Mary K. Blanusa
Executive Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation
Mary joins Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) as Executive Director and brings with her extensive experience in organizational management, collective impact, strategic planning, and program development & implementation in philanthropy and nonprofit fields. Having grown up in Northern New Jersey and spending most of her life here, Mary is keenly aware of the opportunities and challenges facing the region. Mary is committed to collaborative leadership, working with community members and leaders from all sectors across Northern New Jersey, to build stronger, more equitable, resilient communities.
Prior to NNJCF, Mary was Senior Director of Strategy at America Achieves where she led efforts bringing together philanthropy, local non-profits, educators, start-ups, and international corporations, such as Amazon and Uber, to design integrated education to workforce programs serving low to moderate income youth and adults. Mary was a Program Officer at The Helmsley Charitable Trust where she led policy, advocacy and communications grantmaking in the education portfolio. She has led collaborative grantmaking initiatives, working with colleagues from major US philanthropies to pool funds and align grantmaking towards common goals and outcomes. Mary served in a number of programmatic and leadership roles at the Council for Economic Education, most recently as Vice President of Government Relations and Partnerships. At Weston Solutions, Mary supported community engagement in environmental development projects across the NY/NJ region. She began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching English and environmental education to middle school students in Hungary.
Mary holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the Heller School of Public Policy at Brandeis University and a Bachelor’s degree from American University. She currently serves on the board of Seek Common Ground and as Board Chair of The English Learners Success Forum.
Associate Director, Northern New Jersey Community Foundation
Danielle has been directing programs and funds at The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) for over ten years. She is involved in all aspects of the organization and has worked to improve community life in the County by galvanizing and connecting people around various issues such as pediatric obesity, municipal shared services, and revitalizing downtowns via the arts. She also leads ArtsBergen, the NNJCF’s regional arts initiative to strengthen the arts community and connect the community to the arts.
Danielle has an extensive non-profit project administration background. For several years, she worked as a program manager in the field of arts-in-education, serving as the liaison between school personnel and teaching artists to design site-specific residencies for K-12 school children in the visual arts, music, dance, and theater. Danielle also administered an after-school arts program for youth-at-risk and assisted in running a summer artist institute for school teachers.
In 2013, she was certified as a Master Practitioner in Creative Placemaking, successfully completing Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy’s year-long intensive program. Her final project was a white paper, Creative Placemaking in Englewood: Strategies Using Arts and Culture to Build a Unified Community and Boost Downtown Economy. She continues to champion creative placemaking – a planning practice that integrates arts and culture in a neighborhood, city block, town or region – as an impactful tool to build community and bolster local economy in Bergen County and the region. Danielle earned a dual BA in Communications and Art History from Fairfield University and completed a one-year post-graduate program in advertising/graphic design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.