Young Erie Philanthropists Announced

March 2nd, 2020, 12:15 AM

Young Erie Professionals and the Erie Community Foundation are partnering together to create Young Erie Philanthropists.  A select committee of YEP members will oversee the annual disbursement of a Erie Community Foundation endowment valued at over $100,000. In this first year of the program, committee members will have the distinct responsibility of educating themselves on the power and effect of an endowment fund as well as grantmaking best practice, determine specific causes and/or nonprofit organizations they would like to impact, and ultimately award a grant(s). The Erie Community Foundation staff will provide supplemental education on endowments, foundations, and grants to aid the committee in shaping the fund.  This process will make positive change in the Erie community and will culminate in a celebration in August 2020 to announce the first awardee(s) of the grant. 

This committee will be led by Kristi Bailey.  Kristi recently finished her term as YEP president.  She is the Business Development Manager at Team Hardinger and a member of Erie Community Foundation's Women's Fund.  We are so excited to retain Kristi's talent and passion on our leadership team.  She will be working closely with Keely Doyle, YEP member and Philanthropic Services Director at the Erie Community Foundation.  

In this initial year, an emphasis will be placed on educating committee members on the ins-and-outs of endowments.  "Most people are familiar with the term endowment but actually have no idea what that truly means," said Keely Doyle of the Erie Community Foundation. "This committee needs to understand the power of an endowment, how it's invested and why there's a spending policy, so on and so forth. They also need to learn what best practices are for grant making and come up with a process, like putting out an RFP based on specific criteria for example."

Kristi, commitee chairwoman, said establishing a mission, setting guidelines, and creating a sustainability plan will be the initial focus once the committee is underway.

The following YEP Members have been chosen for the committee's first year:

  • Jacob Bartko: Executive Director, Community Access Media
  • Joelyn Bush: Director of Marketing & Communications, United Way of Erie County
  • Katie George: Staff Accountant, Marquette Savings Bank
  • Megan Grochulski: Development Director, Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Lisa Herring: Director of Community Impact, Erie Philharmonic
  • Yelena Kokhanevich: Inside Claims Representative, Erie Insurance Group
  • Anne Lewis: Director of Marketing, Red Letter Hospitality
  • Sarah Liang: AmeriCorps VISTA, Lake Effect Leaders
  • Cynthia Lillis: Senior Marketing Strategist, Highmark Health
  • TJ Richter: Client Advisor, Loesel-Schaaf Insurance Agency
  • Dave Schumacher: Development Officer, Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • April Soriano: LTSS Service Coordinator, UPMC Health Plan
  • Breanna Watts: Director of Advancement, Mercy Center for Women
  • Erin Yates: Operations & Special Projects Manager, The Nonprofit Partnership
  • Alec Zaphiris: Sales Associate, Great Lakes Insurance 

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