Amber Slichta

March 7, 2024

Since the establishment of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in 2016, Amber has been an instrumental member of the team, currently holding the position of Vice President of Programs and Learning. Amber’s tenacity is evident in her approach to infusing learning into every facet of the Foundation’s initiatives, creating a culture where informed decision-making and adaptability are paramount. Amber’s unique ability to forge connections and create synergies has empowered partners from behind the scenes, allowing them to shine and continue to do impactful work in the Foundation’s regions and focus areas.

Amber’s role also extends to overseeing the development and execution of grantmaking strategies in two focus areas. Caregivers; and preparing for success; which encompasses early childhood, afterschool, and support for young adults and working families. Amber’s overarching goal is clear – to enhance the lives of individuals residing in the Foundation’s service regions of Western New York and Southeast Michigan. Her vision becomes tangible through initiatives like Exhale, a groundbreaking program that supports communities in devising creative solutions to provide essential respite to family caregivers of older adults.

Notably, the caregiver focus area holds special significance at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, as it was the sole area Mr. Wilson himself suggested as a priority. Amber’s commitment to supporting caregivers of older adults has become a cornerstone of the Foundation’s impact, positioning Western New York and Southeast Michigan as models for the entire country in terms of caregiver support.

In addition to her work in caregiver support, Amber has spearheaded initiatives that focus on preparing for success across various life stages. Liftoff, an initiative designed to ensure children reach critical milestones in their development; and Generator Z, a unique afterschool program that revolutionized grantmaking by giving voice to teens to significantly influence how afterschool programs are designed and run.

Before joining the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Amber served as the vice president at the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York. Over her 12-year tenure, she ascended from the role of a program officer to the interim CEO. She played a pivotal role in devising and executing initiatives aimed at enhancing the well-being of children and older adults, laying the groundwork for subsequent advancements by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in the critical areas of early childhood and caregiver support.

A registered nurse, she holds an associate degree in applied science/nursing from Trocaire College, a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Canisius College, and a master’s degree in Health Services Administration from D’Youville College. This comprehensive blend of healthcare expertise and administrative acumen underscores her ability to drive impactful initiatives in the philanthropic sector.
In her leisure time, Amber enjoys cooking and traveling with her husband, Jim Notaro, and takes pleasure in the art of fly fishing. Additionally, she values quality moments spent with their canine companions Winston and Gia.