Cynthia Nimmo is the President and CEO of the Women’s Funding Network. She leads the network with a focus on collaboration, shared data and best practices, and cross-sector partnerships. A proven leader with a passionate commitment to systems change, she has consulted for foundations, nonprofit organizations, and Fortune 500 companies wishing to advance social causes. Cynthia first joined Women’s Funding Network as Vice President of Member Services, and then as Chief Operations Officer, providing the strategic direction and implementation of special initiatives. In her tenure, she oversaw the development of multiple impact tools, including a social change measurement tool which has been used by hundreds of organizations around the world, and was licensed to corporations such as Nike Inc. Prior to joining the philanthropic sector in 2003, Cynthia helped to develop iVillage.com, the first online network for women. iVillage.com pioneered the notion of online community during the “new media” era with a membership of over one million women. Cynthia piloted innovative online tools to support women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, and went on to oversee the development of online communities for dozens of companies. She is a frequent speaker and in 2018 was honored with a Powerful Woman of the Bay Award.
A passionate advocate of the power of discourse as a tool for change, Cynthia began her career as a Legislative Aide in the United States Senate to Senator Dianne Feinstein during her first term as Senator. She was appointed to the Sustainability Commission for the City of Sausalito, where she served as Chair. Cynthia is a graduate of Santa Clara University with degrees in Political Science/International Relations, and Spanish. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa (national honor society) and Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society). As the daughter of an immigrant, raised in a bi-national family, Cynthia is deeply committed to global relationship and dialogue.
Marcia Coné, PhD, is Chief Strategist and responsible for all Women’s Funding Network programs and initiatives.
Prior to WFN, Dr. Coné led the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island for more than a decade, during which she developed and spearheaded the organization’s flagship programs and strategic investments. The Fund’s transformation to a cutting-edge gender equality think-tank, continuously advocating for policy changes with a gender lens, resulted in more than two dozen legislative wins. In addition, the Fund produced reliable research on women’s representation across all sectors and provided policy recommendations designed to promote equity and strengthen the local economy.
Under her leadership, through its Women’s Policy Institute, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island led the state advocacy for paid family leave (Temporary Caregiver Insurance), positioning Rhode Island as a national leader in family and workplace policies; earning kudos from President Barack Obama in 2014.
Tuti B. Scott is a strategic philanthropy and investing consultant and coach to high-achieving leaders. A lifelong athlete, Tuti engaged thousands of supporters for the Women’s Sports Foundation where she raised $70 million over 15 years to support women’s leadership and equal access to sports for women and girls. Through her firm Imagine Philanthropy, Tuti works with leaders to be more courageous and strategic in their giving and helps organizations navigate their next stage of growth.
Tuti’s clients have included Root Capital, Third Wave Fund, Civil Liberties and Public Policy, ReflectUS, Union Theological Seminary, and more. An inspiring author and speaker, “Coach Tuti” emboldens women leaders and inspires all leaders and teams to up their leadership voice to create and fund change. Tuti serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Tides and was a founding board member of the Women Win Foundation.
As an asylee and first generation immigrant, she has a deep passion for women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, and gender equality.
Prior to WFN, Vera helped establish BeMyApp in Silicon Valley, a pioneering agency focusing on digital corporate transformation, developer relations, and technology marketing. From this position, she fostered relationships and consulted with clients such as Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Visa, Salesforce, and NBCUniversal, creating and leading strategic marketing and communications initiatives. Throughout this time, Vera gained extensive experience in community management, brand awareness and digital marketing; she has also produced and hosted a variety of widely popular IRL and virtual events globally.
Striving throughout her career in technology to support the inclusion of women in the sector, Vera continuously engaged with organizations such as Women 2.0, Girls in Tech, and Women Who Code, and under her leadership BeMyApp’s workforce was composed of 80% women.
Vera holds a BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University, where she focused on international law, international development, and political economy. She is keen on bringing her startup experience to the NGO world and exploring ways to more effectively bridge the gap between the private sector and philanthropic organizations. In her spare time, Vera teaches yoga at a donation-based studio in San Francisco and gives free classes to underserved communities.
Sama Abu Ayyash is the Membership Director at the Women’s Funding Network. She joined the team in April 2018 and brings over 12 years of experience in development and four years in marketing and communications. Born and raised in Amman, Jordan, Sama immigrated to the United States to pursue her college education. She received a bachelor’s of science in Advertising from the College of Communications at the University of Texas, Austin and a dual master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and Arts Administration (MA) from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
Sama moved to San Francisco following her graduate studies to join the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) as their onsite and online Membership Manager. Under her leadership, the museum achieved record visitor to member onsite conversion rate of 7%; enlisted 15,000 new members annually onsite; increased online membership sales from $60,000 to $280,000, and grew online subscribers from 1,200 to 17,000. After SFMOMA, Sama took on the position of Annual Giving Director at the International Museum of Women (IMOW), a start-up museum in San Francisco where she spearheaded a viral marketing campaign that increased website visitors from 3,000 to 30,000. Following IMOW, Sama became a development consultant and worked with organizations such as the San Francisco SPCA, and Seton Medical Center Foundation among others. After consulting, she became the Chief Development Officer for Wu Yee Children’s Services, the largest provider of childcare services for low income families in San Francisco. In addition to managing marketing and communications agency-wide, Sama met her annual development goals within the first quarter.
Karen joined the team as Executive Coordinator, moving up to the position of Operations Manager on her first anniversary at WFN. Prior to working at WFN, Karen worked as an advocate at the nation’s first women’s shelter, serving poor and homeless women in the Boston area. She has performed internal and client-facing work in centers serving those affected by sexual violence as well as in research, and grant-making organization. Karen leads the operational aspect of WFN with an eye for systems change and organizational efficiency.
Karen holds a BA in International and Global Studies, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Brandeis University, where she also attained an MA in Comparative Humanities. During her studies, she explored the intertextuality between fictional, theoretical and ethnographic feminist text, and how it brings knowledge to bear upon advocacy and gender-lens investing. Born and raised in Brazil, and having spent years living in Hong Kong, Karen is keenly aware and passionate about issues facing immigrants in the United States, and she brings a global perspective to her work for gender equity.
Claudia began her work with the Women’s Funding Network as a communications fellow and continues to support WFN by producing one of its curated news vehicles, the Weekly Read.
Claudia currently serves as Development Associate for the St. Francis Center in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to her WFN fellowship, she completed internships at law firms in California, including Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the Children’s Law Center of California, and the Asian Law Alliance. Claudia has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Occidental College.
Tajma Beverly is honored to be the inaugural Deborah Holmes Fellow. She’s committed to advancing Ms. Holmes’s mission to realize a bold vision of gender and racial equity.
Before coming to Women’s Funding Network, Tajma was a Composer-in-Residence and Teaching Artist with San Francisco Opera, where she brought opera creation and education programs to under-resourced, Title I, elementary schools, with predominantly black and brown students. She continues to work as an opera educator, with the goal of creating profound, meaningful connections between opera and communities that have been historically excluded from this elite, Eurocentric art form.
Working for racial and gender equity, at the intersection of art and activism, Ms. Beverly was the Founding Director of WattHer Colors, a performing arts organization dedicated to empowering women of color through liberated artistic expression. Her work with WattHer Colors included directing and co-producing a sold-out, benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, and devising a five-minute, choreo-poem in honor of Nikki Giovanni, which was performed for the poet.
Tajma authored a series of short fiction about black girlhood entitled, The Adventures of T, that includes The Possession of T, which won 1st Place for Short Fiction in the Foster City Writing Contest and T Take a Name, which was published in Azizah Magazine. As Research Coordinator for the Payton Foundation’s Spirituals Project, Tajma conducted a comparative analysis of the curative properties of African American Spirituals, and proposed methods for embedding these healing qualities into contemporary music. As a Choral Conductor for K-12th grades, Ms. Beverly developed and taught the curriculum Citizen Artist: Music For Social Change, which involved in-depth study of songs by Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder, and concertized choral arrangement Ms. Beverly created their songs.
Tajma began her career as a singer/actor/dancer performing in musicals and operas. She now focuses on composing new musicals and operas that deeply examine the history, aspirations and modern complexities of exceptional and “everyday” black people. Ms. Beverly is currently developing a musical about post-civil rights America, which scrutinizes the emergence of the black middle-class and celebrates the virtues of bacon grease. Her endeavors as an artist, teacher, researcher and activist are all rooted in the intention to connect people more deeply with their humanity.
Tajma studied Interdisciplinary Performing Arts at California Institute of the Arts. She holds an MM in American Popular Music History with an emphasis in African Diaspora Studies, from California State University, Los Angeles. Tajma earned an MFA in Artistic Collaboration and Musical Theatre Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her super power is insight.
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