of nonprofit administration and leadership.
Program Manager, Neighborhoods and Environment
Deepa Vedavyas joined the Cleveland Foundation in August 2021 as Program Manager, Neighborhoods and Environment. In her current role, Deepa works on an integrated broad-based approach that knits together the work of built environment, neighborhoods, housing and community development and build capacity for Greater Cleveland’s environmental sector to advance equity.
In her former role she served as the Sustainability Manager at the Mayor's Office of Sustainability in Cleveland, Ohio. She managed and documented the citywide LEED for Cities certification process as one of the 20-city cohort by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2020 and managed the completion of Cleveland’s Clean and Equitable Energy Plan, a roadmap for the city to get to 100% renewable energy by 2050. Additionally, she has served in various leadership roles in community development, education, planning and design consulting.
She holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and a Bachelor’s in Architecture (B.Arch) from Adhiyamaan College of Engineering, India. She was part of Harvard's Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership cohort in 2017. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Sustainability through Harvard Extension School.
She serves as an appointed member of the USGBC's LEED for Cities and Communities Working Group; co-chair of the UN SDSN Diversity, Equity and Justice for Sustainable Development Working Group; was appointed as the Climate Champion of OH (2021-22) by the APA Sustainable Communities Division; and is a member of the City of Cleveland's Healthy Neighborhoods Committee.
Program Director, Education
Administrative Assistant: Debbie Slocum 216.615.7586
Helen Williams oversees the foundation’s grantmaking in all areas of education. She has more than 25 years of experience in executive management and consulting in nonprofit, public, and corporate organizations, specializing in strategic planning and leadership development. Helen is the former associate director of the Cleveland Initiative for Education. Under former Ohio Gov. Richard F. Celeste, Helen directed the State of Ohio’s regional office in Cleveland.
She holds a doctorate in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University.