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October 19, 2018
President’s Letter
Ellen Wiss

Hello WGA sisters and friends!

Hope to see you at the Annual Meeting on October 31! Yes, it’s Halloween, but it’s all TREATS for YOU and our community because we’ve been doing wonderful work together, WGA!! So please register friends and guests, too! I hope you’ve read your copy of the 2017 Annual Report and seen the accolades in The Florida Times-Union as a result of your accomplishments through our 15th anniversary year together.

I opened my first newsletter message to you as President almost two years ago with the words, “WGA, here we GROW,” as a foreshadow of the strategic plan update and emphasis we would embark on together. Deliver, you did! You’ll hear some amazing announcements at the annual meeting about record-breaking stats we’ve accomplished together so far in 2018, including a 15% growth in membership, a 92% member retention rate and the largest grants pool ever to ratify and award that day!

We vetted and confirmed that Growth is Good! With our unique 3 I’s of Inviting, Investing, and Impacting, we honor our founders’ simple, powerful formula. By keeping it in our DNA, we’ve come a long way, WGA! Growth directly impacts our focus on breaking the cycle of female poverty as well as the influence to bring others along with us to help move the needle farther and faster on this huge issue that affects everyone. As I write this last newsletter message as President and at the annual meeting, as I pass the gavel to my WGA sister and friend, Mary Pietan, founding member and wonderful leader, it’s with confidence in knowing that what we’ve all accomplished together will continue to GROW!

Indeed, together we rise!!

Thank you all for allowing me the ride of my life to serve with all of YOU! I’ve grown, too.

With deepest and warmest gratitude,

Ellen Wiss, President
(720) 256-6143
 Welcome New WGA Officers

Congratulations to the new WGA officers who begin their two-year terms Nov. 1:

Mary Pietan, President

Mary is an active community volunteer who serves on the boards of the Garden Club of America, The Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. She is a Founding and Legacy Member of the Women's Giving Alliance, serving on the board in many capacities for the past 15 years. She is active in the Late Bloomers Garden Club and a long-time member of the Book Club. Formerly, she served on the boards of Episcopal School of Jacksonville and the Baptist Health System Foundation. After the youngest of her four children went to college, she worked for 17 years in development for Baptist Health System Foundation, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and for Profit Solutions. Mary is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Margaret Barton, Vice-President

Margaret is a Senior Personnel Research Psychologist with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. She leads projects involving the development and validation of assessments for employee selection, promotion and development purposes. Since joining WGA in 2012, she has served as Secretary, Membership Co-Chair, and a member of the Impact Team. Margaret also has served on boards/committees with Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, International Personnel Assessment Council, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Jacksonville Track Club, and Take Stock in Children (mentor). Margaret received her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Tulane University and her B.A. from Duke University.

Karen Mayfield, Vice-President

Karen is a Senior Vice President and Client Advisor of Wealth Management of SunTrust Bank. Born and raised in Tampa, Karen moved to Jacksonville in 1993. She graduated cum laude from the University of Tampa with a degree in Accounting. She successfully completed the ABA National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University with high honors. Karen demonstrates her community leadership by serving on the following boards: Women’s Giving Alliance; Jacksonville County Day School; Brooks YMCA and Estate Planning Council of NE FL. She is an active member of the San Marco Rotary, Past President of Leadership Jacksonville, a sustaining member of the Junior League of Jacksonville, member of the Financial Planning Association. She has also served on the board of Pine Castle as well as chaired the endowment of Palms Presbyterian Church.

These officers will begin the second year of their term on Nov. 1 as well: Sheila Collier, Secretary, and Faith Schoenfeld, Treasurer.

Grant Spotlight: Hubbard House

WGA granted Hubbard House $100,000 for their Rise! program in our 2016–2018 Grant cycle (the last of our grants focusing on Mental Health). This was a continuation of the grant we had awarded them in 2014 to launch the program. Rise! provides integrated gender-specific mental health counseling to female victims of domestic violence in Baker and Duval Counties with the goal of increasing their personal empowerment and coping skills. This is just one of the many examples of how your WGA dollars are making a difference in Northeast Florida.

Note: Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Hubbard House with WGA on Nov. 15. Information below under Upcoming Events.

New Grant Calendar Takes Effect

Help us spread the word about the change in our Grant Cycle! We began our 17th grant cycle earlier this year. The Letter of Interest was posted on October 12 and will be due on November 8, 2018.

The new grant cycle will be shortened by 4 months. WGA listened to feedback from agencies who suggested that shortening the cycle would be helpful in their budget planning and leveraging of funding. The shorter cycle also allows WGA members to remain engaged in the process.

We need WGA members’ help to make agencies aware of our accelerated schedule. If you work with agencies who help women and girls break the cycle of female poverty, please encourage them to submit a Letter of Interest no later than Nov. 8 by going to

Grants Decisions Opportunity: Join the Team!

Would you like to be a part of the exciting and informative process of determining the next cycle of WGA grantees? The Grants Decision Team (GDT) is currently recruiting members for the 2019-2020 grants cycle. The GDT is comprised of three sub-teams: Core Team, Financial Team, and Volunteer Readers.

The Core Team reads all applications and grant proposals and conducts site visits. All Decision Team members are required to attend four mandatory meetings. The dates are: 11/30/18, 12/13/18, 3/13/19, and 5/3/19.

The Financial Team has strong financial backgrounds and analyzes the grant applicants’ financial statements. This team is required to attend the meeting on 11/30/18 and will meet one time with the Decision Team Chairs to review their findings and recommendations.

The Volunteer Readers read all proposals and then submit their individual comments electronically and are required to attend the meeting 11/30/18.

For more information about the Grants process in its entirety as well as to see the entire Decision Team timeline, click here. If you are interested in serving on one of these Grants Decision teams, please contact one of the co-chairs:

We want your input on determining the next group of grantees and look forward to hearing from you!
Recent Events

Candidate Forum

The Women’s Giving Alliance hosted a groundbreaking Florida Legislature Candidate Forum on September 24. It was a first for WGA! Almost 100 members of WGA and the public were in attendance to hear seven candidates for office share their views on poverty. Many of the candidates encouraged WGA to visit their home offices and/or expressed a willingness to partner. This was a great next step in WGA's advocacy efforts. Don’t forget to vote in November!

4Sight Social

Hosts Luanne Luby, Sarah Helms and Kara Williams welcomed 35 women to the 4Sight Social at Moxie Kitchen Oct. 1 Current and future presidents Ellen Wiss and Mary Pietan told the group about WGA’s collective giving model and the focus on breaking the cycle of female poverty. They also spoke about our impact on the community. Shanna Carter, Kasey Wagner and Joni Poitier shared their experiences and why they joined WGA. We are grateful to all the WGA members who attended and invited guests. We are getting the word out to women 40 and under!

Upcoming Events

WGA Annual Meeting, Wed. Oct. 31, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
UNF Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville 32224
There’s still time to REGISTER for the early-bird price for this luncheon ($35 until Oct. 19), so do so today!

Join your WGA friends for heartwarming stories of impact toward breaking the cycle of female poverty by WGA grantees, recommendations for the next round of grants in our focus area with the largest WGA grant investments ever, and other treats! Better still, bring guests!

Dignity Drive: Our grantees informed us of their need for sanitary pads and tampons. Why? Because many of the women and girls they serve cannot afford them and there is no public assistance for these products. It affects attendance at school and work. Periods are a part of life for women and girls, not a choice. Kudos to Florida for recently becoming one of nine states to remove the sales tax on these products. And, kudos to WGA for hosting a product drive for our annual meeting. Please bring boxes of tampons and pads and WGA will distribute to the three pantries in our five county region that serve women and girls. By bringing these products on October 31 (bring your friends, too), we’ll not only be ratifying our largest grant investments ever, but we’ll have this impact, too, in our focus area that day.


Fall Connector, Tues. Oct. 23, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Barnabas Food Pantry, 1303 Jasmine Street, Fernandina Beach 32034
There is one last neighborhood Connector event remaining in the fall season. Remember, you are welcome at ANY Connector event, regardless of where you live! Program includes hearing from participants of the Barnabas Hope Builders for Women Initiative (funded by WGA) about the program’s impact on their lives. REGISTER.


You and Your SMIRF’s, Tues. Nov. 8, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
TCF Board Room, 245 Riverside Ave., Suite 310, Jacksonville 32202
Each of us has several forms of capital (Social, Moral, Intellectual, Reputational, Financial) that we can deploy toward our philanthropic mission. Learn how at this informative session led by The Community Foundation’s Joanne Cohen. Event includes materials and a light dinner for $20. REGISTER by Nov. 1.


Visit to Hubbard House Rise! Program, Thurs. Nov. 15, 11:30 – 1 p.m.
Confidential location will be provided.
Take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit Hubbard House, one of our current grant recipients. The visit will be limited to the first 20 people who RSVP by Nov. 8. Bring your lunch or order a box lunch when you REGISTER.

WGA Women in the Spotlight! Did you Know?

The women who make up WGA contribute to their communities in a myriad of ways, and a number of you have recently been publicly recognized by your peers and your community. You’ll want to congratulate each one when you read about the accolades recently bestowed on these deserving WGA members!

Mary Pat Corrigan: Congratulations to newly retired CEO of Volunteers in Medicine! Thank you for all you have done to maximize the offering in our community for more and more of the working uninsured to receive quality medical care with your brilliant leadership!

Nancy Dreicer, CEO, Chappell Schools: Awarded “Ultimate CEO” by Jacksonville Business Journal. Nancy operates 8 centers owned by Chappell in Jacksonville with the primary goal of assisting parents with the development of the TOTAL CHILD – cognitively, physically, emotionally, socially and creatively. She is a champion for children and quality education! Event info here.

Teresa Miles, CEO, The Women’s Center of Jacksonville: Awarded “Ultimate CEO” by Jacksonville Business Journal. Teresa is a certified sexual assault victim’s advocate and has been recognized many times over the years for her continued commitment to women and children. She has spent the last 30 years as an advocate and champion for the rights of women and girls. Event info here.

Linda Stein, Jewish National Fund “Tree of Life” honoree, community advocate and philanthropist, currently serves on the Board of Directors for Jacksonville University and the Jacksonville Humane Society, and recently served on the Jacksonville Zoo and MOCA boards: Linda received the 2018 Eve Award from the Florida Times Union, honoring the achievements of women in Jacksonville. She and her husband, David, were the 2016 Philanthropists of the Year. She is a member of the Mayo Clinic Leadership Council, The Council of National Trustees for National Jewish Health, Women’s Giving Alliance of Jacksonville, Cathedral Arts Advisory Board, and more. Event info here.

Nina Waters: Jewish National Fund “Tree of Life” honoree. Nina joined The Community Foundation in 2001 and became president in 2005. During her tenure, total assets have quadrupled to $398 million, as have annual grants ($40 million in 2017). She launched the ten-year Quality Education for All Initiative, and three collective giving circles: Women’s Giving Alliance, the LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida, and the Beaches Community Fund. In 2016, she and other funders established Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund in response to Hurricane Matthew. Event info here.

Congratulations and thank you, ladies, for all you do to make our community better! YOU make WGA shine!

Welcome New Members—& Thanks to Those Who Referred Them!
Mary Coleman
Helen DuBow
Susan DuBow
Mary Grace Herrington
Andrea Mims
Stephanie Stephens
Kathy Storm
Referrals made by:
Mary Pietan
Sabeen Perwaiz Syed
Member Directory    •    Grants    •    Connectors
Copyright © 2018 The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, All rights reserved.

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