The Chicago-based Retirement Research Foundation has announced the appointment of MARY O’DONNELL as vice president. O’Donnell joined RRF as a program officer in 2009 and was promoted to the role of senior program officer in 2013. In addition to her responsibilities at the foundation, she has served on the board of directors of Grantmakers in Aging and in 2018 was selected by Grantmakers in Health as a fellow with the Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy.
CHRISTOPHER THOMPSON has joined the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as its San Jose program director. In that role, Thompson will help further Knight's efforts to build a more engaged and people-focused San Jose during a time of intense change in the city and region. He most recently served as vice president of product marketing at communications technology company Plantronics, where he drove strategies that helped organizations transform their communications and collaboration practices. Prior to joining Plantronics, Thompson held executive positions in business strategy and marketing for major technology companies, including Cisco, Network Associates, Nortel and Gartner Group.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has announced the appointment of THOMASINA "TOMI" HIERS as vice president of its Center for Civic Sites and Community Change, which works to advance community development strategies designed to improve the lives of children and families in Baltimore, where the foundation is based; in Atlanta, where the foundation has an office; and in other cities across the country. Hiers has served as director of the foundation’s Baltimore work since 2016 and prior to that served as executive director of Baltimore’s Promise, a multi-sector effort focused on city youth; as deputy secretary of programs at the Maryland Department of Human Resources; and as deputy chief of staff and director of the Office of Human Services for former Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Hearst Communications has announced that DONNA KALAJIAN LAGANI will join the Hearst Foundations in an executive position after nearly twenty-five years at Hearst Magazines, where she served most recently as senior vice president and group publishing director of Hearst Magazines Young Women’s Group. Created by William Randolph Hearst, the foundations are independent, private philanthropies operating separately from Hearst and, since 1945, have made over 20,000 grants totaling more than $1.1 billion. "Donna has done an outstanding job leading our flagship magazine brand for more than two decades, and I am thrilled that she has chosen to take the next step in her career journey at the Hearst Foundations," said Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz. Kalajian Lagani joined Hearst Magazines in 1995 as publisher of Cosmopolitan and was named publishing director in 1999. She added oversight of Seventeen in 2014 and, following Hearst’s acquisition of Rodale, Women’s Health in 2018.
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties has elected ALEX RUBIO and EARNIE ELLISON, JR. to its board of directors. Rubio is a vice president at NextEra Energy, Inc., where he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s supply chain, including sourcing, materials management, inventory services, and logistics. Ellison, Jr. is the managing partner of Ellison Consulting Group, LLC, a diversity and inclusion consultancy with a focus on creating and/or enhancing a more diverse and inclusive culture within the sports industry as it relates to board and executive-level positions and first-tier minority and women suppliers.
International humanitarian organization Save the Children has announced that BRAD IRWIN will chair its board of trustees in the United States. Irwin recently retired as CEO of Welch’s, a $600 million global packaged goods company, after serving almost ten years in that role. Prior to that, he served as president of Cadbury North America and ran a division there formerly known as Adam’s for nearly six years after it was acquired by Cadbury in 2003. Irwin joined Cadbury in 2000 from Mott’s Inc., a $700 million food and beverage company in North America, and before that served for twenty years in marketing and general management roles at Procter & Gamble. He initially joined the Save the Children board for a six-year term in 2003, re-joined the board in 2011, and then became a member of the organization’s international board in 2018.
In other news, the Adam and Maria Sarah Seybert Institution (aka the Seybert Foundation) in Philadelphia has announced the upcoming departure of its manager, DIANA LOUKEDIS DOHERTY, and the appointment of THERESA JACKSON to that role beginning in February. Doherty has served as manager of Seybert since 2011, guiding its board during a period of significant growth and change. In 2017, Doherty was instrumental in Seybert’s merger with the Western Association, another private foundation, a move designed to be a model for how small foundations could merge assets to create greater philanthropic impact with lower operational overhead. "Diana has played a major role in the bold steps that Seybert has made over the years, both in helping us create a more diverse, inclusive board of directors, including representation from Philadelphia youth, and in prioritizing general operating support and multi-year funding in our grantmaking program. Our Board is truly grateful for her support and leadership over the years," said Seybert board president Rich Sedmak. "I am thrilled that Theresa Jackson will be succeeding me in the Manager role at Seybert," said Doherty. "With her depth of philanthropic knowledge and her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Theresa is absolutely the right person to help Seybert’s board continue its innovative efforts into the future." Doherty will continue her work with the region’s philanthropic community through her management of BLBB Charitable and as executive director of the VNA Foundation of Greater North Penn.