Indianapolis, IND. — Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) Board of Directors has named Claudia Cummings as its next president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2019. Cummings will succeed Marissa Manlove, who announced her retirement after 12 years at the organization.
“Claudia is a strategic leader with years of experience working across the state of Indiana,” said Tina Gridiron, chair of IPA Board of Directors. “She brings the right mix of strategic vision, disciplined implementation and personal passion to this role. I look forward to the many ways she will continue to support, champion and connect all members.”
Cummings currently serves as vice president of strategic development at Conexus Indiana, the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) initiative positioning the Hoosier state as the best place for advanced manufacturing and logistics industries to invest, employ and succeed. An Indiana native, Cummings has been the senior leader with Conexus Indiana since 2008 responsible for overseeing collaborations on workforce development and education between industry, academic, philanthropic and public sector partners.
“With over $846 million in grants awarded each year, the impact of IPA members in their communities and across the state is tremendous,” said Cummings. “I’m looking forward to working with Indiana’s vibrant philanthropic community to leverage the strength of IPA and to intensify our results.”
Cummings was selected after a competitive process conducted by the Columbus, Indiana-based search firm Smith and Syberg and coordinated by a seven-member search committee of current IPA Board of Directors and key community leaders.
“There was very high interest in the position from across the country. We spoke with many strong candidates, and I’m confident Claudia is the right leader for the next season of IPA,” shared Gridiron.
“She is a thoughtful leader with a wealth of experience building networks, supporting partnerships and sustaining collaborations,” Gridiron added. “I look forward to the energy, innovation and creative leadership that she will bring.”
Cummings has dedicated her career to public service and community impact. Prior to her work with Conexus Indiana, she was Deputy Commissioner at the Indiana Department of Administration where she focused on small business development. She has also worked in various policy advocacy, communications and leadership positions for the Mayor of Indianapolis, Speaker of the Indiana House, Marion County Clerk, and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
Cummings currently chairs the Goodwill Education Initiatives Board of Directors and serves on the Leadership Council of the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council and as Vice Chair on the Distinguished Alumni Council for the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). She has also been a member of the State Workforce Innovation Council and the Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank.
Cummings succeeds Manlove, who leaves the organization in a strong financial position and with more members than in the organization’s 28-year history. During her tenure, IPA has gained prominence as a key voice on behalf of philanthropy with policymakers and other community leaders across the state. Manlove has also positioned IPA as a national leader among regional associations of grantmakers.
“I am pleased to welcome Claudia to the IPA family. She knows and has worked with many members of the philanthropic sector and is well-suited to build on IPA’s strengths,” said Manlove. “I look forward to assisting her in November and December to ensure a seamless transition in leadership.”
About Indiana Philanthropy Alliance
Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) is a nonprofit membership association of and for the state’s grantmaking community, helping philanthropists increase the impact of their giving in Indiana and beyond. IPA members include public and private foundations, corporate giving programs, governmental grantmakers, regranting organizations, philanthropic advisors and other qualified individuals. Collective membership holds over $18 billion in assets and awards more than $846 million in grants each year.