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Community Foundation Announces New Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, Staff Promotions

Buffalo, N.Y. —The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is pleased to announce that Brendan Harrington has joined the organization as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. For more than 100 years, the Community Foundation has been committed to working with individuals, families, foundations and organizations to make the most of their generosity and maximize their charitable assets. Harrington will succeed Gerald Reger, who served in the same position at the Community Foundation for the last six years, and announced his retirement in the summer.

“Brendan Harrington brings deep knowledge and experience to his new role of overseeing finance and operations at the Community Foundation,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “His leadership in strategic finance, asset management, risk assessment, as well as IT and talent management, will ensure that we continue to work toward our mission of connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York on behalf of our clients.”

Harrington joins the Community Foundation with more than 30 years of accounting and administrative experience including finance and accounting administration, IT management, investor relations and enterprise risk management. His employment history started with Price Waterhouse Coopers where he was a Senior Auditor followed by more than 23 years at Computer Task Group, where he served in several positions, including CFO and Interim CEO. Most recently, he was CFO at Sentient Science Corporation.

“I am genuinely enthusiastic about joining an organization with such an excellent reputation locally and nationally for carrying out its clients’ charitable goals,” said Harrington. “I am grateful for the opportunity to bring my experience in leading finance and operations teams to the Community Foundation to support its vision of creating a vibrant and inclusive Greater Buffalo region with opportunity for all.”

Harrington received his B.S. degree in accounting from Canisius College and is a Certified Public Accountant in New York State. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA).

Additionally, the Community Foundation announced the following internal promotions:

Felicia Beard

Felicia Beard has been promoted to Senior Director of Racial Equity Initiatives. Beard joined the Community Foundation in 2016 as Director of Special Projects and most recently, was the Director of Racial Equity Initiatives, where she is responsible for developing, supporting and advancing the Community Foundation’s commitment to racial/ethnic equity. She also manages the work of the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, a group of more than 35 community leaders from public, private, nonprofit and faith organizations committed to achieving racial equity in Western New York by expanding opportunities for all.

Ba Zan Lin

Ba Zan Lin has been promoted to Senior Program Officer. Lin joined the Community Foundation as a Program Officer in 2017, where he manages a portfolio of grantmaking programs focused on the goals of advancing education, racial/ethnic equity, the environment and arts and architecture. His responsibilities include oversight of various grant processes and philanthropic service relationships which result in excess of $10 million in annual grantmaking. In his expanded role, Lin will manage additional activity and lead efforts to strengthen Project Management systems.

Mary Sheehan

Mary Sheehan has been promoted to Senior Accountant. Sheehan joined the Community Foundation as an Accountant in 2015. She is responsible for all disbursements for operating expenses, grants and scholarships, and handles accounting and reconciliations for outside investor accounts. She also provides accounting support to the Niagara Area Foundation and Wyoming Foundation.

Laura Schwamborn

Laura Schwamborn has been promoted to Associate, Data and Prospect Research. Schwamborn joined the Community Foundation in 2016, previously serving as Giving Strategies Associate. In her new role, she will provide support to the Giving Strategies team through comprehensive database management and research efforts.

The Community Foundation celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019.

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About the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
For more than a century, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has enhanced and encouraged long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. A 501 (c)(3) organization, the Community Foundation’s mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. Established in 1919, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation’s care. Learn more at cfgb.org.