Meet Our Staff | Deaconess Foundation
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The Deaconess Foundation’s staff is comprised of individuals who provide their expertise and passion to help achieve long-term community impact and continue to address our community’s ever-changing workforce development challenges.

Deborah Vesy

President & Chief Executive Officer

Deborah Vesy is President & Chief Executive Officer of Deaconess Foundation, a private foundation that helps people in need build careers that sustain them and their families. Deborah has been with the Foundation since its inception in February 1997. She assumed the role of President & CEO 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 graduate of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2006.


Deborah is a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Fund For Our Economic Future.  Deborah has served in a variety of leadership roles within the Fund – namely, from 2005 to 2007 as Co-Chair of Voices & Choices, a large scale public engagement initiative; from 2009 to 2012 as Co-Chair of the Engage & Empower Committee; from 2016 to 2019 as Chair of the Job Preparation Committee; and currently as Chair of the Evaluation and Grantmaking Committee.


Deborah is a Trustee of College Now Greater Cleveland, and serves on the President’s Visiting Committee of Case Western Reserve University. She served on the Board of Trustees of Cleveland State University from 2016 to 2019. In the past she has served on several Boards, including the Advisory Board of the Foundation Center – Cleveland and 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 currently serves as Chair of the Cuyahoga County Workforce Funders Group, a partnership of public and private leaders including the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Foundation, Cuyahoga County, Deaconess Foundation, Fund For Our Economic Future, Greater Cleveland Partnership, The George Gund Foundation, Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board, TeamNEO and United Way of Greater Cleveland. This partnership has committed $2.5 million over three years to fund Workforce Connect, which is the creation and implementation of sector partnerships and intermediaries in Cuyahoga County in three in-demand sectors – manufacturing, healthcare and IT. Deborah is a member of the City of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Development Board.


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.


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.


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Lissy Rand

Vice President, Grantmaking & Strategy

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 Boards of Family Connections and Philanthropy Ohio 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.


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Mary Margevicius

Vice President, Finance & Operations

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).