Community Foundation Names Experts to Leadership Team

Friday, June 18th, 2021

Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has named two experts in their fields to its leadership team as the Foundation continues its work toward equity and shared prosperity in the region. Novella Noble has joined as vice president of people to lead human resources for the Foundation and its affiliates while Ayana Gabriel joins in early July as vice president of community impact.

Noble brings over 20 years of human resources experience from tenures at JenCare Senior Medical Center, Ochsner Health System, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), the Trammel Crow Company and Experian. She is known for her skills in fostering a rich team culture via coaching, employee engagement, performance management, recruitment, retention, succession planning and training. In addition, she collaborates with peer senior executives and frontline leaders to align human resources with the firm’s business strategy. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and an Executive M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University. She also holds the Professional Human Resources (PHR) certification from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Gabriel joins the Foundation following six years at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, where she led education initiatives for children from birth through high school. She also oversaw Blank’s work around social justice, including NFL and Atlanta Falcons initiatives, as well as the management of the Overwatch Fund Committee, a group of staff across the Blank Family of businesses who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or have a strong personal or professional connection to the military. She co-led the inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council for the businesses and Foundation. Her background includes managing diversity and education strategy for Teach for America, teaching science within the Atlanta Public Schools system and an earlier career as a chemical engineer. Gabriel graduated from Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology with dual bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering.

“We are very excited to have Novella and Ayana joining our team. They bring tremendous leadership that will benefit not only the Foundation, but our broader Atlanta metro region,” said Frank Fernandez, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “With Novella’s appointment we elevated the HR role to our senior leadership team, recognizing the critical function talent development and culture play in our success. And Ayana’s background in building an ethos of diversity, equity and inclusion and strategy will enable her to lead the Foundation in building greater equity for a greater Atlanta.”

 These leadership appointments come on the heels of the Community Foundation announcing the final round of grants for its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, an intensive, 15-month effort in partnership with United Way of Greater Atlanta that resulted in a grand total of $28.2 million mobilized to benefit 478 nonprofits across nine funding cycles. Moving forward the Community Foundation and United Way will continue to partner in place-based work to address the needs that COVID-19 exacerbated in our region, especially the racial inequities that emerged in areas ranging from healthcare outcomes to access to essential resources.