July 2022: Summer 2022 Newsletter
I welcome you to our summer newsletter with a mixture of joy and sadness. While it is a season of much-awaited, long sunny days and family vacations for many, I want to also acknowledge those of us who are struggling. New COVID surges and pandemic fatigue continue around the world. The national headlines at the end of June were distressing for many. And of course, the violence in the northern suburbs of Chicago on Independence Day struck all of us. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those harmed or lost. Our Coleman family was saddened by the passing of Trevor Davies, our former CFO and an inspiring leader of many years. I join all of you who pray for and work toward a happier, safer and more peaceful summer season. With that being said, I am happy to share some good news.
In June, Coleman’s board and staff gathered with a few guests to celebrate Rosa Berardi’s tenure of service at the Foundation and wish her well in her next chapter. We shared a delicious meal, moving stories and lots of laughs. Many toasts highlighted Rosa’s leadership in the Supportive Oncology Collaborative and gratitude for what she has taught us over the years. We are excited for Rosa to have more time for herself and her family. Brava!
In July, we welcomed Jennifer Oh, our new program officer lead for the health and rehab portfolio and half of the intellectual and development disability portfolio. Jennifer comes to us directly from Arabella Advisors where she supported major donors with their philanthropic strategies in a variety of issue areas. Prior to that Jennifer spent many years working as an advocate for access to health services at the Asian Health Coalition. Watch your inbox for a “Getting to Know You” introduction to Jennifer soon.
The grants that our board approved in Q2 touch all three of our core program areas. The Entrepreneurship grants continue to strengthen the ecosystem of business support organizations in the Chicago area. We believe this strategy will help entrepreneurs in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods access the coaching, networks, skills training and capital they need to start, grow and scale their businesses. We know that entrepreneurs are the one of the key contributors to local neighborhood economies and job creation.
The Health and Rehab grants support our strategic plan directives to learn more about health equity programs in communities of high need and to document the lessons learned through our investment in supportive oncology.
In Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), we have been seeking opportunities to support service providers who are experimenting with solutions that can be modeled and replicated. Specially, one grant will continue to refine an approach to shared back-office human resources and technology needs. Another grant will support a collaboration between providers to jointly address their workforce shortages by refining their recruitment, employee benefits and internal professional development processes.
Other grants made in Q2 outside of our three program areas represent the interests of our board of directors and the opportunity to be responsive to current needs. These gifts will support work in range of issues including early childhood education, domestic violence, human trafficking, animal welfare, Ukraine refugee services, civil rights advocacy and women’s reproductive health services.
In addition to our grants list, this newsletter includes two spotlights on grantees who are examples of the good work that happening in the areas of entrepreneurship and I/DD. We are so proud of the hardworking staffs of our partner organizations. We hope all of them and each of you find time for rest, relaxation and recreation this summer.
See you in the community,
Remembering former Coleman Foundation CFO Trevor Davies
10/27/1950 – 5/10/2022
“Trevor was just the best colleague, never was upset, never was quick to judgement, he was a man of few words, but resolute in his decisions. I would bring ideas and Trevor was good at evaluating and ultimately having the foundation make decisions. It was just a great partnership.”
– Dan Wanzenberg, Coleman Foundation Board of Directors