Executive Director for Community Development
City of Anderson
After earning her graduate degree in philanthropic studies from the Lilly School of Philanthropy and graduate certificate in nonprofit management from SPEA, she entered the higher education foundation world to engage her passion for nonprofit leadership and management, fund development, and lifetime learning.
As the assistant director for resource development, she cultivated and expanded stewardship and gave donors, institutions, alumni, and employees opportunities. She oversaw the student scholarship program and employee giving campaign, developed grant proposals, major gifts and planned-giving requests, and donor agreements for the East Central Region Development Office.
Currently, she serves as the executive director of community development for the City of Anderson, where she focuses on administering a $1.5 million annual federal grant budget and overseeing more than $20 million of assets and investments. She develops and supports community efforts to reduce disparities and increase access to quality housing, social services, education, and income opportunities for low and moderate-income residents. Her work also includes infrastructure improvements and quality of place projects in low-mod-income neighborhoods.
Since joining the city administration, the most rewarding part of her job is developing and funding meaningful and collaborative projects with nonprofit and affordable housing organizations, followed closely by sharing knowledge and strategies, and tools and vehicles that empower nonprofits to realize their mission-related goals and objectives. Lelia is a proud alumnus of the second graduating class of the newly founded Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.