President & CEO
Prior to joining the William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation, Leslie was the Vice President of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland where she led the program team in developing targeted, outcomes-based approaches for its grantmaking and non-grantmaking activities. She has also been the project manager for the foundation’s Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood education initiative. Prior to joining the Sisters of Charity Foundation ten years ago, she served in various capacities for the Cleveland office of the Enterprise Foundation where she provided training and technical assistance to community-based organizations in the areas of community planning and program development. Leslie holds a master’s degree from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Indiana University. She is active in community service including as a founding board member of Funders Together to End Homelessness.
Senior Program Officer
Marci Lu is the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation’s first east coast-based senior program officer. She brings to this role experience at the federal, state and local levels, working collaboratively with funders, nonprofit practitioners and civic leaders to strengthen families and communities. Prior to joining the O’Neill Foundation, Marci managed a portfolio of national grantees at the Social Innovation Fund, a federal evidence-based grantmaking initiative devoted to scaling and evaluating what works. Before that, Marci managed her own consulting practice where she advised philanthropies and nonprofits on grantmaking, strategy and organizational development, and was a program officer at the Cleveland Foundation where she focused on strengthening the social safety net and building nonprofit and philanthropic sector capacity. Earlier in her career, Marci worked at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and served in the Washington, DC offices of U.S. Representative Sander Levin (MI) and Governor Thomas H. Kean (NJ). Marci is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and holds a master’s in nonprofit management from Case Western Reserve University.
Program Officer, Communications & NextGen Engagement
Prior to joining the William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation in 2017, Marlene was the Manager of Development & Marketing and Executive Assistant to the President at the National Center for Family Philanthropy. She has served on the steering committee of Emerging Practioners in Philanthropy's DC Chapter and held internships with organizations including the Hovde Foundation, American Red Cross for Greater Grand Rapids, and the YMCA of the USA. Marlene is a graduate of Grand Valley State University where she received her master's and bachelor's degree in nonprofit administration. While there she was a graduate research assistant to the Johnson Center for Philanthropy's Frey Chair for Family Philanthropy. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new recipes in the kitchen, practicing yoga, traveling, and serving as a translator for The Resource Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps corporations, foundations, and individuals empower local nonprofit partners in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Kara joined the O’Neill Foundation in 2018. She has over 12 years experience in grant administration, most recently at Foundation Management Services, a philanthropic advisory firm, and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation. She received her B.S. in Business Administration (Marketing and International Business) from La Salle University in Philadelphia. Kara has served as the Vice Chair for the Ohio Regional Chapter of Grants Managers Network and was appointed by Mayor Frank Jackson as a Commissioner for the City of Cleveland’s Bond Accountability Commission. She has a love for and a strong commitment to the city of Cleveland. She lives in the West Park neighborhood with her school-age daughter and their beloved dog, Bruno.