News & Event
Chief Financial Officer Will Woodward is a two-time graduate of Miami University, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in finance. A Cincinnati native, he lives in Loveland with his wife and three young children.
Share details of your personal and professional background that helped to guide your path to Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF).
My mom was a philosophy professor at the University of Cincinnati; my sister followed Mom and went into teaching. My dad was an accountant for the IRS for over 30 years, and I ended up following in his footsteps by going into the accounting field. I’ve always been a math-type person, so it was natural for me. My first job out of college was working for Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms here in Cincinnati, which provided me with a strong foundation in the accounting side of the house. But my passion was more in finance, so after five years at Deloitte I had the opportunity to take a position in operational finance with Mercy Health. Initially I was the head of finance for Mercy Anderson Hospital, and six months later they added Mercy Clermont Hospital. I got to work inside the walls of a hospital, which really gave me my first taste of what it’s like to lead finance for an organization. I had an opportunity to look at a wide array of budgets, and we put together many financial projections including the new $80 million tower at Mercy Anderson Hospital.
Then I was recruited to the start-up company RushCard, the largest privately-held pre-paid debit card company in the US, which was then located in Blue Ash. It was co-founded by Russell Simmons (rap music producer and co-founder of Def Jam Recordings). They created the first-ever Visa pre-paid debit card, but by the time I got there it was a pretty large organization. My role was the entire financial purview — accounting, finance and HR, which really gave me a taste of how to grow an organization. We doubled the size of my team in the time I was with the organization. We operated as the “bank” for many of our customers, most of whom tended to live below the poverty line.
We were in the process of selling the business when I got a call about GCF. It was a great natural progression in terms of my next step. I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason. During the interview process I had an opportunity to meet a lot of our board members, and they were looking for someone who had a for-profit mindset in terms of the skills and capabilities that would help bring to GCF. Ellen and Dora have been in the nonprofit world for a long time, and so it was a great fit of our different backgrounds to be able to facilitate growth in making an impact. When I came Ellen had been here about two years — it was really exciting time, and I think we have an amazing board.
What are your professional and community affiliations, and how do they inform your role at GCF?
On the professional side, I am a CPA, so I’m a member of the Ohio Society of CPAs and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. I’m a Charter Global Management Accountant as well. Because I have young children (three kids four and under to be specific) I’m mindful of prioritizing my time. I recently concluded about 10 years of service with the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati, a cause that has always been a passion for our family. My wife and I are also in a number of groups affiliated with our church.
Who or what is your inspiration, and in what ways has that driven your passion for GCF’s mission?
Probably my biggest source of inspiration is my parents, for different reasons. My dad was the coach, a person who was always the provider for our family. My mom had an incredible life — she was a college professor until she got sick when I was a young child and had to give that up. Later she went back to graduate school and became a social worker at Talbert House working with people who had drug and alcohol addictions; after that she did prison ministry, mentoring women at local prisons and helping them get their GEDs. She instilled in me a sense of giving back, of making sure that I am leaving our community in a better place than I inherited it. I’ve always tried to carry that forward and that’s what led to my through-line of mission-based jobs that ultimately led me to GCF. On the professional side, I’ve had really good mentors. The people I’ve appreciated the most are those who have taught me something and I’ve tried to carry that forward, making sure that I’m teaching and giving back as much as I possibly can.
What are three things about you that most people don’t know?
One of my passions is that I’ve always loved the idea of an entrepreneurial-type business. My wife and I got into real estate back in 2011 and 7 years later we’ve flipped five houses and have 12 rental properties. I love being able to offer nice houses that people can feel comfortable living in and seeing the transformation when they are complete. It’s another aspect that ties in with the mission of this organization. At GCF we’re looking at how can we do some really big things in the affordable housing space, and I hope that I can add some value in ways that could impact a lot of lives.
I love playing poker. I love the strategy behind it and I have played for a long time in a number of poker leagues. I’ve come within inches, twice, to making the (World Series of Poker) Main Event — the largest poker tournament in the world.
I’ve had the benefit of meeting two of the greatest individuals of all time in their respective sports. I grew up in Roselawn, and Muhammad Ali’s brother lived across the street. One day Muhammad Ali pulled up in a big RV, and the whole street got to come out and meet him. I also met Secretariat — my parents took me down to a horse farm in Lexington to meet him. I also had the chance to play against a grand master in chess in New Orleans.
What do you like most about working at GCF?
What I’ve enjoyed the most is the people, both inside and outside the walls of this great organization, that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet. At GCF we tend to come across a wide spectrum of people. We’ve got great employees, and we’re also interacting with fantastic donors, professional advisors and a lot of really important nonprofits. The greatest thing, for me — which I said coming in the door and I say it now — is that I really want to be at an organization about which I can tell my kids one day, “Daddy was helping to make Greater Cincinnati better.”
CINCINNATI (March 27, 2017) — The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is pleased to welcome its first Chief Financial Officer Will Woodward.
Woodward is the former Vice President of Finance for UNIRUSH, an innovative private equity backed company that contains the largest privately held VISA prepaid debit card company and second largest privately held paycard company in the United States. Prior to that Woodward was Director of Finance for Mercy Health and began his career with Deloitte. He succeeds current GCF Vice President of Finance Scott McReynolds who will be retiring later this year.
“Will brings an exceptional combination of financial oversight and innovative business leadership to The Greater Cincinnati Foundation," said Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO. “His focus will be to build on the historically strong financial stability of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and assist in new opportunities to grow the impact of the Foundation’s assets. With more than $560 million in assets, the role of CFO is a critical leadership position.”
Woodward’s responsibilities will include management of the business planning and finance, including oversight of the investment strategy and investment management, as well as management of the Foundation’s financial systems which support donor access, grant distribution and operations. He will also oversee the technology and data security management at GCF. Woodward will also play a key role in partnering with Foundation donors and financial partners in the community to manage and grow the assets of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “I’m excited to join the GCF team. This is my hometown and I’m looking forward to helping expand the great and important work of the Foundation.”
Woodward is a Certified Public Account (CPA) and Chartered Global Management Account (CGMA). He earned his Bachelors of Science in Accountancy and Master of Business Administration from Miami University.
He a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and serves on the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati’s Board of Directors.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $562 million.
CINCINNATI (December 20, 2017) – The Greater Cincinnati Foundation welcomes Angie Williams as Senior Human Resources Manager.
Williams brings over 15 years of experience in HR management, culture change management, and high performing talent acquisition. She is responsible for all human resources management functions related to hiring and recruitment, compensation and payroll, and performance management. She will work closely with management at the Foundation to align HR’s priorities and policies to the vision and goals of the Foundation. Williams will also oversee building operations for the Foundation.
“Angie brings extensive experience in HR and in shaping high-performance cultures to this position,” said Ellen M. Katz, president/CEO. “I am confident that she will foster a thriving work culture and be a strong advocate for our employees.”
Williams was previously the HR Regional Business Partner at Green Dot Corporation, where she oversaw Green Dot’s eight regional offices east of the Mississippi. Prior to her time at Green Dot, Williams was the Human Resource Manager at UniRush. Williams is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional, and belongs to both SHRM and GHRCA, the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association.
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As an accredited community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
We are thrilled to introduce you to our two new staff members who will take the Women’s Fund to the next level.
Meet Adrienne, our new Development Director!
We are proud to welcome Adrienne Taylor who will lead our fundraising efforts. She has seven years of development experience and most recently served as the Director of Annual Giving and Business Development at the University of Cincinnati Foundation.
Adrienne’s creativity, resourcefulness and strategic planning skills will be critical as we expand our fundraising efforts which ultimately fuel our mission and impact. Adrienne earned an MA in Arts Administration and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Millikin University.
Adrienne is also a graduate of the inaugural class of New Faces of Fundraising, and now serves as the co-chair of this diversity pipeline program for development professionals. She is active at the national level for the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Originally from Indianapolis, Adrienne now lives on the west side of Cincinnati with her husband, Jeff, daughter Josephine and her two cats.
Meet Sam, our new Applied Research Manager!
Research has always been a critical part of our work at the Women’s Fund and we are proud to welcome Sam Molony to our team who will lead this important effort. She will be the in-house expert on our four focus areas, manage our research projects and lead the day-to-day operations of the Employer Toolkit and Appointed.
Sam earned a master’s degree in communications from the University of Cincinnati and Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Louisville. During her time at UC, she conducted a research project that explored how women running for political office communicated about motherhood in their campaign speeches. Sam comes to us from Wordsworth Communications. During her free time, Sam enjoys playing with her golden retriever, Addie, renovating her home in Edgewood, and spending time with family and friends.
Your generosity and confidence in our work has allowed us to add this top talent to our team. We are beyond grateful for your support. We are your Women’s Fund and our six-pack is back!
CINCINNATI (December 12, 2017) — Tom Williams was recently presented with the 2017 Jacob E. Davis Volunteer Leadership Award from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF).
The Jacob E. Davis Volunteer Leadership Award, presented since 1987, recognizes the leadership and generosity of time provided by an individual or couple committed to improving the quality of life in Greater Cincinnati.
“Tom Williams carries on the tradition of civic engagement exemplified by Jake Davis,” said Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “We were pleased to be able to present this award to someone who gives so generously in both time and treasure.”
Williams is president/CEO of North American Properties and co-principal owner/vice chairman/treasurer for the Cincinnati Reds. He currently serves as a chair of the Child Poverty Collaborative and of the Development and Finance Committee of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC). He also serves on many boards, including JobsOhio, Cintrifuse, Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), Cincinnati Equity Fund, Regional Economic Development Initiative, Accelerate Great Schools, and Teach for America.
The award was named in honor of the late Jake Davis (1905 – 2003), who served as Kroger’s CEO, U.S. Representative from Ohio, and GCF’s first Governing Board Chair and Volunteer Director from 1978 to 1987.
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One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
“As architects, we are honored to partner with GCF to plan and design their new office space,” said David Kirk, president of DNK. “We believe in their mission to inspire people to invest in Cincinnati through philanthropy. We also believe that design should respond to the reason for its use, but it is the experience of the space that matters. We want to create a work environment that is attractive and comfortable but yet responds to GCF’s culture. Their new corporate office should provide inspiration and spur a collective passion to continue their legacy of good work in the Greater Cincinnati community for years to come. “
About Greater Cincinnati Foundation
As the region’s leading community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation connects people with purpose in an eight-county region in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. GCF is leading the charge toward a more vibrant Greater Cincinnati for everyone – now, and for generations to come. As of 2017, GCF is the 35th largest U.S. community foundation with net assets of $649 million.
DNK is one of Cincinnati’s leading boutique design firms specializing in architecture, interiors, planning and landscape architecture. For over 30 years the firm has served clients - public and private with projects in the workplace, wellness/ healthcare, education and urban planning sectors. We creatively balance people, economics and the environment to produce transformative, sustainable solutions. The firm is a recipient of numerous awards for project design.
The firm has a wide range of strategic collaborative projects over its 28+ years including: Atricure, Cincinnati Children's, Oncology & Hematology Care (OHC), Graydon, The Cincinnati Park Board, Tavistock Development/Steiner + Associates, Mercy Health, TriHealth, Christ Hospital, The Ohio State University, The University of Cincinnati, Graydon, and Procter & Gamble globally.
About RCF Group
We provide tailored and comprehensive workplace solutions, gaining insight through listening sessions to understand your business culture, needs and challenges. Then, utilize our knowledge and expertise to help you exceed your goals, ensure accountability and responsiveness to form a long-term relationship, while delivering superior service. We create and deliver value in a world that is constantly changing. We learn your brand from the inside out to formulate a plan for your project and believe that extraordinary results can be achieved when an engaged client and our team work together toward a common goal. RCF Group is dedicated to a supportive environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion while working together for the long term benefit of our clients, business, and community.
Greater Cincinnati Foundation COO Dora Anim, a native of Ghana and the daughter of a diplomat stationed at UNESCO, grew up in Paris. She received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Cincinnati and lives in Sharonville with her husband and four children. As she said, “I married a Cincinnatian, and people like to say, ‘That means you’re stuck! You’re not leaving — ever.’”
I worked at a couple of different places as a consultant and then at Greater Cincinnati Health Council, which became the Health Collaborative. Consulting work was really a challenging environment, and it taught me to really think on my feet. It also taught me to look at a lot of information at a very high level and to just simplify and synthesize complex issues. I realized that relationships are the foundation of anything — without that I didn’t have the trust of the client, my team, so I learned to invest the time to build relationships because it will pay off. I think having my first career as a consultant taught me some principles that I’ve applied along the way.
In many ways I feel like a consultant for GCF. I thrive on problem-solving; I don't get discouraged by things. I embrace challenges; as I tell my kids, they make you better, they make you stronger, they make you wiser. If you don’t have them, then you don’t really get to practice different muscles that help you build resilience. Everything is opportunity. I think also I inherited some of my father’s diplomacy, he just had a way with words that I try to emulate.
I also realized that I’m somewhat of a change agent, because even at the Health Collaborative, I was there 14 years and I changed roles five times. I’m constantly thinking of, “What’s next?” That’s just how my mind works. So, it’s interesting that all paths have led me here because I’m able to apply all the parts of my career here.
I’ve completed nearly every leadership program of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce (WE Lead, C-Change, WE Succeed, Leadership Cincinnati) and the Urban League’s Urban Leader Institute program. I’m on the board of several organizations: Springer School, the Council on Aging, Episcopal Retirement Homes. These are organizations that are kind of in transition and have a lot of interesting growth going on. I like being part of that and helping influence that.
I always say my mother, for sure. She was an interesting mix of grace, compassion, strength and just calm, there was something about her that was just radiant and I always admired that. People just gravitated towards her very positively. I just admire that you can have all those qualities in one and it can be positive, you can be strong and not rude and not nasty and not raise your voice. She just taught me that balance that you can be all the good things at once. That’s what I teach my kids, I think that that’s our role in life is to just take the good and the best of everyone that you meet and make it your own, and that’s what I tried to do with her.
Career-wise, I’ve always worked with really smart women and I’ve always had smart women bosses. I feel like they’ve all helped shape and influence me. When I was a consultant, one of the senior project managers, Nancy Vogel, was the first person who said, “you just do it your way, kid,” and I just loved that. At the council I worked with folks like Nancy Strassel and Colleen O’Toole, and they always were inclusive. That’s why I really enjoy working with Ellen — it continues that legacy of strong, smart women that I’ve really enjoyed working with and that I really appreciate learning from. I just think that you’re a student for life and so you should be constantly learning, and I really feel that from her. Smart women that I’ve worked for, and side by side with, are an inspiration as well, but Mom first.
I really enjoy cooking extravagant meals, I just don’t have time to do it. I like to mix things up. Being from Ghana and France, I like to mix those different cuisines up; I have American kids; and I like to elevate flavors.
I’m very clumsy. At one point I use to constantly run into walls and drop everything.
My parents were friends with Richard Nixon and Shirley Temple. My dad, being a diplomat, met different heads of state and he and Nixon hit it off. I have pictures of Nixon in our house. Shirley Temple was the U.S. ambassador to Ghana, so he, as a high official, got to spend time with her and we also have pictures of her in our house, although I can’t remember meeting her.
There wasn’t a COO before me (at GCF), so I was the first. The challenge and the opportunity are super exciting to me: the potential of this foundation to really have a transformative effect on the community when you can combine resources with need; I just love that you can strategize about it in a different way, being more intentional to do greater and bigger things. I also love the view that we have from the community’s perspective to understand things at a high and wide level. We get to have access to health care, employers, education, nonprofits and donors — all the stakeholders literally are connected to the foundation and that makes what is possible impactful. The beauty of the whole community comes together here. It’s an organization with such a wonderful history and reputation that plays such an important role in the community, and I’m just honored to be part of it and support taking it to the next level.
And then I just love my coworkers. I love what we’re doing, our direction and the energy. I love how different people are here — everyone brings something unique to the table from where they’ve been. It’s a wonderfully diverse group of individuals that I also learn from and I’m humbled to work with daily.
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