Community Foundation Awards Sabbatical Grants

November 30, 2011 (Syracuse, NY) – The Central New York Community Foundation has announced this year’s Marsellus Sabbatical grant recipients. The John F. Marsellus Sabbatical Program awards grants each year to nonprofit executives seeking personal and professional growth. The program provides executives with a stipend to research, study and reflect for a period of two or four weeks.

This year’s recipients are:

Kathleen Harter, Executive Director, Junior Achievement of Central New York. Kathleen will is the first recipient of the program’s two-week option and will attend a Women in the Woods program at The Sagamore in Raquette Lake, NY, and a professional development seminar, JA’s National Leadership Conference, at the Junior Achievement University.

“Participation in Junior Achievement’s National Leadership Conference will give JA of CNY new tools and information about the latest research in financial literacy skills and how best to deliver them to our students,” said Harter. “Working, as we do, to give children a bright future carries the weight of knowing how much there is to do and how much is at stake.”

Harter’s leadership has greatly benefited the Junior Achievement of CNY and allowed the organization to achieve its goals of increased students served, balance budgets with decreasing expenses, and new initiatives that serve the community. The organization has expanded its student service area from three to six counties in CNY.

“These accomplishments are good examples of the commitment and dedication Mrs. Harter has shown to Junior Achievement in the past eight years,” said Andrew Picco, Board Chair of Junior Achievement of Central New York. “We look forward to what she will accomplish in the future.”

Sally Roesch Wagner, Executive Director, Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. Sally will take a Spirit Springs Retreat in Middletown, California and visit museums and exhibitions to gain ideas for the Gage Center.

“At the end of the month, the Board would like me to have for them a planning document outlining my vision for the staff and foundation based on my month’s reflection and learning,” Dr. Wagner said.

Wagner will visit the Skirball Museum, Getty Museum, and the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions.

“I extend my wholehearted support to the sabbatical of our Executive Director and Founder, Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner,” said Loretta Zolkowski, President of Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation Board of Directors. “Our future plans include official accrediting from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, which will give our site international recognition and strongly enhance our tourism potential.”

The Marsellus Sabbatical program was created in 2000 to provide nonprofit executives with a unique opportunity for reflection, revitalization and growth. It was established in memory of the late John F. Marsellus, president and owner of the Syracuse-based Marsellus Casket Company for more than thirty years, to honor his commitment to enhancing the leadership capacity of nonprofit organizations in Central New York.

Applicants must have served in a management position of a nonprofit agency in Onondaga or Madison Counties for at least five consecutive years in order to qualify. Twenty three executives have participated in the program since its inception.

The Central New York Community Foundation has served Central New York for 85 years, receiving, managing and distributing charitable funds for the benefit of not-for-profit organizations. Grants are awarded for programs in the areas of human services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, economic development and civic affairs. The region’s largest endowed philanthropic foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation awards over $5 million in grants to not-for-profit organizations annually. The Community Foundation, of 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or

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