People in the News (10/13/19): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

People in the News (10/13/19): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has announced that CAITLIN BURKE will join its staff as a program officer in January. Burke brings more than eighteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector to the position and comes to the foundation having worked most recently as associate director and projects and grants coordinator for the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. Prior to that, she was a nonprofit and policy advocacy fellow for WakeUP Wake County in Raleigh and a wildlife policy associate with The Wildlife Society in Bethesda, Maryland. She also has research and teaching experience at North Carolina State University and Duke University. 

The St. Paul-based Amherst H. Wilder Foundation has announced the appointment of BRAD HEWITT, former CEO of Thrivent Financial, as interim CEO, effective November 1. Hewitt has more than twenty years of experience in leadership roles at mission-based organizations and currently serves as chair of the Itasca Project, an employer-led cross-sector group that works to improve the quality of life for all in Minnesota. He also serves as board chair for Habitat for Humanity International and is a member of the board of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation. Hewitt will serve in the role while the Wilder board of directors conducts a search for a permanent replacement for MAYKAO Y. HANG, who stepped down as the foundation’s sixth president in September.

The REFORM Alliance, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing criminal justice reform and eradicating laws and policies that perpetuate injustice in the United States, has tapped entertainment and social justice executive BOB PILON to serve as its president and chief growth officer. Pilon comes to the organization from ONE, the advocacy and campaigning organization co-founded by U2 singer and activist Bono, where he served as chief development and partnerships officer and spearheaded the global mobilization strategy behind the organization’s initiatives to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases. In his new role, Pilon will report directly to REFORM CEO Van Jones and will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic growth initiatives and partnerships. 

The D.C.-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has named long-time civil rights lawyer and social justice strategist DAMON HEWITT as its new executive vice president. Hewitt joins the organization from the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, a network of more three dozen foundation presidents committed to changing policies, systems, and false narratives that undermine opportunity for our nation’s sons, brothers and fathers of color, where he served as inaugural executive director. Prior to that, he served as a senior advisor at the Open Society Foundations and worked for over a decade as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he was lead counsel on litigation and policy matters, led pioneering efforts to address the school-to-prison pipeline, and coordinated litigation and advocacy efforts following Hurricane Katrina. He also served as executive director of the New York State Task Force on Police-on-Police Shootings, an entity that analyzes police practices following the deaths of off-duty African American and Latino police officers who were shot by fellow officers after being mistaken for "criminal" suspects.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York City has announced the appointment of TOCCARRA A. H. THOMAS as director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans. In that role, Thomas will oversee the center’s artist residency program, develop public programming and special projects, and manage the day-to-day operations of the center. Thomas previously served as the inaugural general manager of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, New York, and as inaugural managing director of SPACE, a contemporary multidisciplinary art organization in Portland, Maine.

In other news, the Iowa West Foundation in Council Bluffs has announced that its president and CEO, PETE TULIPANE, has decided to retire. Under his leadership, the foundation has been a key support of  economic development projects in the city, including the Iowa West Field House, River’s Edge, the Council Bluffs School District’s athletic stadium, and the Iowa West Sports Plex and Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment’s Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center, both of which are under construction. "Pete has been a force for positive change in our community and our foundation," said board chair Rick Crowlr. "He led us from being a grant-based organization to being initiative driven, resulting in the 712 initiative, the Pottawattamie Promise scholarship program, and Kitchen Council. His vision, his passion, his leadership, and his humility made this possible and we are grateful." Tulipane, who also serves as executive director of the Iowa West Racing Association, will continue to serve as president and CEOof the foundation until a replacement is hired.

"Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Announces New Program Officer Hire." Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation News Release 10/13/2019. "Brad Hewitt Named Interim CEO." Amherst H. Wilder Foundation Announcement 10/04/2019. "REFORM Alliance Taps Bob Pilon From Bono’s ONE Campaign to Serve as President & Chief Growth Officer." REFORM Alliance Email. 10/07/2019. "Damon Hewitt Joins Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law as New Executive Vice President. ." Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law News Release 10/10/2019. "Toccarra A. H. Thomas Appointed Director of the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans." Joan Mitchell Foundation Blog Post 10/03/2019. "Iowa West Foundation President & CEO to Retire." Iowa West Foundation Blog Post 10/09/2019.