Donna F. Edwards served five terms (2008-2017) in the United States House of Representatives, becoming the first African American woman to represent Maryland. Congresswoman Edwards was born in North Carolina, grew up in a military family, and lived in every region of the country and internationally. She earned her J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (licensed in DC) and her B.A. from Wake Forest University. She is the mother of one adult son.
As a nonprofit executive, Congresswoman Edwards co-founded and led the National Network to End Domestic Violence, spearheading the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. She was the executive director of the Arca Foundation and Center for a New Democracy, and was a tireless democracy advocate for Public Citizen. Edwards was a systems engineer on NASA’s Spacelab project. She currently serves as vice-chair of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, co-chair of the National Council on Election Integrity, the League of Conservation Voters, and is a trustee of Wake Forest University.
In Congress, Edwards served on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Committee on Standards and Official Conduct, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, as the lead Democrat on the Subcommittee on Space. Congresswoman Edwards was a member of the Democratic leadership team as co-chair of the House Democrat’s Steering and Policy Committee. She was co-chair of the bi-partisan Women’s Caucus.
Edwards enjoys camping, hiking and fishing throughout the United States in her Rv Lucille, having recently completed a two-month adventure to Alaska. Congresswoman Edwards provides political commentary in print, electronic, and cable media. Edwards is a political analyst for NBC/MSNBC Universal. She is senior advisor to the Bauman Foundation and trustee of the Park Foundation.
Nick Goldsmith works with the Park Foundation, where he supports local sustainability efforts as a Program Officer for the Sustainable Ithaca program. Previously, Nick was the Sustainability Planner for the Town of Ithaca and City of Ithaca, NY for over 10 years. Nick helped both municipalities develop and implement the Ithaca Green New Deal, which aims for an equitable transition to carbon neutrality community-wide by 2030. Nick led the development of the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement, requirements for net-zero new construction that emphasize electrification and affordability. Nick holds an M.S. in Energy Management from New York Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Mathematics from Brown University. Before joining the sustainability field, Nick worked worldwide for more than a decade as a juggler and acrobat.
since 2009 and previously served as its Vice President since 1995. As
president, she reviews and rewards grants for independent media,
environment, and Democracy. She also helps assess and fund local
sustainable and community needs. Park’s attitude is to think globally
and act locally. All of this funding is done using an equity lens while focusing on
low-income and marginalized populations. She is also involved in
animal rights issues. Adelaide has initiated substantive reforms in the Foundation’s
investment policies, which now more closely align its mission with
its capital assets. She has helped develop the principle that
Park’s portfolio bottom line should reflect the good it does in the world.She has been heavily involved with Ithaca College, where she helped
establish the Park Scholarship Program which evolved into a $30
million endowment. She was on IC’s Board for over 20 years. At IC,
she initiated the Park Center for Independent Media, a progressive
speaker and internship program. She was also integrally involved with
the Park Scholarship Program at North Carolina State University, which
evolved into a $50 million endowment.Adelaide also served on the Boards of Defenders of Wildlife,
Greenpeace and Rachel’s Network.
Sue Kittel has been with the Foundation since 2013 and is a Senior Program Officer for the Community Needs and Animal Welfare Programs. Sue spent twelve years managing federal grants for the City of Ithaca including serving as Deputy Director for the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency. Sue holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Cornell and worked in Ithaca’s Engineering and Building departments. She currently serves on Ithaca’s Continuum of Care and Workforce Diversity Advisory Committee. When not at work, Sue is an avid gardener and spends much of her time involved in activities with her two teenage sons.
Rachel has held leadership positions for more than 25 years, most recently as the Executive Director for more than a decade at the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), a network of hundreds of foundations within environmental philanthropy. During her tenure at EGA, she helped create a nationally recognized Environmental Fellows Program with Dr. Dorceta Taylor, now in its sixth year at Yale University, seeding a new generation of diverse environmental leaders. Prior to EGA, Rachel was the Senior Program Manager for Participatory Elections at the JEHT Foundation. Previously, she was the Executive Director of New York Common Cause. During her 10-year stint there, she strengthened the New York Chapter, co-led a statewide voter coalition, and led successful legislative efforts to hold all levels of government accountable. Before Common Cause, Rachel spent six years at Hunger Action Network, as a lobbyist, advocate and Associate Director. Rachel is a National Urban Fellow Alumni (class of 2018) and has a BA from SUNY New Paltz and an MPA from Baruch College, graduating from both with Honors. She is a lifelong New Yorker and was born and raised in Schenectady, NY.
Roberta Norman is Chief Financial Officer for the Foundation and has been with the organization since January 2015. Prior to joining the Foundation, Roberta spent 14 years working in public accounting with the firm Sciarabba Walker & Co, LLP. She worked in the consulting and tax departments with an emphasis on business accounting and taxes. Roberta has a BA in Business and Economics (cum laude) from SUNY Oneonta and is a certified CPA. In her spare time she serves as Treasurer for The TCSD Foundation and has a passion for nature photography.
Amy manages the Foundation’s Environment Program. She recently served on the Steering Committee for the Health and Environmental Funders Network (HEFN) and continues to co-chair its working group of funders concerned about shale gas, oil and petrochemical issues. Amy joined the Foundation in 2009, and previously worked at the Kendall Foundation in Boston on addressing climate change and promoting energy efficiency in New England. She also worked for various Massachusetts state government agencies covering such issues as renewable energy, smart growth, and public health emergency preparedness. She has a BA from St. Lawrence University and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University.
Charlene was born and raised in the Ithaca area. She began her career focused on human services with a goal of enhancing the lives of disadvantaged populations and young people in the community. She joined the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) as a youth program assistant in 2011. GIAC plays a crucial role in the Ithaca community by providing extensive services for people of all ages. In her role, Charlene enhanced the lives of GIAC’s student population. During her stint at the center, she worked in a dual capacity, also serving the Hospitality Employment Training Program (HETP), providing wrap-around services to Tompkins County residents.
In 2019, Charlene embarked on another rewarding chapter at another City of Ithaca Department as a Youth Program Leader at the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB). Under the umbrella of the IYB’s Youth Employment Services (YES) program, she helped the youth of Tompkins County obtain employment. While at the IYB, Charlene mentored the Youth Council Ambassadors, a cohort of high school students dedicated to fostering adolescent civic engagement within their community, and helped implement the IYB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative. Charlene’s professional development led her back to GIAC, this time as the HETP’s Program Coordinator. She revitalized HETP with a focus on empowering underrepresented and vulnerable participants, recognizing them as a crucial and valuable segment of Tompkins County’s population. In July 2023, she enthusiastically seized the opportunity to join Park Foundation, driven by a strong desire to extend her impactful contributions on a broader and more significant level.
Charlene supports several causes that align with her career goals during her leisure time. She has volunteered as a Board member for The Learning Web, a non-profit organization that aims to address youth homelessness, among other vital issues. Additionally, she is also pursuing further education by completing her associate’s degree and intends to transfer to a bachelor’s program by Fall 2023. Alongside her professional pursuits, she takes pride in managing her family, pets and nurturing a thriving collection of plants.
Heidi Sherwood is the Operations Manager for the Foundation. She has been with the organization since 2014. Heidi holds an AA from Tompkins Cortland Community College along with a BA in Early Childhood Education from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Prior to joining the Park Foundation, she owned and operated local RV park and campground for 18 years. She also enjoyed spending her winter months working in various preschool classrooms substitute teaching, and attending campground owner seminars, meetings, and shows. She has served on the Board for the Trumansburg Chamber of Commerce, the parent advisory Board for Tompkins Community Action’s Head Start program, and the Trumansburg Head Start Parent Board. She also served on the Advisory Board for Leadership Tompkins and is an alumnus of Leadership Tompkins. She has volunteered with the local Habitat for Humanity in community builds and with Hospicare’s Women Swimmin events.
Alicia Park Wittink is the Vice President of the Park Foundation. Alicia has been involved with the Foundation since 1998 in varying capacities and was instrumental in nurturing the Foundation’s program interests in both water and plastic reduction. Alicia has also helped in the formation of the Amazon Conservation Association; she has worked at The International Ecotourism Association, The Center for a New American Dream (aka: New Dream), and the Sierra Club of Virginia. Alicia has also served on the boards of: Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Center for a New American Dream, and the Foundation for National Progress, publisher of Mother Jones Magazine. Together with Leda Huta, Alicia co-founded EcoWomen, a nonprofit with five chapters that empower environmental leaders. Alicia graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Environmental Studies. She lives in Ithaca, NY, and is an incredibly proud mother of two.
Tania Yannarilli is Grants Manager for the Foundation and has been with the Foundation since 2001. Prior to coming to Park, Tania spent 13 years at Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca in various positions including Office Manager for the Employee Assistance Program and Executive Assistant. As the database manager for the Foundation, Tania has led the transition to electronic proposal and report submission by applicants. She has been a member of PEAK Grantmaking since 2003 and serves on its Steering and Program committee. With help from the New York Funders Alliance, Tania has initiated a Regional Grants Manager committee to share best practices across organizations. She is a member of the Ithaca Business Women’s Network and Secretary of its Board. Tania is a member of the Guild at the Cortland Repertory Theatre and serves on its fundraising committee. In her community, she spent 17 years volunteering for the Cortland Youth Hockey Association and helped to manage the Cortland Girls Hockey team. She also serves as an election poll volunteer.