BY Dion Cartwright, TFN President & CEO

I’m thrilled to share several updates about The Funders Network’s Board of Directors, including the addition of three new members to our extraordinary board.

TFN’s mission-driven work centers on cultivating courageous philanthropic leaders who are engaged, emboldened and equipped to bring about a just society.

Our network’s Board of Directors reflects the depth and breadth of our membership, representing a range of grantmaking institutions and a wealth of professional expertise and lived experience.

The board approved the 2024 – 2026 slate of directors at its January meeting, and the slate was elected by virtual ballot among the organizational membership in April.

Another significant milestone this year: TFN’s Board of Directors elected new board officers — the first all-women officer roster in TFN’s nearly 25-year history!

TFN’s Leadership Pipeline

TFN offers a wealth of volunteer leadership opportunities that not only give you a chance to support TFN and our broader mission, but also expand your own professional networks. If you or a member of your team is looking to deepen your engagement with our community of funders and partners, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at the email address below.

Read on to learn more about this year’s slate of candidates. (More information about TFN board elections and selection criteria can be found in this post.)

Please join me in congratulating our new officers, as well as all of the board members elected — or reelected — this year.

New Board Members

Board members are elected to two-year terms. This year’s slate of candidates included three new board members:

Nathan Boon, a senior program officer at the William Penn Foundation, who is based in Philadelphia. He has been highly engaged in TFN’s Urban Water Funders for more than a decade and currently serves as a co-chair of that working group’s steering committee. Nathan, who also participates in TFN’s GREEN working group, supports science- and data-driven approaches to protect and restore the Delaware River watershed.




Kumar Raj is a program officer focused on economic equity for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential. Kumar is an alum of TFN’s 2018 PLACES Fellowship Cohort, which took place during his time leading the Skillman Foundation’s grantmaking portfolio designed to increase the number of young people who meaningfully graduate from high school. He is based in Detroit.




Mark Tran is a program manager at The California Endowment based in San Diego. Mark manages special projects for the endowment’s Programs & Partnerships department, which is responsible for the development and execution of The California Endowment’s strategic plan to help achieve racial equity in health in the state. Mark’s background in community development and organizing began with his post-Hurricane Katrina experience in East Biloxi, Miss., where he worked with historically Black and Vietnamese American communities. Mark is an alum of the PLACES 2022 Fellowship Cohort.




Reelected Board Members

The slate of board candidates included eight sitting board members who were reelected to additional two-year terms:

Second Term

Chan Brown
Director of Community Initiatives
Kansas Health Foundation and TFN PLACES Alum




Kaying Hang
The Center at Sierra Health Foundation




Janel M. Hines
Vice President, Community Impact
Greater Milwaukee Foundation and TFN PLACES Alum




Surabhi Pandit
Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion & Community Engagement
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and TFN PLACES Alum




Third Term

Karla Twedt-Ball
President & CEO
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation




Fourth Term

Jessica Boehland
Senior Program Officer, Environment
The Kresge Foundation




Don Hickman
Vice President for Community and Workforce Development
Initiative Foundation




Elizabeth Love
Chief Executive Officer
Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation




Board Officers

The chairperson is elected to a two-year term; all other officers are elected for one-year terms.

Board Chair

Sheena Solomon, executive director of The Gifford Foundation in Syracyse, N.Y., was named board chairperson. Sheena is a PLACES Alum and sits on the PLACES Advisory Board as well as the Partners for Places Governance Committee.




Vice Chair

Surabhi Pandit, who leads community engagement and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the Detroit-based Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, will serve as vice chairperson. Like Sheena, Surabhi is a PLACES Alum and sits on the PLACES Advisory Board.





Karla Twedt-Ball, president and CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was selected to serve as board treasurer. Karla serves on the steering committee for TFN’s Inclusive Economies working group and is a longtime member of our PPREP learning cohort.





Elizabeth Love, CEO of the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation, will serve as board secretary. Elizabeth, a Texas funder based in Houston, is a co-chair of the Mobility and Access Collaborative. She served on the planning committee for our recent convening in Austin, which brought together our GREEN, Urban Water Funders and Mobility and Access Collaborative working groups.




With Gratitiude

The January meeting of TFN’s Board of Directors marked the final board meeting for longtime member Shawn Escoffery of the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation, whose fourth term on the board ended in March.

We’re grateful for Shawn’s dedication, good humor and hard work during his time on the board, which also included serving as co-chair of TFN’s 2023 Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Board member Don Hickman of the Initiative Foundation also presided over his final meeting as chairperson, completing his two-year term in that position. Don remains on the board this year for a fourth term.


We’d also like to share our appreciation for the sitting board members who were not up for reelection this year:

Thank you to all of our board members, past and present, for your service!