The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Adds Eight Staff Members to Team

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Adds Eight Staff Members to Team

Foundation is now fully staffed with 17 employees to carry out mission

Detroit, MI /Buffalo, NY (March 10, 2017) –
Detroit, MI /Buffalo, NY (March 10, 2017) – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation today announced that with the addition of eight staff members, all 17 available positions have been filled. The new hires include three program officers: Kimberly Faison, Susan Dundon and Malia Xie; a communications officer: Carly Strachan; a research associate: Avery Eenigenburg; and three administrative assistants: Ebony Annette Jones, Amy Partridge and Donna Salive.

“It was important to build a team with cross-sector experience that not only complements the Foundation’s focus areas, but also builds on our culture of collaboration and innovation as we get deeper into our work and grantmaking,” said David O. Egner, President and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

As program officers, Faison, Dundon and Xie will support the development and implementation of the Foundation’s grantmaking strategies and subsequent communications to support these strategies. They will be primarily responsible for grant monitoring, grant evaluation and community relations. The officers will work to identify programs, projects and partnerships that will best leverage the Foundation’s resources.

Faison brings 16 years of experience in economic and community development to her new role as a program officer. She most recently served as a director of entrepreneurial initiatives at Southwest Solutions, which included heading up a citywide collaboration in support of emerging entrepreneurs called ProsperUs Detroit.

Dundon has an extensive background in workforce development, which will be a primary area of focus for Dundon in her new role at the Foundation. As a Detroit Revitalization Fellow, she spent time as the business innovation director at EcoWorks, where she designed and managed Reclaim Detroit’s workforce development program for Detroiters with barriers to employment. She has also spent much of her career working on community improvement strategies domestically and abroad.

Also hired as a program officer, Xie comes to the foundation from The Skillman Foundation/The Detroit Children’s Fund. During her time there, she held the role of social innovation fellow, leading the design of investment strategy and framework for a startup venture philanthropy fund. She also has experience in youth development, which will be an area of focus for Xie in her new role at the Foundation.

Joining the team as a communications officer, Strachan brings more than 15 years of marketing communications experience to her new role. She spent time as a senior account manager at lovio george, where she worked with a variety of clients, including the New Economy Initiative, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and Shinola. In this new role, she will work closely with the VP of communications, along with the cross departmental teams, on supporting the development and implementation of communications, grantmaking strategies and partnership development.

As a research associate for the Foundation, Eenigenburg will be responsible for conducting research, analysis and data-gaterhing to support and inform the development, implementation and evaluation of the Foundation’s program priorities and giving strategies. With 10 years of nonprofit experience, she previously served as the foundation relations manager for the Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan, where she developed an annual process for gathering community needs data as well as wrote and managed all grant proposals and grant funding for youth development programs.

In addition, Jones, Partridge and Salive have been hired as administrative assistants to provide operational support to the team. Jones previously served as a learning services intern with the Council of Michigan Foundations. Partridge joins the team after more than a decade at Ilitch Holdings, Inc, supporting three corporate VPs. And with more than 25 years of diversified experience in executive support, Salive joins the the team from Business Leaders for Michigan where she provided support for both the CEO and COO.

Over the last year, the Foundation has been in a “get smarter” phase by engaging in face-to-face meetings in both Western New York and Southeast Michigan, sitting at collaborative tables and initiating research studies, such as its field scans being conducted by the Aspen Institute in youth sports & recreation and the early childhood study being led by a consortium of Western New York Funders. Both scans will be shared publicly later this year.

With the full team now on board, the Foundation will continue to engage in these meetings and information gathering, using the latest data, to continue to move deeper in growing its grantmaking and program strategies.

Last fall, the Foundation launched its online grant portal, which formally opened up its grant application process for interested non-profit organizations. With a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, the Foundation will focus on core funding areas, which include: Children and Youth; Young Adults and Working Class Families; Caregiving; and Healthy Communities.


About the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation:

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the Foundation which bears his name. The Foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires December 31, 2035. This structure is consistent wit For more information visit

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