Deborah has been with the Foundation since its inception in February 1997. She assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer in July 2002, and previously held the positions of Associate Director and Chief Financial Officer. Deborah served as a consultant during the sale and winding down of the Foundation’s predecessor, Deaconess Health Systems and served as President of three HUD housing facilities for the low-income elderly – Deaconess-Krafft Center, Deaconess-Zane Center and Deaconess-Perry Center – that the Foundation owned and operated until December 2015. Deborah started her career as a CPA in a major public accounting firm and then served as Vice President General Manager of a $10 million for-profit business.
Deborah is a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Fund For Our Economic Future, an unprecedented collaboration among the philanthropic sector to promote regional economic development. She is on the Board of Trustees of Cleveland State University and is a Trustee of Philanthropy Ohio. Deborah serves on the Advisory Board of the Foundation Center – Cleveland. Deborah served on the Board and Executive Committee of BVU: The Center for Nonprofit Excellence for thirteen years. She was a member of the El Barrio Board of Trustees for seven years and held the position of Board Chair from 1998 to 2003. Deborah is a graduate of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2006.
In 2009/2010, Deborah Co-Chaired the Human Services Restructuring Pilot Project, a collaborative effort of 18 local grantmakers to encourage, promote and foster significant strategic restructuring efforts among nonprofit human service organizations in Cuyahoga County. From 2005 to 2007, Deborah served as Co-Chair of Voices & Choices, a large scale public engagement initiative developed by the Fund for Our Economic Future. From 2009 to 2012 she Co-Chaired the Engage & Empower Committee.
Deborah was recognized as a “Woman of Note” by Crain’s Cleveland Business in September 2001, was the recipient of the Community Service Award from North Coast Community Homes in December 2005 and the Distinguished Woman in Healthcare for Civic Engagement and Philanthropy Award from The Visiting Nurse Association in June 2007. In 2014, Deborah received the Community Vision Award from Open Doors Academy.
Lissy joined Deaconess Foundation as Program Officer in 2014 after nearly 10 years as an Associate with Foundation Management Services (FMS) in Cleveland. At FMS, Lissy served as a program officer for five client foundations with funding priorities across health, human services and education. This work gave her a broad understanding of Cleveland’s nonprofit sector, and she was proud to have developed particular expertise in grant proposal review and the planning and implementation of strategic initiatives. Lissy was active in local behavioral health issues through her work with the Woodruff Foundation. She worked with the Woodruff Trustees to develop several special grantmaking initiatives, including projects that addressed mental health care for the uninsured and the integration of behavioral and primary health care. Lissy serves on the Board of Family Connections and is a 2017 graduate from Leadership Cleveland.
Previously, Lissy worked in a programmatic and policy capacity with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Easter Seal Society, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and NetWellness. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and received a Master of Social Work degree from University of Michigan and a Master of Public Health degree from University of Illinois.
Mary has been with the Foundation since its inception in December 1994. Mary began her career with Deaconess in 1987 and held a variety of positions in the accounting department of Deaconess Hospital, the Foundation’s predecessor. She is responsible for operational and financial management functions for the Foundation. Mary has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Dayton. Mary is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).