Sr. Program Officer
The Heinz Endowments Over 16 Years in the Industry
OW: Name one person who you consider to be a great role model, and tell us why.
CA: This is a difficult question; there are a number of great role models. As it relates to my field, I would say Cecile Springer. Cecile was the first African American woman in philanthropy in Pittsburgh who served as president of a major corporate foundation known to me. During her tenure she was a remarkable leader: she was a visionary, strategic, and committed to social justice.
OW: What would you do differently in your career?
CA: In retrospect, there aren’t too many things I’d change. I knew for many years that I wanted to work in philanthropy, but it was very important to me to have a strong history in community-based work before joining the field. Much of my career has been devoted to the needs of women and children; having a deep understanding of key issues; and working on solutions over the years has been invaluable to me. I would be less cautious, take greater, more calculated risks with the hopes of achieving greater community impact.
OW: What advice would you give to young people today wanting to get involved in the community?
CA: Live so you have options, and recognize that you are uniquely gifted and blessed. Maintain a standard of excellence. Know that there will be challenges: persevere and be willing to work hard. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. As you achieve greatness, help someone else achieve theirs. “When we have done our best, we can await the results in peace.”