Greater Cincinnati Foundation has announced what it described as two “game-changing” leadership moves to help the grant-making organization drive and accelerate its work as it enters a new era.
Sarah Weiss – the longtime head of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center – is joining GCF on Jan. 3 as its chief philanthropy officer. In this role, she’ll oversee GCF’s donor services, business development and marketing communications.
For 15 years, Weiss served as CEO and executive director of Holocaust & Humanity Center, where she grew its annual operating budget from $500,000 to $2.5 million with endowment commitments of $20 million, and its team from three to 20 people.
As part of her professional transition, Weiss said she’s can’t imagine a “more meaningful place to make a difference” than Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
“Having spent the first 20 years of my career building an educational institution that strives to create upstanders, I am excited to work with the upstanders in our community to build a more vibrant and equitable region for generations to come,” she added.
Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of GCF, formally announced Weiss’ hire on Monday, Nov. 27. In a statement he called Weiss an “accomplished leader with a track record of strategic planning, successful fundraising, and coalition-building.”
“Her expertise, relationships and passion for the work will grow our assets under influence and accelerate our impact across the region,” he continued.
Randazzo and GCF also recently announced the promotion of Rasheda Cromwell to the role of chief impact officer, effective Dec. 1. Cromwell joined the organization in 2021 and most recently served as vice president of community strategies. Previously named a Notable Change Agent by Movers & Makers, she led GCF’s community change and grant-making strategy.
Prior to joining GCF, Cromwell worked for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati for 11 years in multiple capacities, including director of development and vice president of development. She referred to her new role as a “signal to the entire community about our intention to drive measurable impact in all that we do.”
“Elevating impact from a single department to an essential function among our executive team is about aligning our mission, vision and resources to create a better, more thriving region,” Cromwell added.
In an email to partner agencies on Nov. 21, Randazzo described Weiss and Cromwell as “leaders who can bridge and grow critical relationships between donors and partners … to make Greater Cincinnati an even more vibrant, equitable and opportunity-rich region.”
“As with many significant milestones, our 60th anniversary is a time to reflect on the amazing work we’ve accomplished together and strategize the possibilities ahead. Please join us in congratulating Rasheda and welcoming Sarah as we set sights on our next generation of impact,” he added.
Randazzo went on to thank Colleen McCarthy Blair for “her steadfast commitment to GCF” while serving as interim chief philanthropy officer since May of this year. Plans call for her to remain a part of the GCF leadership team.
“(McCarthy Blair) stepped up amidst substantial organizational transitions, led the team and provided continuity for our donors and community partners,” Randazzo continued. “We’re fortunate to have her thoughtfulness and guidance during this interim period and beyond.”