President and CEO
Gene D’Adamo joined the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust in January 2014. He previously was the vice president of community relations for Republic Media, which includes The Arizona Republic, 12 News and azcentral.com. In that role he has become a leader in Arizona philanthropy, creating and directing Phoenix’s Season for Sharing Program, which has distributed grants to Arizona nonprofits for 20 years. He also advised Indianapolis Star news executives on establishing a similar grants program in Indianapolis.
Mr. D’Adamo has served on 20 nonprofit boards and received numerous awards for his philanthropic activities. He is a former chair of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Chrysalis Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, and the Arizona Education Foundation.
A resident of Phoenix for more than 40 years, Mr. D’Adamo graduated from Arizona State University in 1984, earning a degree in communications. He also completed certification programs from the Kellogg School of Graduate Management at Northwestern University and the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.
Mr. D’Adamo has worked closely with the staff of the Trust since its inception. One of his mentors was the late Frank Russell, who helped launch the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust in 1998 and served as its founding chairman.
Mr. D’Adamo and his wife Debbie have three adult daughters: Danielle, Lauren and Brooke.
Executive Administrative Assistant to President and CEO and Executive Vice President and CFO-Indiana
Rosanne Bradley joined the Trust in 1999 following 20 years of service to Amax Coal Company of Indianapolis and Houston and several years to the Indiana University Foundation. In her current position, Ms. Bradley provides administrative support to the president and chief executive officer and the chief financial and operating officer.
Finance and Operations
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer-Indiana
Robert Lowry joined the Trust in 1998 following a distinguished career with Central Newspapers Inc., where he served as director of corporate accounting and controller. Prior to that affiliation, he was a senior manager with Price Waterhouse, where he specialized in auditing large publicly traded organizations and taxes. Mr. Lowry graduated from Indiana University with distinction, is a Certified Public Accountant, is a CFA charterholder, and is a member of the Foundation Financial Officer’s Group. He has served on numerous nonprofit organization boards in Indiana.
Ryan Hammons joined the Trust in 2013 following seven years at BKD, LLP, where he specialized in auditing nonprofit organizations. Mr. Hammons graduated with honors from Ball State University and received a Master of Science in Accountancy degree from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Indiana CPA Society.
Accounting and Administration Manager-Indiana
Debbie Cramer joined the Trust in 1998 as one of the first employees, but her connection dates back to 1986 when she began her newspaper career in the Human Resource Department of Indianapolis Newspapers. In 1992 she transferred to Central Newspapers, Inc. where she worked in administration as well as accounting. In her current position, Ms. Cramer assists with financial and operational functions including payroll, accounting, budgeting, auditing and computer system maintenance, and also as human resources manager.
Office Manager/Executive Assistant-Arizona
Chris Bell joined the Trust in 2001 after a 19-year career with The Arizona Republic where she honed her skills in the finance, community and corporate services, public relations, marketing and advertising departments. In 2007, Ms. Bell received her Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Nonprofit Institute of the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Innovation, the professional development education entity of Arizona State University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management. In her current position, Ms. Bell provides administrative support to the president and CEO, director of grants programs, director of communications and evaluation, grants program officers, and serves in the capacity of office manager responsible for a wide range of activities including event planning and responsibilities that ensures the smooth running of the day-to-day operation.
Lorie Stringer joined the Trust in July 2014 after a 31-year career with Republic Media, which includes The Arizona Republic, 12 News and azcentral.com. She previously worked in community relations, assisting and managing the Phoenix Season for Sharing program, the Child Abuse License Plate grant program, the Republic Media Volunteer group and the Media In Education Tech grants. She also worked in the marketing department at The Republic planning, managing and executing between 100-150 events a year.
In her current position, Ms. Stringer provides administrative support to the grants program directors as well as the director of communications and evaluation. She also assists with the planning and execution of Trust meetings and events.
Communications and Evaluation
Director of Communications and Evaluation
Maureen West joined the Trust in 2012 following a career as a writer and editor who has specialized in coverage of nonprofit issues and organizations. West has written for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Center for Public Integrity and the AARP Bulletin. She holds a master’s degree in nonprofit studies from Arizona State University and a certificate in the advanced study of evaluation from Claremont Graduate University. She was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, a fellowship awarded for her work at The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette. In her current position, Ms. West is responsible for communicating the Trust’s work as well as leading the effort to assess the impact of the Trust’s community grants. She lives in Phoenix and travels regularly to Indianapolis.
Robert Berger joined the Trust in 2000. With a diverse background in public and private business, he began his nonprofit career as executive director of the American Cancer Society, and continued through his work with The Nature Conservancy and the City of Scottsdale. Mr. Berger also worked in the private sector as the director of the Management Development Center at the University of Phoenix and through his private partnership in the Center for Legal Education. In addition, he has held positions in engineering and manufacturing industries. Mr. Berger received a bachelor of science degree in journalism with a special emphasis in business marketing from Northern Arizona University.
In his current position at the Trust, he is considered an “environmental” specialist and works closely with organizations on statewide conservation issues, directs the Trust’s investment in initiatives to reduce the number of animals in the Maricopa County shelter system, and manages the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program at Maricopa County Community Colleges. He also co-founded and oversees the Summer Youth Program Fund of Maricopa County collaborative program. Mr. Berger is responsible for interacting with potential grantees and reviewing grant proposals, and monitoring and evaluating projects.
Belen Gonzalez, M.S.W., joined the Trust in 2000 following her involvement with numerous nonprofit organizations serving children 0 to 5 years of age, teenagers and teenage parents. She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor of arts degree in social work and earned a master’s in social work, with an emphasis on policy and community organizing, from the University of Chicago. Ms. Gonzalez is a graduate of the Valley Leadership program and the National Hispana Leadership Institute, through which she participated in the Center for Creative Leadership and the John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Leadership Program at Harvard. She was recognized as one of the “Top Forty Under 40″ by The Phoenix Business Journal, received the Raul Yzaguirre Community Leadership Award from Valle del Sol, and was recognized for her efforts to engage Latinos in philanthropy by the Arizona Community Foundation. In her current position, she leads the Trust’s efforts to improve outcomes for foster youth transitioning out of care in partnership with the Arizona Youth Opportunities Initiative, manages the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program at Arizona State University, and is responsible for reviewing grant proposals, meeting with potential grantees, conducting site visits and monitoring and evaluating proposals.
Ms. Gonzalez is the current chair for Arizona’s first Latina Giving Circle, the board chair of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and a board member of the Phoenix One Foundation.
Michael Mendel joined the Trust in August 2014 after interning in the Phoenix office and earning his Master of Social Work degree from Arizona State University. Previously, Mr. Mendel spent 14 years as a senior project manager with URS Corporation in Arizona and California, managing teams of military planners for several Navy and Marine Corps asset requirements studies throughout the Southwest. Mr. Mendel also holds a master’s degree in English from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in English from Kent State University.
In his current position, Mr. Mendel works in conjunction with the program directors reviewing grant proposals, meeting with potential grantees, conducting site visits, and monitoring and evaluating proposals. Additional responsibilities include working with the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program and Summer Youth Program Fund.
Mr. Mendel volunteers regularly at the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control shelter in east Mesa.
David Hillman, O.D.,
David Hillman joined the Trust in 2000 after serving as the executive director and deputy director/financial manager of the Indiana Equal Justice Fund. He was the first full-time development director for what is now Indiana Legal Services. Dr. Hillman’s career in the nonprofit sector began with his appointment as the first executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Indiana. In addition, he has held positions in the healthcare and biomedical research industries. Dr. Hillman earned two degrees from Indiana University, a bachelor of arts in biological sciences and a doctorate in optometry. He has volunteered and served on the boards of directors for several nonprofits, and presently serves on many committees for various community initiatives. In his current position, he is responsible for reviewing grant proposals, meeting with potential grantees, conducting site visits and monitoring and evaluating proposals.
Lee Ann Hoy,
Lee Ann Hoy joined the Trust in 2000 after a long affiliation with Ameritech (now AT&T) initially as media relations and external communications manager and later as director of corporate contributions, managing more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Indiana. Additionally, she previously held marketing and community relations positions with GTE and the Indiana Department of Commerce. Ms. Hoy graduated with honors from Franklin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and secondary education, and earned a master’s in public relations from Ball State University. She is also a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership program. In her current position, she is responsible for reviewing grant proposals, meeting with potential grantees, conducting site visits and monitoring and evaluating proposals. Additionally, she serves on the Nina Scholars Advisory Councils for IUPUI and Ivy Tech.
Ms. Hoy is currently a member of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Board of Directors and the United Way of Central Indiana’s Human Services Committee. She also serves on the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana Advisory Committee.
Jeff Small joined the Trust in September 2014 after working with nonprofit groups in Indianapolis for more than a decade. Most recently, Mr. Small served as a writer and project manager at Johnson, Grossnickle and Associates (JGA), a philanthropic consulting firm in Indianapolis specializing in strategic planning, development planning, feasibility studies and capital campaign counsel. Prior to his time with JGA, he held positions in the Research Department of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.
In his current position, Mr. Small works in conjunction with the program directors reviewing grant proposals, meeting with potential grantees, conducting site visits, and monitoring and evaluating proposals. Additional responsibilities include working with the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program and Summer Youth Program Fund.
Director of Grants Administration and Secretary to Board of Trustees-Indiana
Mary Price joined the Trust in 1998 as one of its first employees after a 17-year career in the newspaper business where she provided support to the president and CEO of Central Newspapers, Inc. and other upper management officers, primarily handling financial affairs and charitable contributions for Nina Mason Pulliam. Ms. Price was instrumental in shaping the Trust in its infancy and guiding the grantmaking activities through the formative years. In her current position, she oversees the grants administration department, and works closely with grants program, and finance staff to ensure effective monitoring and tracking of grants from initial inquiry to grant completion. In addition, her responsibilities include serving as secretary to the board of trustees.
Grants Administrative Associate-Indiana
Dayna Brady joined the Trust in 1998 at the time of its inception. Her relationship with the newspaper began in the Circulation Department of Indianapolis Newspapers, Inc. in 1986. In 1993 she transferred to Central Newspapers, Inc. which eventually brought her to the Trust. In her current position, she is responsible for the Indiana grant proposal administration process, from initial intake to grant completion.
Grants Administration Assistant/Receptionist-Indiana
Bensu Kollath joined the Trust in 1999 following seven years of service to First Indiana Bank as a customer sales representative. She moved to Indiana in 1991 from her native country, Turkey. Ms. Kollath studied business and economics at Anadolu University for two years. In addition to working with the public, Ms. Kollath provides administrative support to all departments, with special emphasis on grants administration.