Watertown Community Foundation Introduces New Executive Director

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The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Community Foundation:

The Board of Directors of Watertown Community Foundation (WCF) proudly announces the appointment of Athelia A. Tilson (Tia) as its next Executive Director. Tia is a seasoned, strategic leader, community activist, and fundraiser with over 20 years’ experience identifying and developing partnerships to strengthen non-profits, and deep work in the city’s community organizations.  

Tia has managed significant development efforts for major health, scientific, educational, and human services organizations, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Ariadne Labs, Pathfinder International, MIT, The Home for Little Wanderers, and the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. “Tia brings extraordinary knowledge and understanding of how life sciences and research entities can collaborate with community partners to create opportunities for both to thrive, and we are thrilled she will be our next Executive Director,” said David Siegel, former WCF Co-President who chaired the Search Committee. 

Tia will formally join WCF in her new role on Jan. 2, 2023. In the interim, she will begin onboarding, participating in key organizational meetings, and meeting other community leaders in advance of her full-time start date.

“I’m excited by the chance to bring my professional experience together with my long-time community involvement, in service to the Watertown Community Foundation and its important work for my hometown,” Tia explained. “I care deeply about the strength, vitality, and livability of Watertown for all who look to our neighborhoods for their homes and livelihoods,” said the Hovey Street resident.  

Tia has long focused on building strong and healthy communities. She is a steering committee member and facilitator for Watertown Community Conversations, a local non-profit that develops public dialogue to support community-engaged decision-making. She is also a steering committee member and facilitator for Watertown Forward, a non-partisan civic action group that engages and empowers the community in local government. She has also provided leadership in print/digital communications and fundraising on local political campaigns.

Beyond Watertown, Tia is a volunteer board member for March for Moms, a national maternal health advocacy organization. 

About the WCF

Founded in 2003, The Watertown Community Foundation (WCF) is a 501(c)(3) public foundation with assets of $2.1 million to support a wide variety of non-profits, community programs, and enterprises that enhance the quality of life for those who live in, work in, go to school in, or visit Watertown. The foundation has awarded over $2,400,000 in grants to dozens of programs and organizations.  

WCF Board of Directors 

Lauren Unsworth and David Siegel, Co-Presidents; Albrik Avanessian; Emily Barclay; Jennifer Davis; Eileen Hsu-Balzer; Heather Leary; Mary Ann Mulligan; Antonia O’Hara; Anthony Paolillo; Maria Panaggio-Phillips; Christine Parker; Lora Sabin; Robert Shay; Felicia Sullivan; Elaina Themistos; Donna Tuccinardi; and Kathryn White. 

The search and executive transition process for WCF was guided by Eos Transition Partners. https://eostransitions.com

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