JFGD names its new president & CEO

The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas has named Mariam Shpeen Feist as its new president and CEO. Feist will start her role Aug. 1. Currently she serves as the Federation’s senior vice president and chief development officer, a post she’s had since August 2012, when she came to Dallas from her role as senior development manager at World ORT. Feist is the second woman to lead the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas in its 108-year history.
“Our community is so fortunate to have Mariam as our Federation’s next president and CEO. Mariam’s relationship and connection to this community the past seven years is very deep and she will help elevate our Federation to its next level of success. Our entire board of directors at Federation are very excited to welcome and support Mariam through this transition,” said Mark Kreditor, board chair.
A.J. Rosmarin, incoming Federation board chair, who was on the search committee, explained that the comprehensive search culminated in the committee realizing that the best person and fit for the job was already right here in Dallas.
“My goal was to find the best person available for the position because Dallas is a great place to live with a strong Federation serving Jews in need locally, in Israel, and throughout the world as it has for 107 years. We are on a great trajectory, and I’m confident Mariam is the right person,” Rosmarin said.
Feist’s experience in the field of nonprofit fundraising is extensive, spanning more than 33 years. She began her career at the UJA-Federation of Greater New York in its Women’s Division. While at UJA, she was awarded a work-study scholarship to Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work. After receiving her M.S.W., Feist joined the staff of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. During her 13-year tenure, she served as its Women’s Division director, Campaign director and assistant executive vice president.
In 2002, Feist was hired as the development director for Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, formerly Akiba Hebrew Academy, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. After just one year, she was promoted to director of Institutional Advancement, overseeing its board of trustees, annual fund, endowments and capital campaign. In 2007, Feist joined the Development department of the Albert Einstein Healthcare Network as its director of Major and Planned Gifts. In 2010, she joined the newly formed campaign team for World ORT as their senior development manager. In 2012, Feist joined the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas as the Chief Development Officer, and in 2014 assumed the role of senior vice president & CDO.
In addition, Feist has served as a consultant to other nonprofits including Hillels of Greater Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. She presents at national conferences, and serves as a mentor to those in the fundraising field.
Past Federation Board Chairs Dan Prescott and Cindy Sweet Moskowitz led the Federation’s search committee. “Cindy and I want to thank the search committee for providing us nine months of their time and contributions to a very thorough process. The search was international in scope and we fielded inquiries from all over the world. We are delighted to have found our CEO from our community, and having exposure to Dallas and our generous donors will undoubtedly serve her and the Federation well,” said Prescott.
Moskowitz added, “We were especially impressed with Mariam’s passion for and experience within the Federation movement as well as her dynamic vision for the future of this community. She has worked tirelessly with lay leaders to develop our core business to a position of great strength and we are excited to be on her team as she takes on this new role as our professional leader.”
Feist’s affinity for Jewish communal involvement comes naturally; her parents set a stellar example. Her late father, Harold Shpeen, DDS, served as president of the boards of the JCC, Bureau of Jewish Education, Senior Housing and Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey. He was on the national board of JCCA, formally JWB. Her late mother, Judith Goodman Shpeen, served as Board Chair of the URJ Camp Harlam.
Some highlights of Feist’s seven years as senior vice president and CDO include:
•increasing the Federation’s unrestricted Annual Campaign each year,
•engaging more leadership,
•bringing back Pacesetter missions and the YAD Event,
•implementing ONE Night,
•focusing on affinities, next-gen leadership and stewardship,
•invigorating the culture of pride-filled giving,
•transforming the Jewish Women’s Philanthropy Center,
•rolling out new programming,
•creating an atmosphere of transparency in both the Federation’s Case for Giving and the planning and allocations process.
“Mariam’s experience and deep relationships in our community will be invaluable as she leads our community forward. Our entire professional team is excited for her as she becomes our new CEO,” said Bradley Laye, Federation president & CEO.
Feist and her husband, Bob, reside in Far North Dallas and have two sons, Jacob and Max, both students at University of Missouri.

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