Winston Family Foundation Appoints Sylia Obagi as Founding Executive Director


Former Annenberg, disneyand Blank Foundation Executive provides leadership to New player in family philanthropy

JACKSONVILLE, Florida., September 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Winston Family Foundation, a new philanthropic organization, today announced, Sylia Obagi, CPA, MBA, as founding executive director. The Winston Family Foundation seeks to address health and wellness issues of national significance, focusing on child and adolescent brain development, the environment, and community and economic development.

As the foundation builds and expands its core focus areas, Obagi’s extensive experience working with family foundations across all sectors will strengthen the organization’s programs and initiatives and solidify its reputation as a player. change in family philanthropy.

“I am driven by an unshakable belief in the power of philanthropy to create a better world for all. I see myself as an architect and builder who works seamlessly between strategy and execution. I enjoy working with families and organizations committed to making a meaningful impact through their programs and investments,” Obagi said. “When I met the Winston family, I was inspired by their intellectual prowess combined with their hearts, and their dedication to have a disproportionate impact with their philanthropy; I knew I wanted to be their partner. Our values, vision and high standards of excellence align in everything we seek to accomplish,” she added.

Obagi has guided the giving strategies of several high profile and wealthy families and has held leadership positions in various family foundations, most recently with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. She is a proven leader with a strong track record of working with leading philanthropic organizations to deliver social impact through their investments.

In her role as vice president of finance and operations for the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Obagi was part of the foundation and executive team of Blank Family Businesses. She was responsible for building the organization’s ability to fulfill Mr. Blank’s donation pledge. $1.5 billion over the next ten years, and for providing grantees with financial discipline and capacity building support. As Founding Chairman and CEO of the Roy and Patricia Disney Foundation, Obagi created the brand new progressive family foundation in Los Angeles focused on social, economic and environmental justice. She developed by Disney philanthropic strategy and investment management of $12.5M in annual grants.

“We are fortunate to have the resources available in our family foundation to pursue issues of paramount national importance to the well-being of society today,” said Bob Winston, trustee and chair of the research committee of the Winston Family Foundation. “Sylia will be instrumental in guiding our organization as we evaluate additional investment opportunities and establish our reputation as a leading, mid-sized family foundation.”

One of the Winston Family Foundation’s main areas of interest is examining the long-term effects of technology and device use on the social and emotional development of adolescents. In March 2022building on a three-year precedent $3 million urban planning grant to University of North Carolina-Chapel Hillthe foundation granted A C an additional amount of $10M to launch the Winston National Center on Technology Use, Brain and Psychological Development, a premier national research facility. The gift also created the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience’s first endowed chair, the Winston Family Distinguished Professorship.

“Sylia is a rare leader who knows how to build organizations and convert philanthropic ambition into positive action,” said Jim Winston, Jr., Ph.D., trustee of the Winston Family Foundation. “As founding Executive Director, she will play a critical role in advancing our core initiatives. His extensive experience leading family foundations, managing charitable investments, and his commitment to advancing social purpose organizations are key to helping us achieve results. »

Obagi brings over twenty years of experience working with philanthropic organizations to create a more inclusive society. Prior to disney, she was chief operating officer at the Annenberg Foundation for eight years. Under his leadership, she launched LA n Sync, a cross-collaboration initiative that brought more $300 million in new federal, state and philanthropic investments Los Angeles Region. As COO, Obagi also created, designed, and led Annenberg Alchemy, which continues to be one of the nation’s largest nonprofit capacity-building programs, and has trained more than 2,000 CEOs and presidents of non-profit board of directors. As founder and chief strategist of the Generative Group, she has worked closely with several wealthy families to design, build and scale their philanthropy with a focus on impact and family engagement.

A California native, Obagi holds an MBA from the Anderson School in UCLA in marketing and strategy and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting, magna cum laudeof California State University, Northridge. She is an accredited governance and change management coach with BoardSource, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and Robert Gass’ Social transformation project. She is a sought-after speaker and an active volunteer for a variety of organizations.

About the Winston Family Foundation

The Winston Family Foundation was established in 1986 by the late James H. Winstonlongtime businessman and philanthropist Jacksonville, Florida. Winston is credited with coining the term first ribto identify Jacksonville and its surrounding metropolitan area. Under the founder’s leadership, the Foundation has focused its efforts on a variety of civic, artistic, cultural and youth development initiatives in the region. The organization was fully funded in 2018, and under its new leadership, the Winston Family Foundation now seeks to address health and wellness issues of national importance; scientific research focused on child and adolescent brain development; the environment; and community and economic development.

Isabelle Perales
Winston Family Foundation
[email protected]

SOURCE Winston Family Foundation


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