New Leadership to be Announced in New Year
NEW YORK, December 19, 2022 – The Heron Foundation today announced that Dana K. Bezerra, President, will depart her role at the end of 2022. Bezerra first joined Heron in 2006 and has served as the foundation’s President since 2017.
“Dana has been a visionary leader for Heron, and we are extremely grateful for her tireless work and boundless passion,” said Buzz Schmidt, Chairman of the Heron Foundation. “Dana’s insight, humility, and know-how have now brought Heron to a strong position as we embark on the next phase of Heron’s work in community. She has taken Heron to new heights and shepherded us toward this next chapter, a place we never could have reached without her leadership and commitment to our mission. We wish her the best in her undoubtedly successful future endeavors.”
Schmidt emphasized that the talented team Bezerra assembled is well positioned to steward the work forward. He added that Heron has been on a continuous evolution from its conception, never comfortable with resting on its laurels, and will continue to evolve and innovate in service to its mission just as it did under Bezerra’s leadership.
Bezerra’s tenure as President began soon after the organization achieved its goal of investing 100% of its assets for positive net impact, and she oversaw a period of transitioning the foundation’s focus back to community while, at the same time, optimizing Heron’s portfolio for mission-alignment. Under her stewardship, Heron reimagined its community practice to be one rooted in abundance and reciprocity with a goal of ceding decision-making and control to deep community practitioners. This past October, Heron began the implementation of this new programmatic strategy, which will continue to be implemented in 2023.
“Since its founding nearly 30 years ago, Heron’s goal has been to help people and communities to help themselves, and it has been an honor of a lifetime for me to carry the torch in support of that mission,” said Bezerra. “A core part of our work at Heron has always been about challenging broken conventions, integrating lessons learned, and daring to change—all in effort to better deliver on our mission. As Heron enters a new season of deep place-based partnership, my decision to pass the torch is rooted firmly in this spirit of generative change, and I cannot wait to watch the seeds of Heron’s work in recent years grow and bear fruit in the years ahead.”
During her tenure as Heron’s President, Bezerra also led a major strategic repositioning of the U.S. Community Investing Index (USCII), moving the index and its intellectual property rights and its methodology to a partner with a stated goal of allowing the USCII continued growth and development in the years ahead, while maintaining a major role for Heron in the index’s future. It has also included a decision to re-deploy a legacy position in Heron’s endowment into the hands of diverse asset managers in order to spur innovation and achieve greater mission alignment in the foundation’s public equities portfolio.
In 2023, Bezerra will be taking the helm as CEO at Greater Share, a philanthropic investment model seeking to connect high-performing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with long term, recurring funding. After her departure from Heron, Bezerra will continue to serve on two privately held company boards – CapShift and TILT Investments. Capshift is an impact investing platform designed for individuals and families in need of an easier way to find impact investments aligned with their unique goals and preferences. TILT is an SEC-registered investment advisor established to support clients who want to earn both financial and non-financial returns.
In a message shared today on Heron’s website, Bezerra shared her thoughts on Heron’s path in recent years, and how that work has positioned the organization for its next chapter. Her full message can be read here.
About the Heron Foundation:
Established in 1992, Heron’s mission is to help people and communities help themselves. The foundation works with a diverse set of investment strategies focused on fostering economic innovations and practices that lead to long-term opportunity and prosperity for all. Internally, investing and grantmaking operations are combined to foster a stronger multi-capital approach and better mission alignment of its communities practice and endowment management.
About Greater Share:
Greater Share is an innovative philanthropic investment model harnessing the expertise of primary funds and high impact non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to transform under-served communities across the globe. Greater Share’s mission focuses on the most pressing priorities for our society. This model aims to provide NGOs with long-term, recurring funding, helping them to achieve their mission of closing gaps.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2022