Park Foundation Welcomes the New Year with New Additions to its Board and Staff
Park Foundation is pleased to announce new additions to both the Board of Trustees, and staff, whose expertise and experience deepen its commitment to promoting a “more just, equitable, and sustainable society and environment.”
Raymond Paultre and Lisa Graves were elected this past Fall to join the Park Foundation Board of Trustees. Lisa Graves is a lawyer and investigative researcher whose work has brought to light the ways in which dark money distorts democratic processes by privileging special interests over public interest. Raymond Paultre is a strategist and organizer who has led and helped launch initiatives to foster greater inclusion in civic engagement and in health care.
“We are beyond thrilled to welcome Ray and Lisa to the Park Foundation Board. They represent two of our major program areas: Media and Democracy. I am confident that they will bring a fresh perspective and renewed energy to these areas,” said Adelaide Park Gomer, President of Park Foundation, “I know they will complement our mission.”
“These two have been champions in core areas of our mission: whether it’s for a democracy that represents and serves all, a robust and vigilant media, or guarding against environmental degradation,” added Alicia Wittink, Vice President and Chair of the Governance Committee of Park Foundation.
Since taking the helm at the Florida Alliance, Paultre has overseen a 700% increase in membership and helped raise over $55 million, while building one of the most diverse and creative funder collaboratives in the country aimed at the goal of representative civic participation. He is also the co-founder of Project 68 (P68), which organizes Black athletes and artists in the civic participation space to promote greater engagement in Black and young communities. Previously, he successfully led Enroll America’s health care efforts in Florida, helping to power the largest number of enrollments in the country three years in a row.
Graves founded and leads a watchdog group called True North Research. In this role, and formerly as Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, she has worked with other journalists and researchers to expose hidden streams of money advancing agendas targeting courts, schools, and other institutions of government. Her investigations have been featured widely in national media. She also has served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Chief Counsel for Nominations for Sen. Patrick Leahy on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, among other roles.
The new trustees will join two recent additions to the full-time staff at the Foundation. Nick Goldsmith, who had been Sustainability Planner for the Town of Ithaca and the City of Ithaca and helped develop and implement the Ithaca Green New Deal, was hired to oversee the Sustainable Ithaca program. Charlene Santos, hired as a Program Associate assisting across program areas, helped lead youth programs at Greater Ithaca Activities Center and the Ithaca Youth Bureau. She also has served on the Board of the Learning Web. “These new hires and new additions to our Trustees continue to evolve our already wonderful family foundation. They are ensuring we are advancing our goals of being a multi-generational, multi-racial and nimble organization leaning into our mission of advancing a more just, equitable, and sustainable society and environment, both nationally and in our local Ithaca community,” stated Rachel Leon, Executive Director of Park Foundation.
Park Foundation was founded by Roy Park, Sr. in Ithaca, NY, still its home base. The Foundation is led today by the late Mr. Park’s daughter, Adelaide Park Gomer. In addition to long-established endowed scholarship programs at Ithaca College and North Carolina State University, the Foundation makes grants four times a year in five national program areas – Media, Environment, Democracy, Civic Participation, and Animal Welfare – and three local program areas – Community Needs, Sustainable Ithaca, and School Food & Nutrition. Additional information about the Foundation can be found at its website, www.parkfoundation.org.