Danvers, MA — Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF), an organization serving the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, is pleased to announce that Amy Kingman of Essex, Dr. Kiame Mahaniah of Andover and Jonathan Payson of Manchester have recently been elected to the organization’s Board of Trustees.
Kingman and Dr. Mahaniah are new to the ECCF board; Payson returns after previously serving on the board from 2011-2020.
Kingman, who was serving on ECCF’s County Leadership Council before being elected to the board, has more than 15 years of experience in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Prior to launching her own consulting firm, Kingman spent four years as chief executive for both The Learning by Giving Foundation and The Letters Foundation, two organizations launched by the Buffett family. At Learning by Giving, Kingman directed a coalition of 40 colleges and universities teaching accredited courses on experiential philanthropy and effective volunteerism to 1,000 students annually. At The Letters Foundation, she oversaw more than $10 million in grants awarded directly to individuals and families experiencing financial crisis and successfully led the organization through a planned sunset in 2020.
Collaboration has played a major role in innovations developed under Kingman’s leadership, including the partnership between The Letters Foundation and the City of Boston to launch the first-in-the-US private funding resource for homeless residents in need of qualified sober living.
“During my career, I have always found that crafting a common vision and then working together towards that goal is the most effective way to innovate and create real change,” said Kingman. “ECCF has done such a great job of bringing so many different people together to support Essex County and I’m really looking forward to playing a role in continuing that work and creating new opportunities for the people of Essex County.”
Kingman also currently serves on the board of trustees at Gloucester-based Wellspring House, a nonprofit that inspires families and adults to achieve employment and financial security through stable housing, education, job training and career readiness.
Dr. Kiame Mahaniah
Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Mahaniah spent much of his childhood in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His work has been deeply influenced by the poverty he witnessed there and by his parents, who were dedicated to community-based nonprofit work. After returning to the States to attend Haverford College, where he received a BA in Political Economy, Dr. Mahaniah attended medical school as a National Health Service Corps Scholar and credits the organization with launching his career in community health.
Following a decade of clinical leadership in the Essex County communities of Lawrence and Salem, Dr. Mahaniah became the chief executive officer of the Lynn Community Health Center, where he is now focused on tackling inequities that not only pervade the healthcare system, but also the everyday lives of his patients.
Dr. Mahania served on ECCF’s County Leadership Council for two years and during the COVID-19 pandemic, he played a critical role in helping to deploy more than $10 million in funding to local nonprofits as a member of ECCF’s COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Committee. Dr. Mahania has also been instrumental in ECCF’s COVID relief work in the City of Lynn.
“At the heart of my work is the desire to make sure everyone is treated with dignity,” said Dr. Mahaniah. “I’m really looking forward to taking my life and career experience, and my recent work with ECCF, and expanding on that as the foundation leverages its heightened role in the community to take on pervasive social disparities.”
Payson, a retired Wellington Management Company executive, returns to ECCF after serving on the board for nine years from 2011-2020, seven of those years as board chair.
Payson led the board during an evolutionary phase of growth and increased presence in the county, and his passion and leadership helped to grow ECCF into the regional leader it is today. During his tenure, ECCF launched the Creative County and Empowering Economic Opportunity initiatives, which not only continue to positively impact so many lives, but also paved the way for additional systems work that is so critical to our communities, including Advancing Digital Equity, which aims to bridge the digital divide in Essex County.
A former Marine Corps Reserve officer and Gulf War Veteran, Payson serves as a volunteer pilot for the Veterans Airlift Command. He is also a dedicated member of the boards of trustees at Endicott College and the Northeast Hospital Corporation, as well as at Root NS, a nonprofit offering youth training and employment opportunities in the foodservice industry.
“I am fortunate to be rejoining the ECCF board at a time when collaboration is truly at the forefront of finding solutions to our region’s greatest social challenges,” said Payson. “Essex County is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger and more unified than ever before, and it is exciting to be part of an organization that really uses this sense of unity as a tool to help the region move forward together.”
Kingman, Dr. Mahaniah and Payson are joining a dedicated 18-member board of community, business and philanthropic leaders, each dedicated to volunteering their skills, experience and knowledge of the region to strengthen the communities of Essex County.
“We are so fortunate to have a group of such talented and knowledgeable people willing to devote their time and energy to supporting Essex County,” said ECCF Board Chair John Colucci. “Amy, Kiame and Jon bring a new level of passion, perspective and experience to the board that will serve to increase the focus and energy with which ECCF approaches our work and our ability to make a meaningful impact in the community. We are truly grateful for their service.”
“It is always exciting to welcome people of this caliber to the board,” said ECCF President and CEO Beth Francis. “Jon has been an integral part of ECCF’s work for the better part of the last decade and we are so lucky to have him back. And I am looking forward to Amy and Kiame expanding their volunteer toles at ECCF. They are going to be huge assets to our collaborative work across our communities.”
The mission of Essex County Community Foundation is to inspire philanthropy that strengthens the communities of Essex County. We do this by managing charitable assets, strengthening and supporting nonprofits and engaging in strategic community leadership. Since 1998, ECCF and its family of 260 charitable funds have granted $117 million to nonprofits, schools and students in Essex County and beyond. Our ultimate goal is to have 34 thriving cities and towns in Essex County and to improve the quality of life for the region’s nearly 800,000 residents. Learn more at eccf.org.