Jefferson Regional Foundation CEO Retires

CONTACT: Mary Phan-Gruber (cell) 412.496.6838

Pittsburgh, PA (May 9, 2022)

Jefferson Regional Foundation announced the impending retirement of its CEO, Mary Phan-Gruber, who joined it as its first executive director in 2013. A social worker whose career has been embedded in the nonprofit sector, this is the second of two Pittsburgh area health grantmaking foundations which Phan-Gruber has led from their creation. Before taking the top position at Jefferson Regional Foundation, she helped develop and then directed the Birmingham Foundation for 10 years.

Phan-Gruber will assist the Foundation until a successor is named this summer. The Foundation Board has engaged Nonprofit Talent to commence a regional and national recruitment effort for a new executive.

During Phan-Gruber’s tenure the Jefferson Regional Foundation has awarded $18 million in grants to 125 nonprofits in its legacy South Hills and lower Mon Valley service area, comprising 215,000 people and over two dozen municipalities The Foundation’s priorities address the social determinants of health and include health and wellness; diversity, equity and inclusion; workforce and economic opportunity; civic engagement and policy work; early childhood and youth development; and capacity building.
Phan-Gruber helped lead major investments in the Front Door Initiative at Jefferson Hospital, an innovative social emergency medicine program, re-energizing community development efforts in the City of Clairton and focused support to help the growing immigrant and refugee community in the South Hills thrive.

Phan-Gruber’s accomplishments include the Jefferson Community Collaborative, an active network of 110 community-based organizations that meet quarterly and work in action teams year-round. The Foundation hosts an annual conference, the Jefferson Forum, and has published a Jefferson Community Directory. The Foundation compiles and shares local data through community snapshots and with a current initiative called Surprise in the Suburbs. The Foundation’s Around the Table South initiative gathered 1,000 residents and staff in small conversation groups over a meal during one week in 2018 and identified areas of community focus to guide its future work.

The Foundation with the Jefferson Community Collaborative initiated a community wide Mental Health First Aid Training and a Jefferson Counts campaign during the 2020 Census that engaged 70 nonprofits, local schools, and businesses. The latter is serving as a model for a current voter engagement effort, Jefferson Votes.

Phan-Gruber just completed the Foundation’s move into larger office space in Whitehall Towers.
Phan-Gruber previously worked as a Deputy Director in the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Area Agency on Aging and as Assistant Director at the Center for Victims; she has also been a mental health therapist, community organizer and nonprofit consultant. Phan-Gruber has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, served as a Department of Justice peer reviewer, and has presented at local and national conferences. She is a past board president of the Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and has served on several other boards.

Phan-Gruber received her Master of Social Work degree from Western Michigan University and her Bachelor of Arts degree Summa Cum Laude in psychology and communications from Muskingum College in Ohio.