Deering Estate Foundation names Nina Zanella as executive director

Deering Estate Foundation names Nina Zanella as executive director
Nina Zanella

The Deering Estate Foundation recently announced that Nina Zanella has been selected as its executive director.

Reporting to the board of directors, Zanella will be responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the foundation as well as fundraising, marketing and community outreach.

“We are delighted to announce the promotion of Nina Zanella to the position of executive director of the Deering Estate Foundation,” said Becky Roper Matkov, president of the Deering Estate Foundation Board. “Nina has done a remarkable job since last February serving as the Foundation’s director of Operations and Development. Her skills in management and fundraising and her warmth and interpersonal skills have been invaluable assets in helping steer our nonprofit organization through these stress-filled months caused by the COVID pandemic.

“The board of the Deering Estate Foundation looks forward to working with Nina to take our nonprofit organization to ever greater heights as we continue to provide financial support and community awareness for the Deering Estate and to promote Charles Deering’s legacy of Community, Culture and Conservation,” Matkov said.

Zanella comes to the Deering Estate Foundation with more than 25 years in nonprofit management and a strong fund development and communications background. She attended the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island School of Design. She began her journey into the nonprofit world in her home state of Rhode Island and has not looked back — continuing her personal and professional endeavor to “make a difference.”

Zanella enjoys meeting and interacting with a variety of people on both a personal and professional level, and she believes that the key to successful leadership lies in being a good listener while also creating, stewarding, and fostering relationships. Her successes include initiating and bringing capital campaigns and projects to completion, growing organizational endowments, and commencing successful planned giving programs.

Throughout the years, Zanella’s work has impacted several nonprofit organizations, including a local SPCA, a home-visit child health organization for marginalized populations, an AIDS advocacy organization, a hospice organization, and a private, experiential-learning school, along with other human services agencies.

Zanella often can be found gardening, walking, reading or singing rock and roll quite loudly in her car. No matter what she does or where she is, she is a strong proponent of women’s rights, inclusivity and diversity, and advocating for the LGBTQ community.

She recently relocated from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, her mother, and a few very special cats. She has been with the Deering Estate Foundation since August 2019.

“Nina is joining the Deering Estate Foundation at an exciting time as we begin our planning for the 2022 Stone House Centennial and are poised to submit our application as a National Historic Landmark,” said Jennifer Tisthammer, director of the Deering Estate. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the board of directors and Nina on these initiatives, among others as we jointly elevate the status of the historic house museums and the cultural and ecological field station, while anchoring Deering Estate as a major cultural attraction in the state and nationally. The leadership continuity provided by this transition will only strengthen our already productive and wonderful partnership with the foundation.”

The Deering Estate is located at 16701 SW 72 Ave. in Palmetto Bay.

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