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Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley announces changes in leadership

After more than 10 years volunteering as the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley’s Grant Making Committee co-chair and three additional years as executive director, Maranne McDade Clay has stepped down to pursue a new career path.

Entering this period of transition and growth, the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley welcomes Krystle Ellis as interim executive director, effective Feb. 1. The foundation celebrates her as the first woman of color in the organization’s executive director role.


Ellis serves as a WFGV board member and has previously held the role of co-vice chair. She owns Ellis K Consulting, where she specializes in strategic leadership planning and fundraising. Through executive coaching and policy management, Ellis assists organizations through transformative change by examining hiring practices, employee and stakeholder engagement, marketing techniques and daily operations. She believes in having transparent and courageous conversations that inspire young girls to dream big and women to soar higher.  

WFGV also welcomes Audrey Wackerman as its new board chair. She previously held the role of co-vice chair at WFGV. Longtime supporter of the foundation, she has served on the board of the foundation since 2018. During that tenure, she worked as co-chair for its annual Purse for Change event and on its grant-making committee. She serves as vice president, employee benefits for USI, where she leads the strategic direction, vision and performance of her clients’ employee benefits programs. Raised by a single mother, and raising a young daughter herself, Wackerman feels deeply connected to the foundation’s work and mission.


Outgoing Board Chair, Ann McAllister, has served three terms of service over the past nine years on the Board of the Foundation, most recently as Board Chair during her last term. “Her commitment has been unwavering, and always as a champion of the Foundation and its work within the community,” Ellis said. “We are thrilled that Ann will remain an engaged community member and continue to serve as Marketing Chair of the Foundation.”

“I’m honored to continue my work with the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley as interim executive director,” Ellis said. “My goal is to further strengthen our commitment to elevating the voices of women and girls while propelling the foundation forward through strategic planning, fundraising and community building. On behalf of the entire Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley team, we’d like to thank former Executive Director Maranne McDade Clay for the countless contributions she made on our organization. Her resolute leadership and love for the mission raised our programs to new heights while maintaining critical operations during the pandemic, and we’re grateful for her time and service to our foundation and wish her well in her future endeavors.”

 For more information on Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley, click here.