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PEAK Grantmaking

PEAK Community

The latest from PEAK’s vibrant network of grantmaking professionals, featuring member news, a board election updates, chapter event highlights, and a new-member welcome.


Member News

PEAK Northeast Communications Co-Chair Melissa Utsett has joined Borealis Philanthropy as a Grants Manager, following her departure from the Dyson Foundation.

PEAK SoCal Communications Chair Jennifer Katell is now a Grants Manager at The SCAN Foundation, following two years as a Grants Analyst for The California Endowment. 

Jen Bokoff, previously of Candid, has taken the Director of Development position for the Disability Rights Fund.

The Grove Foundation has a new Grants Manager in Blanch Vance, previously of The Annenberg Foundation.

Ashley Dietz, former Chair of the PEAK Florida chapter, is leaving her role as Senior Director at United Way Suncoast to join Florida Philanthropic Network as their new President and CEO.

The Kresge Foundation has promoted Genise Singleton to Director of Grants Management.

After serving as the first Grants Manager at the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, PEAK Rocky Mountain Chair Kelly Costello is now a Grants Manager for Rose Community Foundation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation selected program director Anita Zaidi to fill their new President of Gender Equality role.

Sissi Villamizar, PEAK Florida Membership Chair and Grants and Project Management Associate at Helios Education Foundation, earned a Post-Crisis Leadership Certificate from University of South Florida Muma College of Business.

PEAK Board Member Tim Robinson has been promoted to Vice President of Administration and Partnerships at Lumina Foundation.

Former PEAK board member Ursula Stewart has started in a new position as Grantmaking Industry Advisor at

PEAK Northeast Co-Chair Paige Granger has been promoted to Director, Grants Management at The Rockefeller Foundation.

Grand Victoria Foundation has hired Dianna Manjarrez as their new Elgin Program Assistant.

Roland Kennedy, Jr. has been promoted to Chief of Staff for Operations, Economic Justice Portfolio at Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Ashley Dietz, former Chair of the PEAK Florida chapter, is leaving her role as Senior Director at United Way Suncoast to join Florida Philanthropic Network as their new President and CEO.

Frank Fernandez has been named the new CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Borealis Philanthropy has promoted Tashie Sloley (PEAK Northeast Communications Co-Chair) to Director of Grants Management.

PEAK Mideast Chair Kristen Summers has been promoted to Senior Grants Manager at Saint Luke’s Foundation. 

Shantelice White was promoted to Director of Grants Management by the Bainum Family Foundation.




Board Elections Update 

Thank you to our Nominating Committee, which is currently in the process of selecting the slate of candidates for our 2021 Board of Directors elections. This year, a record 24 eligible nominations were received for consideration. The final slate will be approved by the Board in December and announced in early 2021, followed by an online election.

Nominating Committee members:

Adam Sanders, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Chair
Rachel Gonzales, Animal Assistance Foundation
Adam Liebling, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Nicole Larsen, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
Deena Lauver Scotti, Missouri Foundation for Health
Jenny Ly, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health
Ursula Stewart,
Kristen Summers, Saint Luke’s Foundation
Patrick Sean Taylor, The Zellerbach Family Foundation
Arlene Wilson-Grant, Disability Rights Fund
Mallory Womble, American Jewish World Service

Around the chapters

All 14 PEAK chapters have hosted a dazzling array of virtual events over the past six months, bringing together members for PEAK2020 Online, for learning and reflection, and for freshly reimagined networking events. We are deeply grateful to PEAK’s dedicated corps of volunteer chapter leaders for their energy, creativity, and commitment to re-envisioning member gatherings for our remote-only moment. Below, find a sampling of the dozens of events they’ve hosted over the past six months. Be sure to explore what’s coming up at –Altinay Cortes, Chapter Manager

At PEAK Greater Washington, DC hosted a discussion on understanding equity and leading the chapter forward, led by former chapter chair and current PEAK Board Member Miyesha Perry, Director of Grants Management at Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

PEAK Mideast partnered with Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania to co-host an interactive session on the evolution of the grants management model, the current state of grantmaking operations, and how to reach the next level of effectiveness.

PEAK Midwest hosted the very first PEAK dance party! Members and staff joined to relax and let loose with an energetic Zoom music mix spun by DJ Alexander Great. 

PEAK Northern California inspired peer-sharing on the ways that grants management systems are supporting rapid-response shifts in funding priorities; best practices for reporting data were provided by Candid’s C. Davis Parchment and Northern California Grantmakers’ Nicole Giles.

PEAK Florida and PEAK Minnesota co-hosted a session on justice and inclusion in grantmaking practice, facilitated by PEAK’s Melissa Sines. Members delved into the ways that practices can either support or obstruct equity, and worked through a design thinking exercise on leading change.

The peer panel at PEAK Northeast’s session shared the ways they are streamlining reporting practices and improving the grantee experience. 

At PEAK Southeast, members considered ways to use data to assess the effectiveness of their grantmaking practices.

At PEAK Minnesota, Coalition of Asian American Leaders’ Bo Thao-Urabe spoke about Standing with Community, asserting that inequities will only change when communities “know that they have the power to participate.” A lively discussion on better community partnerships and trust-based relationships followed.

PEAK Delaware Valley hosted “quarantinis” to inspire some informal end-of-day networking. 

PEAK Rocky Mountain hosts monthly check-ins, which included a discussion about the findings and implications of PEAK’s 2020 salary report.

PEAK Pacific Northwest pivoted monthly coffee hours from local coffee spots in Salem and Seattle to virtual gatherings. 

PEAK Southwest hosted informal coffee hours in the spring and fall to bring the community together during a time of intense change and challenges. 

PEAK New England hosted their first-ever virtual meeting during PEAK2020 Online this spring.

PEAK Southern California hosted a casual check-in with members, offering space to discuss top-of-mind topics like DEI data-collecting strategies, streamlining and flexibility, and transitioning to ACH payments.

2020 Chapter Leadership Summit 
PEAK Midwest Co-Chair Deb Debbaut (top) and PEAK Florida Membership Chair Sissi Villamizar sharing during a self-reflective activity.

In June, volunteer leaders from all 14 chapters gathered for a week-long virtual Summit where they received updates from PEAK staff, participated in a professional development workshop on virtual meeting facilitation, and shared tips, best practices, and plans. Among the highlights: A keynote on building an equity-focused culture from Carol Cheney, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Manager at Meyer Memorial Trust; PEAK Midwest Co-Chair Tara Havlicek sharing ways to address the Dimensions of Wellness; PEAK President and CEO Satonya Fair sharing her vision for PEAK; and a group brainstorm about how to celebrate PEAK’s 25th anniversary in 2021.

A special note of appreciation to Interim Board Co-Chair Gary Romero for kicking off the Summit, and to event planning committee members Shei Sanchez (PEAK Mideast), Tara Havlicek (PEAK Midwest), Indya Hartley (PEAK Northeast), and Jody Marshall (PEAK Pacific Northwest): We are grateful for your leadership!


Welcome, new Organization Members!

3M / 3M Foundation
Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment
Agnes M. Lindsay Trust
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Alliance for Early Success
Alliance for Justice
Amalgamated Bank
America for Bulgaria Foundation
Andre Agassi Foundation for Education
Animal Assistance Foundation
Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Bainbridge Community Foundation
Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Bohemian Foundation
Cedarmere Foundation
City of Raleigh
Civic Allies Consulting*
Colorado Trust
Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
Council of Michigan Foundations
Dr. Bronner’s Family Foundation
ELMA Philanthropies
ESL Charitable Foundation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Greater New Orleans Foundation
Group Health Foundation
Hirsch Philanthropy Partners*
Hypertherm HOPE Foundation
InFaith Community Foundation
Internet Society Foundation
James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation
John and Wauna Harman Foundation
Kalamazoo Community Foundation
Laidlaw Foundation
Laudes Foundation
Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation
Margulf Foundation
Maryland Historical Trust
Medica Foundation
Minneapolis Foundation
Mission and Ministry (Daughters of Charity)
Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
National Children’s Alliance
National Geographic Society
NDN Collective
New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation
New Venture Fund
Open Philanthropy Project
Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
PBS Foundation
Perigee Fund
Phīla Engaged Giving*
Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh
Robins Foundation
Rogers Family Foundation
Rotary Charities of Traverse City
S.H. Cowell Foundation
Schott Foundation for Public Education
Seattle Public Utilities
Share Our Strength
Simón Bolívar Foundation
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
St. David’s Foundation
Stranahan Foundation
Texas Women’s Foundation
The Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation
The Conrad Prebys Foundation
The Fuller Foundation
The Grace S. and W. Linton Nelson Foundation
The Grove Foundation
The Priddy Foundation
The Weld Trust
Unbound Philanthropy
United Way Worldwide
Victoria Foundation
Vista Hermosa Foundation
Washington Research Foundation
WES Mariam Assefa Fund
Women’s Public Leadership Network
World Wildlife Fund – Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program
YouthHope Foundation
Zilber Family Foundation

*Consultant Members