Blank Foundation names two new members of its executive team
By Maria Saporta
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has made two key additions to its management team.
Wendy Feliz has been named managing director of the Democracy focus area as well as the Foundation’s public policy advisor. Diana Champ Davis has been named the Foundation’s managing director of finance and grants management.
“Yes, these two [appointments] complete the senior team,” Fay Twersky, president and a director of the Blank Foundation, wrote in a text. Twersky has been in her role for 18 months, and she has been developing her management team during that period.
Feliz will lead the foundation’s new Democracy program area, one of the Foundation’s new focus areas. The Foundation’s focus areas include youth development, democracy, environment, mental health and well-being as well as Atlanta’s Westside. Also, the Foundation oversees a large portfolio of founder-led initiatives.
With more than 20 years of experience in communications, foundation relations and higher education, Feliz’s most recent role was with the American Immigration Council where she was the founding director of the Center for Inclusion and Belonging. She led fundraising, grantmaking, and strategic communications for the Council.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation as managing director of a new program area that focuses on the future of American democracy,” Feliz said in a statement. “Imagining this work from our hub in Atlanta – the cradle of the civil rights movement – will deeply influence and inspire our strategy. The actions we take today to ensure a more pluralistic and democratic future matters for everyone who calls America home and will reverberate for generations.”
Davis, who has 27 years of experience in accounting, finance and business operations, joins the Foundation from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, where she most recently served as its chief financial officer.
At the Community Foundation, Davis was responsible for the financial and operational components with a focus on the strategic management of the organization’s resources to maximize return on investment. She also led special projects to improve operational excellence, transform Board governance and launch an impact investing program.
“I’m excited to join the talented and passionate team at the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation,” Davis said in a statement. “I absolutely love positioning organizations to have the strongest and most efficient financial operations and management to enable them best to serve the organization, our communities, and grantees. I look forward to bringing my business, financial and nonprofit experience to contribute to the financial strength of the Blank Family Foundation.”
Both Davis and Feliz will be members of the foundation’s leadership team, reporting to Blank Family Foundation President Twersky.
“We are pleased to continue our growth by bringing in incredible talent like Diana and Wendy,” Twersky said in a release. “As we accelerate our giving and build-out strategies for our new giving areas, they both will play an important role in shepherding our resources to best support our community and grantees. Their expertise adds greater value to our leadership team, as well as the entire foundation.”
In more than 25 years, the Blank Foundation has given away more than $950 million. The Foundation is committed to accelerating the impact of its philanthropy in the next decade. Geographically, much of the work will continue to prioritize Georgia with a focus on Atlanta, and Montana, while also considering the potential for greater national impact and influence.
The founder and chairman of the Foundation is Arthur Blank, a co-founder of the Home Depot, retiring as its co-chairman in 2001. Blank also is the majority owner of the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United MLS soccer team.