The Charlotte CommunityFoundation is thriving at the helm of a leadership team made up of local young professionals with a clear and robust focus on enhancing the quality of life in our community.
This new era of energetic, passionate and committed individuals is lead by Ashley Maher, Executive Director, and supported by Suzanne Herron, Chief Financial Officer, and Justin Brand, Director of Community Engagement.
The focus of CCF has been to actively work with the community and the community’s nonprofits to identify the needs and opportunities by connecting people who care with causes that matter.
Connecting people who care with causes that matter meant providing over $134,000 in higher education scholarships to local students this year, the largest and most successful year yet. CCF has also nearly doubled the amount awarded to local nonprofits through the Community Investment Grants process by distributing funds to 15 local and diverse agencies. Additionally, CCF increased agency funds by over a quarter million dollars and provided financial assistance through its Hand-Up Grant (HUG) to over 35 families in our community.
Maher joined CCF in March 2017 as the Director of Marketing & Development and was named the Foundation’s Executive Director in August 2018. Originally from Michigan, she has spent the last 10 years working in local nonprofits or serving on nonprofit boards, such as the United Way of Charlotte County and the Fred Lang Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Eddie, and their two children, Noah and Tanner. Additionally, Maher is an avid snowboarder and will participate in her first Sprint Triathlon in April.
Herron moved to Charlotte County in 2010 from Washington, D.C., where she headed the Finance and HR Departments of the International Spy Museum. Once in Florida, Herron took on the Accounting Manager role for Cintas Corporation’s National Account Location. Through her experience at the museum and Cintas’ National Accounts Location soon after its acquisition, she excels at quickly establishing streamlined departments with e cient workflows and robust internal controls. Herron’s commitment to accuracy and transparency ensures her department’s reporting can be relied upon by leaders and stakeholders for timely, insightful analysis of an organization’s performance. When Herron is not pouring over spreadsheets, she can be found on the waters of Charlotte Harbor with her husband, Dave, and their fur baby, Clarissa, an Animal Welfare League rescue.
Brand has been in Charlotte County for five years after relocating from Upstate New York after one too many snow storms. With a degree in hospitality, he decided it would be a nice adjustment – and a challenge – to change careers to the nonprofit world. As the Director of Community Engagement for CCF, Brand is expected to constantly know the needs of Charlotte County and how he can connect those needs to the nonprofit organizations and donors who can help. In his free time, he enjoys CrossFit, golfing and going to the beach.