Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Announces Cincinnati Executive Director

Sep 1, 2020



Clare Zlatic Blankemeyer joins organization to lead next phase of work in Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH – September 1, 2020 – GreenLight Fund welcomes Clare Zlatic Blankemeyer as the new Executive Director of GreenLight Cincinnati beginning September 14, 2020. Blankemeyer brings to the role multifaceted leadership experience and a deep commitment to Cincinnati along with first-hand knowledge of GreenLight’s model as she has been a member of GreenLight Cincinnati’s Selection Advisory Council (SAC) since 2016. She will partner with GreenLight’s existing portfolio organizations as well as lead the community-driven process to bring the next set of social innovations to Cincinnati to fill unmet needs in the local community, help break down entrenched barriers, and address deep-rooted disparities in order to create opportunities for children and families to thrive.

“We were so impressed with Clare’s commitment to our community and her unwavering passion for this work. She is a strong leader with deep roots here and a perfect fit for the Executive Director role,” said John McIlwraith, Managing Director, Allos Ventures and GreenLight ED Search Committee member. “I’m thrilled that Clare will be leading GreenLight’s vital work of bringing innovative solutions to address our city’s toughest challenges and I look forward to working with her.”

Clare comes to GreenLight from the The Manuel D. & Rhoda Mayerson Foundation where, as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, she worked alongside nonprofit partners to build out grantmaking strategies that activate strengths and create more just, caring, and respectful communities. Her extensive experience includes developing for-profit and nonprofit community engagement strategies to ensure the voices of those with lived experiences are included in philanthropic decision-making and consulting with area educators and nonprofits on service-learning integration. She is well regarded among community partners who rely on her perspective, relationship and team building skills, sense of purpose, and commitment to driving progress and process. Clare has led a number of local community efforts including as Past President of Impact 100 and as a member of C-Change, Class 8 and Affordable Housing Advocates. She received Legacy’s Emerging Philanthropist Award, presented by the Northern Kentucky Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and was named a YWCA Cincinnati’s Rising Star and Cincinnati Business Courier’s 40 Under 40.

In reflecting on her upcoming start as executive director, Clare shared, “The global pandemic has only exacerbated the racial and economic disparities that have always been present and necessitate action. Hand-in-hand with our neighbors who are most affected and my SAC colleagues, I look forward to bringing my community building experience to GreenLight to tackle Cincinnati’s most challenging poverty-related issues. I have been humbled to witness GreenLight’s impressive due diligence process and am eager to lead the work as we build infrastructure to help our region thrive.”

As executive director, Clare will partner with the SAC, a diverse group of community leaders, to begin the next selection cycle. The annual, community-driven process will begin with assessing the local landscape to identify unmet social sector needs most important to Cincinnati residents facing barriers to prosperity. A search of the country for the best, social innovations to address those needs will lead to selecting and investing in the replication of an innovative program with significant, measurable results. Under Clare’s leadership, GreenLight Cincinnati will help the selected organization reach and sustain impact in Cincinnati with on-the-ground support, strategic partnership development and accountable measurement systems.

GreenLight Fund’s CEO and Co-founder Margaret Hall remarked, “We are delighted to have Clare on board. She knows GreenLight well and has a passionate vision for ways GreenLight Cincinnati can more deeply engage with the community, helping to strengthen the effectiveness of our mission. We look forward to her leading the work in Cincinnati and getting started on our next annual selection process that will bring an effective program to address an unmet need with the best local fit.”

GreenLight Fund launched in Cincinnati in 2015 and has supported the replication of three organizations into Cincinnati to effectively address community-identified unmet needs. As part of Clare’s leadership role, she will provide ongoing program management support to Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), an organization improving outcomes for returning citizens and lowering recidivism rates, Family Independence Initiative (FII), who is creating pathways out of poverty for working families, and First Place for Youth, being implemented locally by St. Joseph’s Orphanage, who is working with youth aging out of foster care to open opportunities for strong futures.

Sid Taylor, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) Cincinnati Director and GreenLight ED Search Committee member added, “GreenLight’s support and thought partnership is so valuable to me and CEO as we grow in Cincinnati, working with citizens returning home from incarceration through the challenges they face. I am excited that Clare, with her impressive background, expertise, and commitment to community engagement, will be partnering with us moving forward as she leads GreenLight Cincinnati.”

GreenLight Cincinnati Fund II which will fuel the next four community-driven selections includes the following generous supporters: Bank of America, Archie and Sharen Brown, Clement & Ann Buenger Foundation, Bill Butler, Manuel Chavez, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC), Crossroads, The Duke Energy Foundation, First Financial Foundation, Bobby and Arna Fisher, Dan and Susan Fleming, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Eagle One Fund at Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, Kevin and Francy Hughes, iHeartMedia, Lair and Anna Kennedy, The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation, Lynn and Glen Mayfield, John and Marylou McIlwraith, John and Francie Pepper, P&G, The Ragland Family, Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee, Tom and Nancy Shepherd, Brent and Valarie Sheppard, John and Susan Simon, The Sinclaire Family, John and Jen Stein, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, U.S. Bank, George and Kim Vincent, The Vora Foundation, Western & Southern Financial Fund, The Woods Family, and James and Mary Zimmerman.