Changing of the Guard: A Love Letter from ABC’s Outgoing Director of Advancement

Dear friends, supporters, and Cincinnatians,

At ABC, we put our communities first.

The students, the parents, the families from all across Cincinnati, are always the starting point of our conversations. What do they need from us? How can we reach them? How can we make their lives a little easier, a little better, a little bit more fun?

So it’s only natural that I brought those priming questions home with me, only to realize that my family needed me. My toddler needed more time with mom, and my husband needed help as we relocated to Dallas for his advancing career. And though it broke my heart, I knew that the balance of my time needed to shift away from ABC in favor of my family.

I’m still completely smitten with ABC, its mission, its values, its tremendous staff, the 15,000+ students we impact; so I’m not going far. I’ll be staying on at ABC, working a part-time and remote schedule, continuing to support ABC’s fundraising and marketing efforts so that more and more people learn about this tremendous team and all they do for our Cincinnati community.

It is hard to step away from a position you love so dearly, but it’s made far easier when you admire and believe in your replacement. So I smile as I share that I’m incredibly grateful to be leaving this position in capable and qualified hands. Vanessa Macy, formerly ABC’s Manager of Member and Donor Services, will be stepping into the new Director of Advancement position as of September 18, 2023.

Thank you for giving me the honor to serve this community; it is some of my proudest work, and continuing to support you in a quieter, scaled back capacity is a privilege. 

Those who have interacted with Vanessa in her former role know that she is a reliable go-getter that does not let a problem rest until it is solved. What you may not know is that she spent years running the history museum at the Cincinnati Museum Center, that she is still heavily involved in her Covington neighborhood and recreation council, and that she is a fierce friend who has an awe-inspiring capacity to care. I felt lucky to hire her onto our team about a year ago, and I feel even luckier now to be able to hand my duties to someone so incredibly capable and kind.

I’m confident that Vanessa and this advancement team will continue to grow ABC in leaps and bounds, and I’m glad to stay quite involved in a part time fashion. Together, we’ll continue to put you, our communities, first. Reach out and let us know: what do you need from us? How can we reach you? How can we make life a little easier, a little better, and a little bit more fun?

Truly, madly, and deeply yours,

Carmen Lawrence-Bille
(Now) Senior Manager of Grants and Foundations
Activities Beyond the Classroom