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Northern California Grantmakers’ Ellen LaPointe to Take Top Job at Fenway Health

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
For Immediate Release 12.18.2019
Contact: Emily Katz, Vice President of Public Affairs 415-309-5845


Northern California Grantmakers’ President and CEO Ellen LaPointe will leave the organization to become the CEO of Fenway Health in Boston, Massachusetts. Her last day at NCG will be February 28, 2020.

In her five years at the helm Ellen has overseen dramatic growth at Northern California Grantmakers, doubling its membership and tripling its budget. NCG now ranks as among the top five largest regional philanthropic associations in the nation. Leaders spoke of her outsized influence in a region with one of the largest concentrations of wealth in the world.

“Ellen’s contributions – to NCG, to our member community, and to the field of philanthropy – have been extraordinary,” said Allison Magee, President of the Zellerbach Family Foundation and chair of the board of directors at NCG. “Ellen leaves a transformed organization that has become a trusted partner and a leading voice for the sector as we all work to tackle the challenges confronting our region and the people who call it home.”

“Ellen has mobilized and aligned NCG and our philanthropic community to speak boldly and with one voice at a time when it has never been more urgent to do so,” reflected Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation and a member of the NCG board. “Moreover, under Ellen’s leadership NCG has centered racial equity in its work in exemplary ways and is finding innovative ways to encourage – and to push – our community to go further in our own equity journeys.”

“We've all witnessed the good that can come of Ellen's special brand of leadership,” offered Libra Foundation Executive Director Crystal Hayling. “Her spirited pursuit of connection and joy has invigorated initiatives and elevated a collaborative spirit among funders of all stripes in a diverse and rapidly changing region. This exciting opportunity at Fenway Health returns Ellen to the field of health care, policy, and research where she spent much of the early part of her career. She will have the opportunity to lead pioneering work in the LGBTQIA+ community and contribute at a global scale."  

Ellen’s departure comes as the organization is deepening its commitments to regionalism, equity, and partnership. 

“We aim to fully live into our role as a leadership hub, practice equity inside and out, and connect ideas, resources, and support where they’re most needed across the region,” remarked NCG Vice President of Special Initiatives Steve Barton. “Our partnership with colleagues in Southern California and San Diego via our Philanthropy California alliance will allow us to advance shared goals throughout the state in partnership with our government, business, and community-based colleagues.  And while we are sad to see Ellen go, we could not be happier for her as she returns home to take on a wonderful opportunity.”

“My time at NCG has truly been one of the blessings of my life,” said Ellen. “To get to work with a gifted, dedicated, fun team, a smart, strategic Board, and an inspiring, committed community of people working hard to advance the common good is such an honor and a privilege it can hardly even be called a job. I have no words for the gratitude I am feeling or for the pride I have in what we have all accomplished together.”

The NCG Board will announce plans to manage the transition and begin the search for a new President/CEO in the new year. The NCG community is invited to join Ellen at an event honoring her contributions on February 25, 2020. Details will be forthcoming. 

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