Community Foundation Adds to Bench Strength of Experts to Focus on Building Equity in the Region

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, February 14th, 2020

For 2020 and beyond, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta is fully aligned to increase equity of opportunity across the metro Atlanta region, specifically economic and racial equity.
This commitment brings changes across the organization to fulfill this mission – identifying the critical issues of our region and those nonprofits on the front lines of innovative solutions and approaches to address them. Ultimately, this new alignment and strategy will drive civic leadership, grantmaking, donor services, nonprofit investments and neighborhood engagement for the Foundation’s work across the region. To that end, the following leaders strengthening these capabilities across community service, investments, legal and tax counsel are announced below.
Lita Pardi, a 16-year veteran at the Foundation, has been named interim vice president of the Foundation’s community organization, where she has been instrumental in building a team of experts uniquely equipped to move the equity mission forward around three key pillars – prosperous people, strong families and thriving communities. Pardi is a native of Peru and is multi-lingual.
Errika Moore joins the Foundation to lead the prosperous people pillar through advocacy in education, focused on grantmaking and programs for early childhood education, K-12 education, post-secondary, and alternative pathways to education and employment. Moore brings more than 20 years of experience working with educators, educational champions and partners. Most recently she served as the executive director of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Education Collaborative where she developed strategic partnerships at the state, district and local levels focused on STEM workforce throughout Georgia. Moore is a graduate of Georgia Tech and has also completed the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s Education Policy Fellows program.
Moore joins two subject matter experts who have been named to lead the other pillars for the community team. Alyssa Cobbs heads work on strong families and Katrina DeBerry taps her long-term expertise in community development to address progress for thriving communities.
Mary Cernilli, CFA, joins the Foundation as director, investments, responsible for the oversight of the Foundation’s investment portfolio including investment strategies and overseeing managers implementing those strategies. With more than 20 years’ experience in investments, Cernilli was most recently a managing director at Emory Investment Management, responsible for the investment strategy, analysis and manager selection within the Absolute Return and Credit segments of Emory University’s Endowment portfolio. Cernilli is a graduate of Long Island University with a B.S. in accounting and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Alison O’Carroll joins the Foundation as director and philanthropic counsel. In this role she will collaborate with current and potential donors to the Foundation to help them navigate the often complex legal and tax implications of their charitable giving. She will also work closely with financial, legal and tax advisors who assist clients with their estate planning and philanthropic giving. O’Carroll has also been named to serve as the Foundation’s corporate secretary. O’Carroll is a nationally recognized expert in nonprofit fundraising and charitable gift planning with a career that spans international relief and development, higher education and cancer research organizations. She has recently returned to Atlanta after serving as Executive Director for the Office of Planned Giving for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. She led the planned giving advisory committee for Fred Hutchinson and was a member of the of the Washington Planned Giving Council (WPGC) and the Estate Planning Council (EPC) of Seattle. O’Carroll launched her professional career in Atlanta after graduating from the Emory University School of Law and the Goizueta Business School. After admission to the State Bar of Georgia, she practiced law at King & Spalding.
“These experts bring unique skill sets that will boost our ability to help our donors navigate their giving and to make our region’s nonprofits stronger through grantmaking and other partnerships,” said Alicia Philipp, president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, who announced her intent to retire this year when the Foundation’s Board completes its search for a successor. “This breadth of knowledge and leadership will be invaluable as the Foundation dedicates its work to making metro Atlanta a region that is more equitable for all residents, in terms of both economic and racial equity. I’m confident that we’ve built a strong team of both senior leadership and bench strength that will enable a smooth transition to the Foundation’s next CEO and continued impact in our region.”