The President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC), who led the staff team and worked with the Board of Trustees to significantly increase awareness, total assets, and grant making in Anne Arundel County, is stepping down. Melissa Curtin announced that she will begin transitioning out of the executive role with the CFAAC over the summer after nearly three years of service, but will continue to provide professional support as a consultant as requested.
“This is a bittersweet decision for me,” said Melissa Curtin. “It’s not easy to leave an amazing team and Board of Trustees, generous donors, and fantastic community partners. We’ve all made remarkable progress together. The organization is thriving in all ways.”
CFAAC was formed in 1998 by a group of people who understood the important role community foundations have in supporting critical needs in the communities they represent. CFAAC’s role is to promote philanthropy, help to identify critical needs in Anne Arundel County, partner with donors to help them meet their philanthropic and financial goals, and promote collaboration to help strengthen local nonprofits.
“Melissa has been very influential in the growth of the community foundation,” said Jim Nolan, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “She has put a lot of herself into the organization and into our community, and we are grateful to her. She’s a well-respected community leader and executive. While we will miss her in her current role, we look forward to continuing a mutually beneficial relationship for the good of our foundation and community.”
When she started in August 2015, total assets were at $6 million and today total assets have grown to $15 million. Since January of 2016, over $4 million in grants have been distributed to nonprofits, primarily in Anne Arundel County.
“Melissa brought a new and valued level of sophistication and vision to the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County. Her financial expertise and professional experience related to the operations and growth of a successful community foundation have been invaluable in taking the organization to an exciting next level that will serve philanthropic efforts in our county for many years to come,” said Jan Wood, President and Chief Development Officer, Anne Arundel Medical Center Foundation.
In addition to fundraising, Melissa led the organization in:
- Strengthening internal systems and infrastructure, including the Board and Staff Team;
- Increasing the awareness, confidence, and credibility of the organization in the county and statewide;
- Onboarding 12 new Board members, and two new Staff Team Members;
- Developing new projects and partnerships with the County Executive’s Office, Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, Recreation and Parks, Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, Volunteer Center of Anne Arundel County, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and others;
- Launching Coffee and Conversation with Nonprofits, the Strengthening Nonprofits Collaborative, and the Community Impact Speakers Series;
- Serving on the Maryland Community Foundation Association’s Steering Committee and the Board of Maryland Nonprofits.
“Some of Melissa’s most important accomplishments have been to ensure that staff members are empowered to be their best, internal systems and infrastructure are current, products and donor services are high quality, and the Board of Trustees is engaged. The organization has never been in better shape,” said Kathy Brooks, Immediate Past Board Chair.
She also focused consistently on countywide partnerships, bringing the philanthropic lens to the table. “Melissa has been a true partner in all of our work. She is a compassionate and strategic leader for whom innovation couples with wonderful relationship building skills. Under her stewardship, the community foundation has become an emblem to the importance of public/private partnerships for those in need,” said Dr. Pam Brown, Executive Director of the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth & Families.
While her last day in the executive’s role will be June 30, Melissa will be available to CFAAC in a consulting role to continue supporting specific funds and projects, fundraising, and to onboard the new President & CEO.
Melissa will be starting her own coaching and consulting firm, with a focus on leadership and nonprofit capacity building. “This has been a challenging and fulfilling role for me, and I’m incredibly grateful to have gotten this opportunity to serve Anne Arundel County. I sincerely believe in the power and partnership of philanthropy and nonprofits to transform and sustain people and communities. I will continue to follow my passion by contributing to these important efforts.”
CFAAC’s Executive Committee has formed Transition and Search Committees to find the next President & CEO. A formal succession plan is already in place.
“I am confident that CFAAC will continue to help increase philanthropy in our region, while providing the service that our donors expect and deserve, throughout this transition and as we move forward, “ said Jim Nolan. “We are excited about the next leader who will come in and continue the momentum we’ve all created for our community.”