Marshall Strauss, president and CEO, has been active in the not-for-profit field for more than a quarter century and has been involved in the CFC for much of that time.
Mr. Strauss served on the U.S. government's CFC-50 Commission, which recommended a number of improvements to the operation of the CFC. He served as chair of the National CFC Committee for two years and is now treasurer of the Combined Federal Campaign Foundation. He has helped found several CFC federations and has also served on a number of national and local not-for-profit organization boards.
During the early 1990s, Mr. Strauss helped establish and served as CEO of The Democracy for China Fund and Freedom Channel.
During the 1980s, Mr. Strauss served as associate director of Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Child Welfare League of America. Here and overseas, he has been interviewed extensively on issues of human rights and philanthropy by, among others, the Associated Press, UPI, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, ABC News, Actuel (Paris), BBC, Russian National Television, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, GovExec, Federal Times and Nonprofit Quarterly.
Alex Desmond joined our team in 2014 and now serves as Deputy Director. In this role, Alex guides national and local charities through the CFC application process and creates reports that help to track and monitor charity performance during the solicitation period. He works closely with the CEO and the board of directors to guide the organization’s strategy and manage operations. He also contributes to WGA's research on the CFC and the philanthropic sector and performs a variety of IT administrative functions.
Alex is a professionally trained chef and restaurant manager with an interest in non-profits and food justice. Alex has a B.S. in Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. When he is not at work, you can find him in the garden, in the woods, or curled up with a good book.
Lisa Rosenthal joined the HCROA team in 2011 and now serves as Associate Director. Lisa helps to coordinate the review of national and local CFC applications and advises member charities on how they may comply with campaign requirements. She also contributes to research on the CFC and other policy issues in the philanthropic sector.
Before joining HCROA, Lisa was a research associate for the Economic Development Assistance Consortium in Boston where she helped research and edit grants for non-profit organizations involved in low-income neighborhood revitalization projects. She graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2011 with a Master of Theological Studies, focusing on religion, ethics and politics. She graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2009 with a B.A. in Human Ecology.
When she isn’t immersed in the CFC, Lisa attends law school at the University of Maine School of Law. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors, exploring New England towns, and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.
Lin Dong joined the team in 2014 as Staff Accountant. She manages the administration of our financial and personnel systems. Her tasks include tracking pledges, making distributions, and assisting with the audit.
Lin grew up in China near the North Korean border. She studied accounting as an undergraduate in China and the UK, and she earned a MS in accounting at Bentley University in the Boston area. Lin enjoys cooking and is an excellent guitarist. She lives with her husband in Wakefield, MA.
Charlie Drapala has been a part of our team since 2008. Charlie coordinates pledge processing, vendor relationships, and CFC event notifications. During the admissions season, he communicates with local charities to help guide them through the CFC application process.
Before entering the non-profit field, Charlie excelled in various management and sales endeavors. He was a manager in the cosmetology field for over 20 years before he transitioned to sales and marketing as a manager for Cambridge Sound Works, a high-end audio/video equipment company.
Charlie serves on the board of a non-profit called Hope and Friendship Metastatic Breast Cancer Foundation for Men and Women.
Elaine Gerdine joined the Workplace Giving Alliance in January 2013 to work on the Million Donors Choose project and other research initiatives. She also assists charities preparing applications to the CFC. Before that, she spent 15 years as a writer and web content strategist for CSC, a leading IT company, supervising content for a 700-page website and managing a blog that presented the ideas of some of the company’s most forward-looking technology thinkers. She also planned and implemented marketing and other communications campaigns and wrote extensively on a variety of business and technology topics.
A classically-trained pianist, Elaine has penned several librettos, including those for a set of short operas based on folk tales, which have received numerous productions. She served for several years as a consultant for the New York State Council on the Arts and the Brooklyn Arts Council, where she participated in the evaluation of grant applicants.