Trust in the Spotlight

It’s an exciting time at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, as our Great Expectations work in Forsyth County moves forward and ongoing efforts to invest in communities in a thoughtful, sustainable way grow. Here are just a few of the recent and upcoming opportunities to share our work and celebrate our staff members.

Staff Honors

Jehan Benton-Clark Wins ABFE’s National Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award: Senior Program Officer Jehan Benton-Clark was selected as the Association of Black Foundation Executive’s (ABFE) 2016 “Emerging Leader in Philanthropy” and honored at the national conference this month. Jehan is being recognized for her outstanding work and leadership to bridge divides and work closely with underserved communities throughout North Carolina to improve health.

Allen Smart Wins NCIOM’s Excellence in Health Policy Leadership Award: The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) presented Interim President and Vice President of Programs Allen Smart with the inaugural “Excellence in Health Policy Leadership” Award late last year. The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to healthy policy in North Carolina.

Alan Welch to Graduate from Leadership Winston-Salem: Last year, Trust Information Systems Manager Alan Welch was accepted into Leadership Winston-Salem, a local leadership program that connects community and business leaders from around the city. Alan will graduate from the program this summer. Congrats to Alan!

Shirley Womack Celebrates 15 Years at the Trust: Executive Assistant Shirley Womack celebrated 15 years at the Trust last month. Shirley joined the Trust in 2001 after working at Wachovia Bank for 32 years. Thank you for your many years of service, Shirley!

Lori Fuller Participates in National Evaluation Roundtable: Director of Evaluation and Learning Lori Fuller recently participated in a national convening led by the Evaluation Roundtable, a network of foundation evaluation leaders in the US and Canada that seeks to improve how foundations learn about their results and increase their impact. The 2016 Roundtable convening focused on the development over time (the last 15 years) of the evaluation staff role in foundations and was attended by nearly 50 foundations.

Presentations and Speaking Engagements

Talking Health, Health Insurance and Foundation Strategy on the National Stage: Interim President Allen Smart was invited to speak at two different sessions at the national Grantmakers in Health conference in March. Allen helped lead a pre-conference session for foundation presidents and board members about what it takes internally at a foundation to move grantmaking from a charity model to a strategic framework. He also joined Anne Filipic, president of national nonprofit Enroll America, to discuss the Affordable Care Act and how the Trust has partnered with national, statewide and local groups to reach the most vulnerable uninsured in North Carolina.

Using Strategic Communications to Support Foundations’ Long-Term Goals: In the fall, Trust Communications Director Nora Ferrell and former President Karen McNeil-Miller joined forces with the Arkansas Community Foundation to share how strategic communications strengthens a foundation’s work. Both the Trust and the Arkansas Community Foundation added communications staff in recent years. Presenting to a packed room of foundation leaders at the Southeastern Council of Foundations conference, the panel shared how communications helps an organization tell its story, supports grantees’ work, and helps achieve long-term programmatic goals.

Building Grantees’ Communications Capacity: For the third year in a row, the Trust teamed up with other foundations from around the state, including The Duke Endowment and Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation, to offer a training and one-on-one coaching to grantees to boost communications capacity and skills. This year Director of Communications Nora Ferrell and other involved funders presented at the national Communications Network conference, as well as the statewide North Carolina Network of Grantmakers and the Florida Philanthropic Network meetings to share the model, lessons learned and how grantees have found communications success after participating.

Trust Engaged in Fourth Annual White House Public/Private Partnership on Rural Health: In 2013, Trust Interim President Allen Smart co-founded the White House Meeting on Rural Health to bring together top federal rural officials and private funders engaged in rural health improvement. Allen and Trust staff are excited to participate in the fourth annual gathering of the group in May in Washington, DC.


Great Expectations is Now Online: At the end of March, the Trust and MDC, the activating agency for the Trust’s early childhood initiative, launched the Great Expectations website to keep the Forsyth County community informed about focus areas and priorities, current grantee projects, and ways to engage with the work. Check out the new website.

Trust Welcomes New Reynolds Foundation Presidents: Recently, Justin Maxson and Maurice “Mo” Green stepped into leadership roles at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, respectively. Trust Interim President Allen Smart welcomed them with a letter to the editor in the Winston-Salem Journal. We’re excited to work with our fellow Reynolds’ foundations to help communities thrive.

A New Year’s Resolution: Be a Disrupter for a Day: The challenges of being an effective philanthropist are well chronicled. It’s easy to become complacent since there are few pressures to be accountable for our actions. How much better might we be if we stopped and did something differently just one or two times? Disrupt something today, say Trust Interim President Allen Smart and Director of Communications Nora Ferrell. Read the full blog post here.

The Beginning of Change: The Voices and Faces of Healthy Places NC: Nearly four years into the place-based initiative to improve health in rural, underserved communities, the Trust published a series of stories last year about what this work looks like on the ground and how residents are faring. Download the report here.

Foundation Funding to Improve Rural Health Care: Long committed to North Carolina’s rural communities, the Trust was excited to be included in a Health Affairs blog post about how foundations around the country are investing in rural health improvement. Read more.