Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a community-supported foundation that invests in the power of women and girls of color across the Washington metropolitan region.
To ignite change in our community to advance gender, racial, and economic justice.
● We are constantly learning and adapt our practices to serve a changing world.
● We are honest, transparent and accountable to our community.
● We are a small but mighty collective that encourages diversity in community, thoughts and ideas.
● We practice kindness and intentionality in all we do.
Incorporated as Washington Area Women’s Foundation on April.
Held first Leadership Luncheon with 139 attendees.
Awarded first grants, investing in local women leading nonprofits, totaling $17,000.
Anne Mosle named President.
Launched women’s philanthropy conference: Women and Philanthropy: The Power of Giving.
Published seminal research A Portrait of Women & Girls in the Washington Metropolitan Area generating the first $1M grant.
Rainmakers Giving Circle launched.
African American Women’s Giving Circle launched.
Stepping Stones, a signature grantmaking program to increase the economic stability of women and girls in the Washington, DC Region, launched.
Phyllis Caldwell named President and CEO.
Launched Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative, a network of funders dedicated to increasing the quality of and access to early care and education.
Be That Woman campaign/video
Nicky Goren named President and CEO.
Joined Women’s Economic Security Collaborative
Expanded Stepping Stones grants to include two-generation strategy.
Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat named President and CEO.
The Women’s Foundation joined Prosperity Together
Launched the Young Women’s Initiative, a city-wide effort to improve life outcomes and increase opportunities for young women, girls, transgender women, and gender non-conforming youth of color between the ages of 12-24.
Launched award-winning “Our 100 Days” Campaign.
Held first-ever GirlsLEAD Summit with 600 women and girls in attendance.
Released report A Blueprint for Action featuring collective voice of more than 250 young women on how to address challenges identified by young women of color living in the District.
Contributed to report Early Childhood Educator Compensation in the Washington Region.
Released our 2020 Community Investment Report
Abriana manages the Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC) at the Foundation. She works collaboratively with both the ECEFC and Grantee Partners to increase the quality and capacity of, and access to, early care and education in the Washington region.
Abriana is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Through her upbringing in marginalized communities and experience in poorly funded schools, she realized her passion for Education Policy and Advocacy. Before joining the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, Abriana served Public School Students in North Carolina, New York, and the District of Columbia as a data analyst and strategist. Her work has driven policy and decision-making concerning Special Education Services, ECE Site Openings, and College Readiness Programs for students of color. Abriana affirms that quality, purposeful, and accessible education is a mechanism for liberation that all young people deserve. Abriana is excited to continue her Education Equity work with the Washington Women’s Foundation alongside the ECEFC.
Abriana received a B.A in Communication and M.S in Management from Wake Forest University. In her spare time, she enjoys working in her garden, supporting women as a Birth Doula, and watching Youtube!
Jackie has 25+ years’ experience leading national and local nonprofit organizations. Since 2012, she has served as an interim executive professional, skilled at guiding organizations through transition in a limited time frame. Her expertise includes broad-based experience managing operations, internal and external communications and government relations, community relations, Board governance and education, grants management, program development and advocacy/public policy.
Jacquelyn L. Lendsey has served as a Nonprofit Interim CEO/Executive Director consultant and a senior management executive leading and managing national, local and affiliate based nonprofit organizations.
As a Nonprofit Interim CEO/Executive Director consultant, Ms. Lendsey has served as Interim Executive Director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, promoting opportunity and prosperity for all the residents of the District of Columbia through thoughtful policy solutions; Interim Director of the Student National Medical Association, the oldest and largest student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color with a membership of 6,000 medical and premedical students, residents and physicians; and, Interim President/CEO of Voices for America’s Children, the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations. She served as consultant/executive director for the Black Philanthropic Alliance, a network of African American professionals in philanthropy and nonprofits who identify, manage and influence investments and resources to strengthen and connect the Black community in the Washington, DC region. Develop consultant to the Center for Women Policy Studies.
As Vice President for Programs and Communications at the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation she was responsible for leading all programs and communications including $18 million in annual grantmaking/ monitoring to local businesses and community-based organizations, internal/external communications, government/community relations, development, research and evaluation, program quality and standards, and special initiatives.
Jackie has served on the Boards of Directors of Consumer Health Foundation, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC; National Collaboration for Youth, the National Human Services Assembly; the Center for Women Policy Studies and Mentors, Inc.; and, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. She is a member and serves on the Steering Committee of the Interim Executive Network https://interimnonprofitexecs.com.
She is a native Washingtonian and a life member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and Leadership Greater Washington.
Chika manages the youth and safety grant portfolios and supports the advocacy efforts of Grantee Partners at Washington Area Women’s Foundation, a community-supported foundation that invests in the power of women and girls of color in the Washington DC area. She oversees grantmaking to both individuals and organizations and provides support directly to Grantee Partners and youth award-winners with technical assistance and additional fundraising.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Chika is committed to ensuring Washington DC area residents are afforded equitable resources and services to live self-determined productive lives. Prior to her role at The Women’s Foundation, Chika coordinated youth-led initiatives that aimed to empower youth through a systems-change and racial equity analysis of agencies, policies and institutions meant to serve its community. In the past, her role as a social worker has helped her assist, learn from and work alongside youth who have emancipated from the child welfare system and navigated the higher education and immigration systems. Her personal philosophy in the necessity of engaging those most affected as decision-makers for policies and practices drives her passion for the change that needs to happen to invest in women, girls and gender expansive folks of color.
Chika has an undergraduate degree in political science and social work form the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a master’s degree in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, she is an avid walker, loves to read, and frequently jams to hits from around the globe.
Sylvia provides administrative and finance support across the organization. She comes to the Foundation with more than 15 years of clerical experience.
Sylvia also enjoys fitness and healthy living and is a personal trainer, advising those who are interested in making healthy choices and fitness a part of their lifestyles. She has helped three clients lose over 100 pounds and specializes in weight loss, sports performance and women’s training. Sylvia was born and raised in Lima, Peru and attended Toulouse Lautrec, where she majored in graphic design. She had the opportunity to visit the United States in 1998, fell in love with American culture, and decided to make the US her permanent home. She has lived in North Carolina and Northern Virginia. She enjoys the outdoors, live music, reading, cooking, and riding the emotional rollercoaster that is life!
Crystal Rucker currently serves as the Director of Development for Washington Area Women’s Foundation providing leadership of the Foundation’s fundraising strategies and operations.
Crystal began her career over 20 years ago working with an investment banking firm where she realized that she wanted to find a way to align those client relationships with the opportunity to make a broader social impact in her community.
Crystal’s expertise in the philanthropic development space has intersected fundraising, donor cultivation, community engagement, strategic partnerships, grant making, marketing, communications, and program management. She previously served as the Director of Advancement and Engagement for the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) where she managed philanthropic strategies and campaigns in support of the organization’s programs and priorities.
As a native Washingtonian, Crystal’s personal commitment to serving and impacting the lives of children and youth influenced her desire to connect financial wealth with organizations where she has worked to help provide equitable opportunities for children and youth, especially those in under-resourced communities in the Washington, DC region.
Crystal serves on the Board of Directors of Access Youth, Inc., on the Leadership Advisory Committee of the Shaping Futures Foundation, and in 2017, she was recognized as the first-ever Volunteer of the Year by the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project for her devotion and service to unhoused children.
Crystal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Communications from Howard University and an executive certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University’s School of Public Policy. In her spare time, she enjoys tending to her houseplants, writing, reading self-help
books, traveling, baking, and hosting dinner parties for her friends.
Sarah serves as Director of Communications where she leads the Foundation’s communications, marketing, and branding strategies. Born in Arizona and raised in Mississippi, Sarah takes pride in her unique background and fresh and creative perspective she brings to the organization.
With nearly 10 years of professional experience, Sarah has a diverse portfolio that includes, but is not limited to, serving as a congressional staffer in the United States Senate, working in government and corporate affairs at Caterpillar, Inc., and serving as a Director of Client Experience at Handshake Partners – a social impact and influence agency.
Through her tenure at Handshake Partners, Sarah consulted with Fortune 100 brands such as BP, BMW, the Caterpillar Foundation, and Caterpillar Remanufacturing, as well as Abercrombie & Fitch, the Global Solidarity Fund, and the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation leading programs and projects centered the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2018, Sarah founded Sarah Weatherby Public Relations – a boutique public relations and digital marketing agency – and has consulted with clients in various industries. Such clients include Bella Boss, Cottrey Consulting Group, Georgia Center for Nonprofits, National PTA, and Ownership is the New Black – to name a few.
Sarah holds a Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Design from Brandeis University, a Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss).
In her spare time, she serves as the first Black president of the Mississippi Society of Washington, D.C. – the second oldest active state society in the District of Columbia that brings together Mississippians in our nation’s capital for fellowship and cultural, civic, charitable, and educational activities. She serves on the Ole Miss D.C. Alumni board and is a member of ColorComm. She also enjoys cooking, singing, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Donna joined the Foundation team in 2008 to provide executive administrative support to the President and CEO and Board of Directors. In addition, Donna provides operations management including, office and technology management, and development support.
Donna’s first “real job” as a Girl Scout camp counselor set the tone for a career in the nonprofit arena, working in such varied positions as a child-care worker at a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children, a bus driver for slightly less troubled children, general manager for a puppet company, and administrator for a pet-therapy organization. She spent 15 years working for In Trust, Inc., an organization that works with trustees and key administrators to improve the governance of graduate theological schools in the U.S. and Canada. While there, she provided the administrative support that saw the organization grow from a project of the Lilly Endowment into a 501(c)3 membership organization with multi-faceted educational programs and a broad funding base.
- C. Lynn McNair is the Chief Advancement Officer at Georgetown Day School where she provides oversight for its external affairs, including development, communications, alumni engagement, and community relations.
Lynn brings over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit world, setting strategy, developing fiscal capacity, establishing partnerships with foundations and individuals to enhance philanthropic giving, and honing her expertise as a communicator. Lynn most recently served as the Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships for the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization working to ensure that all at-risk middle and high school students receive the support they need to meet challenging academic standards, graduate from high school and college, and develop the necessary skills and capacity to become productive citizens in the global economy. Previously, Lynn served in leadership roles at the Internet Society, the Salzburg Global Seminar, the American Association of University Women, and the National Governors Association. She serves on the Board of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and co-founded and co-chaired the African American Women’s Giving Circle of Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
In addition to her deep experience in strategic leadership, marketing and external relations, fundraising, and relationship building, Lynn has two adult children, Marcus and GDS alum Sasha ’10. In Lynn’s spare time, she loves to read, go for long walks, and spend time with close friends over a good glass of red wine.
Lori Weinstein is CEO Emerita of JWI Jewish Women International – an organization of more than 100,000 donors and supporters.
For more than 20 years she has led the organization’s mission and work to bring gender parity and equity to all women and girls. She has also led the organization’s advocacy priorities around reproductive justice, gun violence prevention, domestic violence initiatives and equal pay/paid leave. In addition, as part of JWI’s philanthropy, Lori launched an initiative to build 100 children’s libraries in battered women’s shelters across the country.
JWI is a leader in the development of programs to promote healthy relationships and dating abuse prevention in colleges, universities and high schools around the country. In her work to advance the political, social and economic agenda for women and girls, Lori has spoken at scores of conferences and to organizations and groups both domestically and internationally.
Today she serves as a consultant to non-profits, as well as to individuals and families for their philanthropic giving and sits on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations.
Joyce is Vice President, Goldman Sachs Office of Government Affairs in the Washington, DC office, where she joined in November 2009.
Joyce currently serves as a member of Bryce Harlow Foundation Board, Common Threads Advisory Committee; the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Corporate Advisory Committee; Johnson C. Smith University Board of Visitors; and as board member and treasurer of The Faith and Politics Institute. In 2007, she also founded the African-American Women on the Hill Network.
Joyce graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Public Policy Studies. She completed the Leadership Development Program for Minority Managers at Johns Hopkins University and received an MBA from Johns Hopkins.
Andrea is the Managing Partner of Howard Insurance, a private insurance advisory firm serving the complex risk management needs of its clients since 1945. In addition, she has been an insurance advisor for Raffa Financial Services since 2006.
For over a decade, Andrea has earned a trusted reputation for her consultative approach to providing life insurance solutions for individuals, business owners, and executives. Her areas of expertise include the use of insurance in the areas of family wealth transfer planning and business succession planning. Andrea has extensive experience in all areas of executive and employee benefit strategies.
We are grateful to Andrea for her work on the Leadership Luncheon Host Committee. Thanks to her passion for the cause and perseverance, she helped to raise over $30,000. Her “make it happen” approach set the tone for the new members of the committee, who saw her lead and got actively involved – resulting in the most financially successful Luncheon in recent years.
Andrea sits on the Board of Directors of the Washington Women’s Leadership Initiative, is an active member of the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU), and the Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP).
Andrea graduated from the University of Delaware, earning a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Economics. Andrea holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Certified in Long Term Care (CLTC) professional designations.
Teresa is a proven executive with over 30 years of experience leading global organizations serving the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is known for her track record of transforming underperforming organizations to consistently deliver results far exceeding company and industry expectations.
She retired as Senior Vice President of the Americas with Xerox Corporation, where she led the company’s most profitable and highest revenue growth division worldwide. In addition to her fiduciary profit and loss responsibility, she was accountable for strategy development, industry-specific services, solutions design, and overall client engagement. She previously held other executive positions in leading companies, including Senior Vice President, U.S. Federal Operations with Xerox Corporation. In that role, she led the winning pursuits of the largest contract awards in the company’s history. She was the Healthcare Industry General Manager with Xerox Global Services and Senior Vice President, U.S. East Sales with W. W. Grainger, Inc., where she had profit and loss responsibility over $1B in revenue and led over 600 employees.|
Dedicated to giving back to the community in Teresa’s retirement, she served as Vice President and Chief Member Officer of The Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent membership organization for black board directors, CEOs, and senior executives. The member services department she led was responsible for developing, coordinating, and marketing programs, benefits, and initiatives to enhance, inform and engage the organization’s more than 800 members professionally and personally. Within her first year, she took the organization from 5 annual programs to over 40 and automated several processes that increased member engagement and improved operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Teresa serves as the Washington Area Women’s Foundation Board Secretary, the Hampton University School of Engineering Advisory Board, and the Port Discovery Children’s Museum Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Greater Washington, is on the Board Finance Committee, and is a Women in Technology member. She formerly served as Suited for Change Board Treasurer, the U. S. State Department Overseas Schools Advisory Council, and the Xerox Political Action Committee. She is a recipient of Maryland’s Top 100 Women Award, the Black Women’s Leadership Council Award, and the YWCA Woman of Excellence Award.
Teresa earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business. She received executive leadership certificates from Dartmouth University, Tuck School of Business, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Smith College.
Tim Abercrombie is a Principal at Abercrombie & Associates and is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park where he received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
With more than 30 years of experience in the public and private accounting fields, Tim’s breadth and depth of experience in private and public accounting, brings high quality service to small businesses or nonprofit organizations.
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Black Accountants, and the Maryland Society of Accountants, and he has also been a strong force as a board member (past and present) with several organizations, including Best Kids, Center for Nonprofit Advancement, Center for Watershed Protection Board Members, Greenwood Elementary School PTA, and Second Avenue Condominium Association.
Sally has served clients in the public and private sector for over 25 years and is known for her collaborative style in the leadership roles she has held. In her current role, she is a leader in Deloitte’s government health sector practice, helping clients solve their toughest operational challenges by bringing the latest digital and analytic solutions to bear on organizational decision-making, data-driven internal and external communications, and disciplined innovation in the healthcare industry.
Sally’s passions around inclusion, gender, and diversity in high performing teams have provided her the opportunity to speak internally and externally to clients and audiences on innovations and trends that enhance organizational performance. Sally is known to build cohesive, productive and engaged teams and to seek and encourage innovation in business and client delivery and individuals.
Sally is a leader invested in the continued exploration of the power of community, philanthropy and social impact efforts and serves as a champion for the D2i (building our people, building our world) initiative at Deloitte. D2i is designed to grow our younger professionals through volunteer experiences internationally. Sally has co-authored two Deloitte studies, focused on women’s leadership and trends – The Paths to Power: Advancing Women in Government and The gender dividend: Making the business case for investing in women.
Jana Taylor Jennings serves as Senior Associate General Counsel at global cyber security company Tenable, Inc. As the company’s first in-house employment law specialist, Jana is responsible for providing labor and employment advice and counsel to human resource professionals and other business partners in the U.S. and internationally.
Prior to joining Tenable, Jana served in various leadership roles within the Legal Department at Urban One, Inc., and she also worked in private practice – as an Associate at Gordon Rees, LLP and at Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
Jana earned her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law and her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Honors Program of The Ohio State University. She was also recognized as one of the top leaders under the age of 40 by the Network Journal and by the National Bar Association.
Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter, a Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, is medical director of Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC and a Clinical Associate Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.
A native Washingtonian, Dr. Porter completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University and was awarded a full tuition merit scholarship to attend Duke University School of Medicine.
After completing her residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, she completed a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Subsequently, Dr. Porter was recruited to return to Baylor College of Medicine as an Assistant Professor, to lead the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training for the residency program in the Bobby A. Alford Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences. While at Baylor she was successful in establishing the Baylor Facial Plastic Surgery Center prior to her return to Washington DC area.
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC was established in 2003 in Chevy Chase, Maryland by Dr. Porter. The practice draws from near and far and has grown through the years due to a solid patient referral base. Dr. Porter is certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. Additionally, she is a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Porter has given many scientific presentations, served as guest editor for several scientific journals, and published 4 book chapters and 16 journal articles. She has also served her community as a business member of the Western Montgomery County Citizen’s Advisory Board and through charitable donations.
Michelle Rice is the President at TV One and CLEO TV, where she oversees the networks’ business, operational, and creative aspects. In her role, she works with strategic partners to create linear and digital content campaigns in response to a myriad of political and social issues that profoundly impact communities of color.
Prior to joining TV One, Michelle had stints at iNDemand, NBC Cable Network and Black Entertainment Television (BET).
A graduate of Temple University and the University of Southern California, she is actively involved on the Boards of several local civic, community and charitable organizations, including EasterSeals, Calvary Women’s Services and United Way of the Nation’s Capital.
Amy Falk Sheldon is the Director of Resource Development at National Parent Teacher Association (National PTA), the largest child advocacy organization in the U.S. She also maintains Sheldon Strategic Fundraising, LLC, a consultancy in which she founded in January 2008 to help nonprofits develop long term relationships with individual and foundation donors.
Prior to National PTA, Amy served as Vice President for Strategic Partnerships for the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP), where she was responsible for building partnerships with foundation and corporate partners seeking to strengthen the pipeline of students enrolling and succeeding in college.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Amy has nearly 30 years of development experience working with national and regional nonprofits.
In April 2003, Leo Tucker assumed Managing Partner responsibilities for Northwestern Mutual’s Washington, D.C. office and is responsible for sales, recruiting and service operations in the District of Columbia, Western Maryland, and Northern Virginia, with offices in McLean, Fairfax, Reston, Rockville and the District of Columbia. In his time with the agency, Leo has more than doubled the size and performance of his firm with over 150 financial advisors specializing in financial planning, investments, business, and estate analysis.
Professional Accomplishments Leo joined Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative with the South Florida office in 1991. He quickly distinguished himself as a very successful member of his office earning numerous honors on both the company and industry levels, including qualifying for the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (1997-2000). In 1995, Leo entered management as a Field Director with a strong sales unit and in 3 years he was appointed a Managing Director in Naples, FL, developing one of the company’s top producing district offices. In 2001, he was selected to join the Northwestern Mutual Home Office as an Assistant Director of Agency Development, a position designed to prepare talented candidates for Managing Partners Assignments. Leo’s Home Office experience coupled with his success in sales, recruiting and agency management made him the ideal choice to lead the Washington D.C Network Office in 2003. Under his leadership, the Washington D.C office has grown to over 150 advisors. He’s personally earned designations Chartered Life Underwriter, and Chartered Leadership Fellow. He’s achieved the GAMA Master Agency Achievement Award from 2006-2017. Leo currently serves on the Managing Partner Association Board with Northwestern Mutual.
Personal Accomplishments Leo has served on the board of many organizations including The Tiger Woods Foundation and The American College. Leo’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society led him to receive the 2013 Man of the Year honor for the LLS National Capital Chapter and in 2012, Leo was listed as one of Washington DC’s Top 25 Minority Business Owners. He and his wife, Marilyn reside in McLean, VA and have two adult children named Colby & Sloane. In his off-hours, he is an active volunteer in the community and enjoys playing golf and collecting wine.
Victoria Vrana is the Deputy Director of Philanthropic Partnership at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she oversees initiatives focused on policy, data, infrastructure and celebrating and increasing everyday giving in the US, China, India, and the Middle East.
Prior to her role with the Foundation, she served as the Vice President of Communications and Assessment at Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) where she was responsible for the organization’s overall internal and external communications and assessment of VPP and its portfolio’s performance.
Victoria studied in Germany and Hungary and has a degree in comparative literature from the University of California at Davis. She also serves as a PayPal Giving Fund board member.
Tiffani Whittaker serves as Managing Attorney and Director of the Diversity Committee at Allied Title & Escrow.
Throughout her career, Tiffani has served as a legal professional with a track record of community involvement, fundraising and strategy implementation. Such community involvement includes The Links, Inc. (Potomac Valley Chapter), Jack & Jill of America, Inc. (Washington, DC Chapter), National Cathedral School, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Federal City Alumnae Chapter). She also has dedicated her time to causes impacting women, children, people of color and those with Autism, and has served as a volunteer fundraising and advising for political campaigns.
Tiffani holds a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania.