Community Foundation Awards Sabbatical Grants

Marsellus, John F. 2April 1, 2013 (Syracuse, NY) – The Central New York Community Foundation announced this year’s Marsellus Sabbatical grant recipients. The John F. Marsellus Sabbatical Program awards grants to nonprofit executives seeking personal and professional growth. The program provides each executive with a stipend and support for professional development, as well as an additional award to the organization.

This year’s recipients are:

Michael Gilbert, Psy.D., Executive Director, It’s About Childhood and Family (IACAF)

Michael will conduct site visits to the Manchester Bidwell Center, Harlem’s Children Zone (HCZ), Dr. Patch Adams Free Clinic, and Volunteers in Psychotherapy (VIP). The visits will help Michael create programs at IACAF that support children and families in new and innovative ways.

“Our organization is in the beginning phases of transformation,” said Gilbert. “Our five year plan targets issues such as mental wellness, trauma and stress, education and poverty.”

In addition, Gilbert will attend training sessions exploring the topics of Trauma Informed Care (TIC), Social-Emotional Learning and Play.

“Dr. Michael Gilbert works incredibly hard on behalf of our organization,” said Glenda Criss, IACAF Board Member. “This sabbatical opportunity will be a tremendous value to our organization and our future direction.”

Pam Hyland, President and CEO, Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways

Pam will attend the LeadFORWARD leadership development course offered through Productivity Leadership Systems (PLS). The course is comprised of four distinct leadership intelligences: physical, intelligence, emotional, and spiritual.

“The learning and support I will find through the LeadFORWARD program will assist me in leading this council forward,” said Hyland. “I am deeply committed to leaving a strong legacy in this council.”

Key features of the leadership program include a holistic approach to influencing positive organizational change, the alliance of peers, and the assignment of an individual coach.

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 30 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 seven executives have participated in the program since its inception.

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $130 million. It awards close to $6.7 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually and has invested more than $100 million in the community since its inception. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and corporations through the administration of nearly 600 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit

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