In Conversation: Marcus Walton and Maria Pesqueira
Join us for a conversation with Marcus Walton, the new President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), and Maria S. Pesqueira, President of Healthy Communities Foundation and Forefront Board Member. Marcus and Maria will discuss Marcus’ vision for GEO in the coming years and how the field of philanthropy can serve as a strengthening and unifying presence in our communities.
Join us for a conversation with Marcus Walton, the new President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), and Maria S. Pesqueira, President of Healthy Communities Foundation and Forefront Board Member. Marcus and Maria will discuss Marcus’ vision for GEO in the coming years and how the field of philanthropy can serve as a strengthening and unifying presence in our communities. Hosted in partnership with Forefront.
Recently announced as GEO’s new president and CEO, Marcus F. Walton, a nonprofit industry veteran, has served as a community organizer, nonprofit practitioner, grantmaker, leadership coach, and collaborative change maker. Walton has successfully harnessed the power of change to develop more effective strategies for cultivating thriving communities. The appointment of Walton signals a pivotal time for GEO, as it recognizes racial equity as one of the critical cornerstones for effective philanthropy and transformation in its multi-year strategic plan. As a certified executive coach and facilitator, Walton has a decades-long track record of leading institutional change with community-based and philanthropic organizations, including The Cleveland Foundation and Neighborhood Progress Inc. Subsequently, he went on to serve as Vice President & COO of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), where he oversaw operations, HR, staff development and the administration of racial equity focused programming. In his most recent role as Director of Racial Equity Initiatives for Borealis Philanthropy, Walton worked in partnership with 19 philanthropy-serving organizations to move from transactional to transformative partnership models that close access gaps in marginalized communities, increase engagement and improve outcomes.
Maria del Socorro Pesqueira was appointed President of the Healthy Communities Foundation in May 2017. The Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities in over 20 communities in western Cook County by promoting health equity, quality and access. As an award-winning visionary leader, she is a sought-after speaker addressing local, national, and hemispheric audiences on a wide variety of topics ranging from private/nonprofit partnerships, health disparities, immigration reform, women and family issues, violence prevention, and the future of philanthropy. Prior to joining the Healthy Communities Foundation, Maria served as President to Mujeres Latinas en Accion. Preceding her time at Mujeres, Maria led The National Museum of Mexican Art’s Development and Marketing team. Her civic and community involvement includes appointments to the United States Congressional Commission for a National Women’s History Museum, Illinois Children and Family Services Advisory Commission, Illinois Partners for Human Services, Community Memorial Foundation, Aetna Medical Advisory Board, and The Chicago Network.