A Better Cincinnati for All

Volunteers working to better our community

April 2021

Volunteers are critical to Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and our efforts to address racial inequities and crippling systems across the region. Their expertise and passion are key ingredients to our mission, enabling us to all grow together.

Wisconsin native Ann Schwister has dedicated seven years to GCF’s Governing Board and chaired multiple committees. Her dedication to give back and “lifting while she climbs” inspired her to join the GCF family in 2014.

“GCF is an expert committed to making Cincinnati more vibrant,” she said. “GCF is pointing out the big areas of need and then helping people understand it – ultimately facilitating change. That is why I love it. They are taking the time to educate the staff, board and community.”

Ann moved to Cincinnati after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1989. She retired from Procter & Gamble in 2018 after serving as a Finance Executive for 29 years. Ann resides with her husband Juan Carlos Santamarina in the Mt. Lookout neighborhood.

Retirement did not slow her down. Ann shifted her focus to making a direct impact in corporate and nonprofit board strategies.

She believes our community is making significant strides in addressing racial equity and is taking a deeper look at key issues affecting Black communities. She is inspired by GCF’s effort to “grow the pie.”

Racial equity, similar to racial justice, focuses on providing systemic fair treatment, outcomes and opportunities to all people, regardless of race or background.

Ann noted that Racial Equity Matters, presented by bi3, encouraged the Community Strategies Committee to create a shared language and understanding around racial injustices.

“Part of our role as a community foundation is to sow the seeds and then allow people to grow and figure out what they do with that knowledge,” Ann said.  “There’s so much that we can do from a racial equity point of view. GCF is focused on the big opportunities.”