Noted philanthropy executive leader and strategist Sophia S. Ahmad will join WesleyLife next month as Vice President of Philanthropy, heading up the soon-to-be-launched WesleyLife Foundation.
"Creating a foundation has long been a priority of WesleyLife leadership; with its inception, our goal will be to address challenges regarding the aging process and perceptions related to it, including nutritional insecurity, isolation, affordable housing, workforce shortages, and other issues,” Rob Kretzinger, president and CEO of WesleyLife, said.
"Given our current roster, scope of initiatives, and commemoration of our 75th-anniversary milestone, this is a perfect time to bring a proven philanthropic leader on board.”
Ahmad comes to WesleyLife from MercyOne Des Moines Foundation, where she was instrumental in a $16 million capital campaign for the MercyOne Richard Deming Cancer Center. She also has led stewardship and external relations for other high-profile MercyOne campaigns, including securing funding for various programs at MercyOne Children’s Hospital and House of Mercy as well as the organization’s neuroscience and behavioral health groups.
Prior to her time with MercyOne, Ahmad held similar roles with the Greater Des Moines Partnership and the Des Moines Symphony & Academy and has received national awards and accolades for her work. She was designated a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy as well as the Des Moines Business Record and a Top Woman in Public Relations by PR News; she also is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.
"As we head into a time of unprecedented growth and development for our organization, Sophia is highly qualified to help guide us into this new philanthropic chapter,” Kretzinger said.
"The inauguration of the foundation will create countless opportunities to connect potential donors with opportunities to support components of our mission that resonate deeply with them, and Sophia’s skills, experience, and connections throughout the Greater Des Moines community are a natural fit for all we hope to accomplish on behalf of those we serve.”
Ahmad joins WesleyLife in early July. She will be based at the organization’s corporate headquarters in Johnston.