Jennifer Dowley has been President of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation since 1999. She oversees the distribution of over $7 million annually through its 500+ funds and the stewardship of nearly $100 million in assets. Berkshire Taconic has played a leadership role in developing funds for the region’s public schools, supporting diverse housing options for seniors and working families in addition to building community endowments throughout the region. The Foundation has also developed a Center for Nonprofit Excellence to provide professional development training opportunities for nonprofits. Prior to moving to the Berkshires, Dowley was Director of Museums and Visual Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts where she oversaw grantmaking to museums, visual artists organizations and visual artists around the country. Dowley was the first director of Headlands Center for the Arts in the Bay Area and prior to that, directed public art commissioning programs in Sacramento, CA and Cambridge, MA. Dowley is an advisor to the Andy Warhol Foundation and Civitella Ranieri Foundation. She lives with her two children in Millerton, NY.
Jill Gellert is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and has been with the Foundation since 1995. She provides leadership in overseeing and implementing the finances, investments and operations of the Foundation. Jill began her career in finance at Manufacturers Hanover Trust in New York City where she worked in the corporate lending division. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Management with a B.S. in Finance. Jill lives with her husband and three children in Hillsdale, NY.
Emily Bronson is the Program Coordinator at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Her responsibilities include managing the Education Enrichment and Scholarship Fund grant cycles. Emily processes grants, meets with grantmaking committees and evaluates grant reports. Prior to Berkshire Taconic, Emily lived in Boston and worked at the Merck Family Fund, a private foundation with a grantmaking focus on protecting the natural environment and strengthening urban communities. Emily holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from the University of Vermont. While in Vermont, she interned for EatingWell Magazine and Media Group.
Jill Cancellieri joins BTCF as its first Director of Philanthropic Services. In this position, Jill will be responsible for stewarding the Foundation’s donor advisors to ensure high quality service and satisfaction. She has over ten years of experience as a development professional, most recently conducting local and global fundraising for The Nature Conservancy and Save the Children. She began her non-profit career as Development Director with the Girl Scout Council in Connecticut, where she managed the annual fund, corporate and foundation relations, special events and a capital campaign. Prior to that, Jill worked in marketing and public relations in NYC, rising to Vice President at the Cohn & Wolfe agency, where she specialized in consumer product accounts and sports marketing. Jill holds a BS degree from Boston University School of Communication. Jill’s volunteer activities have included working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, the Greater Bridgeport School Mentoring Program, Norwalk Maritime Aquarium and a stint teaching children with learning disabilities in Tanzania. Jill has two grown sons, and recently moved to Great Barrington from New Canaan, CT.
Stephen Getz joined the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation team in January 2013 as Controller. Steve worked for Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons in financial management positions in the P&S Dean’s Office and in the Department of Medicine for twenty+ years prior to moving full-time to his formerly weekends only home in nearby Norfolk, CT. He holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Ottawa University in Kansas and has business administration certification from New York University. His goal is to use his non-profit financial and administrative management experience to enhance the efficiencies and controls already in place at the Foundation. He is proud to have been asked to join such an impressive team.
Cathy joins BTCF in March 2013 as the Office Associate. She looks forward to supporting her entire team and enthusiastically greeting all that call or visit the office. She lives with her husband and dogs in Goshen, CT. Cathy is a graduate of the Ancell School of Business at Western CT State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining BTCF Cathy worked for Lime Rock Park, LLC and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Jeanne Jones is the Assistant to the President at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Having worked for 30 years in the tri-state area as a real estate broker, she joins the team with a strong knowledge of and appreciation for our service area. Outside of work, her numerous volunteer committments include assistance dog trainer, hospice volunteer, chairman of the Colebrook school board, chairman of the regional special education board, and most recently chairman of the Colebrook/Norfolk Regionalization Study Committee. Citizenship was instilled in her from childhood growing up the daughter of a WW2 hero and U.S. diplomat in Europe and the Middle East. She holds a BA in English, Cum Laude, from Wesleyan University. Her 2 grown children have moved out and she is happily settled in Colebrook with her black lab.
Janet Latuga is the Communications Associate at Berkshire Taconic. She brings a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm to the Foundation and supports the Marketing Director with all aspects of marketing and communications. Prior to Berkshire Taconic, Janet lived on Long Island and worked for Publisher’s Clearing House in email marketing. Janet graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fairfield University with a B.S. in Marketing and a minor in both English and Math. She currently lives in Lee, MA.
Lisa Mlynarczyk is the Finance Associate at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Her responsibilities include gift processing (checks, cash, credit cards and public securities), accounts payable, grants processing and asset rebalancing, as well as bank reconciliations. Lisa also acts as the back office for our supporting organization, The Foundation for Community Health in Sharon, CT. Prior to Berkshire Taconic, Lisa worked at various Berkshire County landmarks such as Canyon Ranch and Tanglewood, both located in the heart of Lenox, MA. Lisa attended Canterbury Prep School in New Milford, CT where she attained a Post Grad degree and attended the University of Southern Maine. She lives in Pittsfield, MA with her husband, son and daughter.
Maeve began her career with the Foundation in 1992, as assistant to the president. Now Maeve oversees grantmaking, working with donors, advisory committees and applicants.
“The key thing to focus on with new donors is to build trust,” Maeve says. “We carry out people’s wishes and do it with integrity. We want donors to know the Foundation is something that they can rely on for the long-term. We listen.”
What motivates Maeve:
It’s fun to sit with a donor and look through applications and know you’re making a difference. A favorite part of my job is to see the results, six months or a year after, of a program that has happened [because of a grant].
I was on a site visit on behalf of one of our Area Funds. This organization, Adopt-a-Family, was started by a woman who wanted to get Christmas gifts for another woman’s son. Then she was buying Christmas gifts for kids in five towns. Then she provided a returning veteran with household items. She paid funeral expenses for a child who died. A Community Initiative Fund makes it possible for her to do what she’s doing. We take care of the bills and the thank-you notes for her and having the Foundation attached gives her organization legitimacy.”
Heidi Reineke-Kelsey is starting a new journey within Berkshire Taconic as our new Philanthropic Services Associate. Since joining the Foundation in February 2011, Heidi has brought her contagious, pleasant and upbeat personality to the office. She is looking forward to establishing more in depth relationships with our donors and fund holders by joining the Philanthropic Services team. Her main responsibilities will be to support our Director of Philanthropic Services in growing charitable giving throughout our region. Along with her wife and children, she resides in nearby Connecticut and has lived in the Berkshires for most of her life. Her previous work with nonprofit organizations has instilled in her a passion for making the most out of every opportunity and believing anything is possible in keeping with her motto: “My glass is always half-full and never half-empty!”
Kimberly Rock is the Marketing Director at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation where she develops and implements the Foundation’s overall multi-channel marketing, advertising and PR strategy and oversees content and creative development. Over her 20+ years in communications, Kimberly has developed and managed strategic marketing campaigns in broadcast and cable television, film, photography, e-commerce and non-profits. She headed the $20MM ABC Television Movies & Mini-Series account at Grey Entertainment, a division of Grey Advertising. Kimberly was a partner at MK Advertising, a boutique agency specializing in entertainment and lifestyle brands where she managed the agency’s largest accounts included ABC Daytime, Showtime, Lifetime, Bravo and WE. Early in her career, Kimberly worked at the documentary film company Maysles Films and managed a commercial photography studio in CA. Prior to joining Berkshire Taconic, Kimberly consulted on a freelance basis on the theatrical launch of director Joe Berlinger’s documentary film Crude, launched two design related retail websites with her husband and also acts as a consultant to several area businesses. Kimberly holds a B.S. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Vermont. She lives in Falls Village, CT with her husband Eric and their two daughters.