Press Release

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust promotes four to program directors

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has promoted four veteran grant makers to program directors.

Robert Berger and Belen Gonzalez in Phoenix and David Hillman and Lee Ann Hoy in Indianapolis, all long-time grants programs officers, will be responsible for leading grant making and initiatives in the two communities the Trust serves.

“They have very deep knowledge of their communities – the people, organizations and issues –and will now be taking a more strategic role in planning the Trust’s giving,” said Gene D’Adamo, president and CEO of the Trust.

All four joined the Trust in 2000 and helped develop its three giving areas: Helping People in Need, Protecting Animals and Nature, and Enriching Community Life.

•  Robert Berger is an environmental specialist, working closely with organizations on statewide conservation issues. He leads the Trust’s work in the Protecting Animals and Nature giving area, including the Fix.Adopt.Save. animal welfare initiative to reduce the number of homeless animals in the metropolitan Phoenix area. He co-founded and oversees the Summer Youth Program Fund, serving Maricopa County. Mr. Berger received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University.

•  Belen Gonzalez leads the Trust’s work with the Arizona Youth Opportunities Initiative to improve the lives of foster youth as they age out of the child welfare system. She reviews many of the social service agency proposals. She founded the Latina Giving Circle to encourage philanthropy among the rising number of Hispanic women professionals in Arizona. Ms. Gonzalez is board chair of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work and earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago.

•  David Hillman, O.D, reviews the majority of Indiana environmental proposals. His portfolio also includes grants to address homelessness, ex-offender re-entry and inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Dr. Hillman is a member of the Community Foundation of Boone County Board of Directors, chairing its grants review committee. He also serves on a number of United Way of Central Indiana committees and has leadership roles in several community initiatives. He earned two degrees from Indiana University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in biological sciences and a doctorate in optometry.

•  Lee Ann Hoy leads the Trust’s work on the Love me. Fix me. initiative, which is increasing the number of cats and dogs spayed or neutered in the Indianapolis area. She is a member of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Board of Directors and the United Way of Central Indiana’s Human Services Committee. She oversees many of the Trust’s grants to social service agencies, including many assisting youth. She also manages the Trust’s work with the Summer Youth Program Fund. Ms. Hoy graduated from Franklin College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and secondary education and earned a master’s degree in public relations at Ball State University.

The Trust restructured the leadership team after the departure of its two grants programs directors, Dr. Michael Twyman, who left Indianapolis last summer for a new position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Dr. Edmund Portnoy, of Phoenix, who retired in April.

In addition to the leadership change, the Indiana and Arizona grants teams are adding one new program associate in each of their communities.

Since the Trust began grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $224 million to nearly 900 Indiana and Arizona nonprofit organizations.

For more information about the Trust and its programs, visit