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Philanthropy Delaware names Tynetta Brown new CEO

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Tynetta Brown

WILMINGTON – Philanthropy Delaware recently announced that Tynetta Brown will take over as CEO of the state’s largest philanthropic member association beginning Nov. 9.

The executive seat has been vacant since Cynthia Pritchard left the organization in July to take the CEO role at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation in Harrisburg, Pa.

Brown most recently served as director of development and marketing/communications for the WRK Group, which includes The Warehouse, REACH Riverside Development Corporation and Kingswood Community Center in the city of Wilmington.

As CEO, she will work to expand awareness of philanthropic opportunities in Delaware, assist member organizations and partners to increase the impact of grantmaking, and ensure members have access to national best practices and philanthropic resources. Brown will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the organization, including administrative responsibilities, member services, educational programming, and the implementation of the strategic plan.

“The board of directors is thrilled to welcome Tynetta at a crucial time when philanthropy must be at its best and when the organization is better poised than ever to address critical issues and policies that affect Delawareans,” Board Chair Vernita Dorsey said in a statement announcing the hire. “She brings a fresh perspective to the work that we do and has the experience and capacity to lead the organization through the next phase of our 10-year strategic plan. Additionally, I’d like to thank the search team led by Board Treasurer Regina Alonzo, the entire Board of Directors, and our dedicated staff for successfully managing operations during this interim period.”   

On Thursday, Brown told Delaware Business Times that she was excited for the opportunity to take over the CEO role, saying it brings together her many varied career experiences in nonprofits and for-profits.

“Having given away funding, having begged for funding, having had to implement programmatic efforts, and having monitored folks who have received money, this role will take a 3D view of all that and kind of culminate that experience,” she said. “I loved the challenge.”

Prior to the WRK Group, she held a number of roles at United Way of Delaware, culminating as director of community impact. Her career also includes serving as vice president of social marketing with Ogilvy Public Relations in Washington, D.C; director of corporate relations for the American College of Cardiology in D.C.; senior alliance development manager in the cardiovascular franchise at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals; and executive director of the Tri-State Stroke Network for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other roles.

Brown said that she believed it was “an exciting time” for philanthropy despite the devastating effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has played on many nonprofits’ ability to fundraise. She explained that recent protests over racial relations and equity have also heightened the focus on how philanthropy can help heal those disparities.

“I think folks are ready to continue to shift and leverage the resources to where it really, really makes a difference,” she said.

Her time at the WRK Group, which is opening new resources and opportunities to underserved parts of East Wilmington, helped her connect with individuals and organizations trying to reach those populations. Brown said she expects to take that experience and knowledge and try to expand programming statewide to target such communities in all three counties.

Brown said that she expects nonprofits to be contending with the effects of the pandemic well into 2021, but she also wants to highlight how the global crisis has changed our thinking on charity as well as how services are delivered in a post-pandemic world.

“I think it allows for innovation. I think it allows for people to substantively see where the needs are in their respective communities or the needs of their neighbors, and it may really be a paradigm shift in how people give and support,” she said.

By Jacob Owens


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