A Letter From Our President/CEO
February 17, 2016
It’s a privilege to dig into the Greater Cincinnati region to understand the many ways GCF can work to match generous people like you to the local opportunities that need our attention most
. What is imminently clear is that your generosity makes our region a better place.
In addition to working closely with the fine staff that make our community foundation excellent, I’m spending my days doing all I can to be present where important decisions about our community are being made. One such place is in connection with the local business community. I sit on the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, the Northern Kentucky CEO Roundtable and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Board, keeping my eye on opportunities for collaboration and alignment with other sector efforts. Indeed, we can and must all advance together to make our region more vibrant and prosperous for all.
In November I traveled to Israel with a delegation of local leaders committed to advancing the practices and policies driving the field of early care and education. From a benchmarking perspective, Israel is an extremely innovative and family friendly nation, yet with no shortage of challenges in raising children. We witnessed the critical importance of social capital as a driver for access to preschool—an important lesson as Cincinnati considers the Preschool Promise
. We also went with our hearts and minds focused on the impact of traumatic experiences on a child’s future well-being. Sadly, in this international classroom where children are experiencing the trauma of war, we were able to draw parallels to the trauma experienced by local children growing up in poverty.
You may know that Cincinnati's childhood poverty rate of 44.3 percent is double the national rate and nearly double the state rate. Championing children and fighting poverty are near to many of our hearts, and that is why I’m committing time and attention to the Child Poverty Collaborative
. Our goal is to lift 10,000 children out of poverty in the next five years. We are early in the process of studying the issue to determine an effective course of action, so stay tuned!
I’ve also been spending time inside the foundation, identifying ways to advance and improve our practices to be more nimble, innovative, and donor centered, while also growing our impact as a community leadership organization. To support our growth and development, Dora Anim will be joining our team as Chief Operating Officer. Dora comes to us from The Health Collaborative with a strong leadership background. She will be focused on ensuring an even stronger foundation for GCF to be of value to the community and for you to make a personally, meaningful difference with your funds. Your fulfillment matters very much to us.
I welcome your thoughts on any of the topics above—or others! Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.
Ellen M. Katz
Greater Cincinnati Foundation