Council on Foundations Announces Key Appointments for Network Team

Peter Panepento hired as Vice President of the Network, and Will Heaton named Director of Network Development
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Arlington, VA

The Council on Foundations today announced the first members of its network team, which will facilitate the flow of information and ideas across the philanthropic sector. The network team will connect members around common issues of concern, connect our members to outside resources across sectors, and —if necessary— build new products and services.

In mid-November, Peter Panepento will be joining the Council's staff as the new vice president of the network. Currently serving as the Council's chief of staff, Will Heaton will transition into the director of network development role.

"I believe strongly in the mission of the Council on Foundations," said Panepento. "After spending more than 7 years reporting on trends and events in philanthropy, I feel confident that the Council has the sound leadership, national platform, and fresh ideas necessary to advance philanthropy in a new age. I'm excited to work with this talented team to weave stronger connections among our members that will leverage under-utilized capacity in the field."

Based in pilot locations Massachusetts and California respectively, Talia Rivera and Kim Bluitt will serve as the first cohort of geographically based network managers. These network managers are an added channel through which members learn about the Council's expertise and offerings. In turn, the Council will better understand its members' challenges and priorities.

Andrew Ho, Daria Teutonico, and Laura Tomasko will be serving as network developers from the Council's headquarters in Arlington, VA. They will synthesize trends, identify patterns among members and across sectors, and innovate solutions. Ho will focus his work on global philanthropic engagement. Chris Goett and Kimberly Young will be managing strategic initiatives of the Council.

The Council has also developed a centralized information hub for member requests known as the Knowledge Center, based in the Council's headquarters. It will be managed by Claudia Contreras and Kim Roque, and they will be assisted by Phillip Blackmon and Suzanne Stringfield.

"Like our leading foundation members, our association will be driven by innovation, responsiveness, and calculated risk taking," said Council on Foundations president and CEO Vikki Spruill. "This network is solely designed to add value to Council membership by helping members achieve their goals in new and exciting ways."

Biographies of Council on Foundations Network Team Members:

Peter Panepento has spent 7+ years at the Chronicle of Philanthropy reporting on the philanthropic sector, developing partnerships, building networks, and identifying new ways to interact with nonprofit and foundation leaders. As the assistant managing editor at the Chronicle and a strong leader in the field, he built some of the most powerful and influential social networks in philanthropy, launched a world-class Webinar series, and developed partnerships with software companies, conference organizers, nonprofits, media companies, and trade associations. Peter also founded a website devoted to supporting economic and social development in Pennsylvania, and he was a reporter in Erie, PA.

Will Heaton has provided strong and thoughtful leadership as chief of staff and strategic advisor to the president and CEO. With over five years of service at the Council, he brings a broad range of experiences ranging from organizational change, external relations, coalition building, board development and strategy. Prior to joining the Council in 2009, Will consulted with the Washington Theological Union on communications and marketing. Will also served as a chief of staff in the U.S. House of Representatives for four years.

Network Managers

Kim Bluitt joins the Council after an impressive career as a development and admissions officer at Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. She also served in a production role for the hit sitcom Living Single, starring Queen Latifah. She has also taught writing and communications at the collegiate level.

Talia Rivera served as Director of Connectivity and Learning at Boston Rising, where she developed grant making processes and functioned as a community organizer. She also coordinated the network for the Black Ministerial Alliance, a group of over 120 agencies serving youth in Boston. For over a decade, she was executive director of Villages Without Walls, which specialized in research driven violence prevention interventions designed to address youth gang violence in a comprehensive way.

Network Developers

Andrew Ho has been with the Council since June 2008, when he began as a manager for family philanthropy and next generation foundation staff and trustees. Prior to the Council, Andrew spent time with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders developing public-philanthropic partnerships, as a strategy consultant with TCC Group working with foundations, and in key positions with Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), and The Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy.

Daria Teutonico has extensive expertise in foundation best practices, in community foundation support, and public health. She previously worked at Communities in Schools as Director of Talent Development, leading human capital development efforts for its network. She was program director with the Institute of International Education and also worked at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers as director of the New Ventures in Philanthropy initiative. Daria also has advanced credentials in international affairs and the Russian language.

Laura Tomasko led an impact investing initiative and worked with federal agencies interested in partnering with foundations throughout her time at the Council. Previously, she worked in operations at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, on the grantmaking team at the Central New York Community Foundation, and helped launch, manage, and evaluate a youth development program at The Children's Aid Society. Named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, Laura is a StartingBloc Fellow and writes for UnSectored, serving on advisory boards for both organizations.

Project Managers

Chris Goett will continue his strong leadership in support of place based giving at the Council. Previously, Chris served as Director of Membership & Organizing with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a network of nonprofits promoting access to financial services. Chris started his career in philanthropy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation where he worked to frame and sustain family- and community-building initiatives.

Kimberly Young will continue her efforts to support corporate foundations at the Council and develop new ways for corporate foundations to engage with the wider philanthropic field. Prior to joining the Council, Kimberly was a community relations manager for Capital One. She expanded their philanthropy and associate engagement programs to new markets and served as a leader on nonprofit, civic and community organization boards. Prior to Capital One, she worked in Government Relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Kimberly is a certified executive leadership & life-skills coach and also an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Knowledge Center Managers

Claudia Contreras has managed membership stewardship at the Council for over 3 years. For well over 14 years, she has worked in nonprofit and association management, including Director of Membership of the National Recreation and Park Association, Membership Manager for the National Business Travel Association, and Community Referral Specialist at the Hispanic Committee of Virginia.

Kimberly Roque has experience that spans 13 years in the nonprofit and association communities, including service as director of the National Mentoring Institute at MENTOR, manager of volunteerism and special projects at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, community development director at First Book, and AmeriCorps*VISTA at the Ada Jenkins Center.

Membership Specialists

Phillip Blackmon is responsible for providing core member services. Phillip’s experience spans 13 years in the nonprofit and association communities, including human resources specialist at LeadingAge/AAHSA, and 11 years in publishing sales and Leasing Analyst for JBG/TrizecHahn. He holds his M.A. in telecommunications from Michigan State University.

Suzanne Stringfield has been with the Council supporting the needs of internal partners and members in the areas of national accreditation,relationship management, veterans’ issues, general and constituency specific member services, communications, and social media. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army having served as a Russian translator. She has also worked as an adjunct professor of Russian language at Portland State University.


The Council on Foundations (, formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include more than 1,700 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.