Caroline Merenda

Chief of Staff

Caroline cares deeply about the issues facing our communities and has seen first-hand how community foundations can make a difference. As the Chief of Staff at CFLeads, Caroline oversees and advances the effectiveness and impact of CFLeads and works to build cohesion across the organization.

Caroline has a reputation as a trusted and persistent community builder and collaborator, creating long-lasting partnerships leading to systemic change in a number of areas affecting children and families. In her 10 years at Rochester Area Community Foundation (Rochester, NY), she assembled a taskforce headed by the mayor and school superintendent to create a comprehensive after-school strategy for the City of Rochester; leveraged Community Foundation funding by working with City, County, and State agencies on child care subsidies, youth programming, and school violence; and conducted research and advocacy on the issues of early childhood education, out-of-school time, and childhood obesity.

As part of this work she helped create and staff the Greater Rochester After-School Alliance (GRASA), served on the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) Statewide Steering Committee, and was named an “Afterschool Ambassador” by the Afterschool Alliance, an alliance of public, private, and nonprofit groups committed to raising awareness and expanding resources for after-school programs.