Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s David Wertheimer Appointed Chair
Boston, MA (July 13, 2011)―Funders Together to End Homelessness, the national affinity group of philanthropies engaged in solving homelessness, today announced personnel changes to its board of directors, including changes in leadership and the election of two new board members.
At its annual meeting today, the board of directors of Funders Together elected David Wertheimer, MSW, MDiv, deputy director of Pacific Northwest initiatives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as its new chair. The Gates Foundation, based in Seattle, is working to dramatically reduce the number of homeless families in Washington state. Prior to joining Gates, Wertheimer, who leads the Foundation’s efforts to end family homelessness, worked as a consultant, promoting integration of human service systems targeting persons struggling with homelessness, mental illness, addictions, criminal justice system involvement and HIV/AIDS.
Wertheimer, who previously served as vice chair of the Funders Together to End Homelessness board, was elected to replace Bob Hohler, executive director of the Melville Charitable Trust, who passed away in June.
Funders Together Board Member Leslie Strnisha, senior program director at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, was elected to replace Wertheimer as vice chair of the board. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland (Ohio)―which views affordable housing as vital to supporting families, building stable neighborhoods, and reducing poverty―has invested more than $9 million to enhance the availability of affordable housing for low-income adults and families. Strnisha also is an adjunct instructor at Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Prior to joining the Sisters of Charity Foundation, she served in various capacities for the Cleveland office of the Enterprise Foundation.
In addition to changes in leadership, the Funders Together board elected two new members.
Ann Woodward, chief operating officer of the Melville Charitable Trust, was elected to a three-year term. Located in Boston, the Melville Charitable Trust concentrates its efforts on finding and fighting the causes of homelessness. This includes the support of service and housing programs in Connecticut that can serve as models throughout the country and the funding of educational, research and advocacy initiatives in Connecticut and on a national level. Prior to joining the Trust, Woodward served as Mercy Housing’s vice president for national development consulting and director of the organization’s National Supportive Housing Initiative.
Also elected to a three-year term by the Funders Together board was Nancy Frees Fountain, managing director of The Frees Foundation. Based in Houston, The Frees Foundation’s mission is to support efforts that assist vulnerable and underserved populations achieve self-sufficiency, which includes a focus on supportive housing and homelessness. A former nurse specializing in cardiac and intensive care, Fountain is very active in the Houston community, and currently manages the Greater Houston Grantmaker’s Forum.
Funders Together to End Homelessness is the only national network for funders working to end homelessness. Membership in Funders Together, an approved 501(c)(3) entity, is open to all funders currently engaged or interested in funding homelessness or affiliated programs. For more information on Funders Together to End Homelessness, please visit www.funderstogether.org.