The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is pleased to announce Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter, currently executive director of Financial Security Charlotte, will join the Trust in June as executive vice president of programs and administration.
In this new role, Stephanie will be responsible for the leadership and supervision of the daily operational work of staff members across all Trust departments. She will serve as the president’s strategic partner and direct staff, ensuring that the teams work cross-functionally and in support of the mission and vision of the Trust to improve the health and quality of life of people with low incomes in Forsyth County and throughout North Carolina.
“Stephanie is a long-time leader in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and we are so excited to bring her expertise and knowledge to the Trust team,” said Dr. Laura Gerald, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. “Her experience includes leadership roles in philanthropy in South Carolina and critical economic mobility work in Charlotte. Stephanie also served as a frontline social worker early in her career working closely with immigrants, Native American youth and families experiencing poverty. Her expertise growing a team, addressing equity issues, and implementing organizational strategy will be a huge asset to the Trust as we continue to work for thriving residents and communities, equitable access to care and equitable health outcomes in Forsyth County and around the state.”
Stephanie has spent the past three years in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area working on economic mobility challenges facing the city. She was recruited to Charlotte in 2018 to serve as the inaugural executive director of Leading on Opportunity, an economic mobility initiative at the Foundation For The Carolinas where she led a county-wide effort to address the finding that Charlotte ranked last in economic mobility among the 50 largest cities in the United States. She is currently serving as the first executive director of Financial Security Charlotte, a coalition of nonprofit agencies working to help families achieve greater financial stability.
“My passion is philanthropy, and I am thrilled to return to the sector full-time as executive vice president of the Trust,” said Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter. “I am deeply committed to the direction and vision of the Trust to create a more inclusive economy, address health disparities, ensure community voices are at the table, and apply an equity lens to the work. I look forward to bringing my professional experiences and knowledge to help grow and support the team and the critical work of changing the systems that have created inequities in the communities the Trust serves.”
Before moving to Charlotte, Stephanie served nearly nine years at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, a statewide health legacy foundation. As the vice president of initiatives and public policy, she managed the foundation’s organizational strategy to ensure community engagement and impact. Before being promoted to vice president, she was the foundation’s senior research director. She also served as the director of research and evaluation at the South Carolina nonprofit Healthy Learners, and as president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia.
“We created the executive vice president role to ensure the Trust team is working as cohesively and effectively as possible to achieve Mrs. Reynolds’ vision of improving the health and quality of life of North Carolinians with low incomes,” said Audrey Johnson, vice president of philanthropic services at Wells Fargo, which serves as the foundation’s Trustee. “This is long-term, challenging work and we are excited for Stephanie to join the Trust team in this new role.”
Stephanie is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Southeastern Council of Foundations and is the Charlotte City Director for Walker’s Legacy, a global platform for professional and entrepreneurial multicultural woman. An immigrant from India, she previously served on the national Board of Directors for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. She holds a Ph.D. as a Council on Social Work Education Minority Clinical Fellow from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Social Work degree as a Child Welfare Scholar from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in social work. She is looking forward to residing in Winston-Salem with her family.