Meet the New Members of the Philanthropy Southeast Board of Trustees

At this year’s Annual Meeting, Philanthropy Southeast members elected four leaders to a first term on our Board of Trustees. They shared their thoughts with us on joining the Board and what they’d like to focus on in the year ahead.


Kristin Walker Collins
Incoming CEO, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky

What made you say “yes” when asked to serve on the Philanthropy Southeast Board?

I have been a part of Philanthropy Southeast since 2016, and I have admired its increased focus and dedication to strengthening Southern philanthropy and building a more equitable and prosperous South. I believe philanthropy has the power to make a real difference in the lives of people in the South, and I am passionate about supporting organizations that are working to create a more just and inclusive society. I continue to be impressed by the organization’s commitment to providing quality programming and peer-to-peer learning to its members, which is essential for the growth and development of philanthropy in the South. Finally, I was excited to have the opportunity to work with Philanthropy Southeast’s talented and dedicated staff and Board members. I believe that together, we can make a real difference in the South.

Do you have any goals for your first year of Board service?

My primary goals for the first year of Board service include familiarizing myself with Philanthropy Southeast’s mission, vision, and values; actively participate in meetings, discussions, and events to gain a comprehensive understanding of our work and priorities; establish strong relationships with Board members and staff; contribute to strategic plan implementation and decision-making; and expand and engage with Philanthropy Southeast’s membership.

Your foundation has been deeply involved in disaster recovery work in Eastern Kentucky and is heavily focused on rural communities. How does this inform the perspective you’ll bring to the Board?

I currently serve as COO and am the incoming CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, a nationally accredited community foundation that doesn’t necessarily act like a traditional community foundation. We live and work in Appalachian Kentucky, one of the most persistently poor regions in the United States but have proved that by working in and with community, and truly investing in people and place, that we can make a real difference.

Over the last three years, we have found ourselves doing more and more disaster recovery and resiliency work in our region and from this experience I bring a unique perspective of philanthropy in the South. Our work is rooted in community and the belief that when you work with and listen to community that change happens. We understand that money is power, so we give the money and decision-making power to our communities. They choose where to make investments in areas they care about and we provide them with the tools and resources to make those decisions. I also understand the issues plaguing rural communities because I live in a rural community – less than 5,000 people – and a lot of the work we do is making sure that rural is represented in rooms where decisions are being made. Understanding that lack of food, transportation, broadband, phone service, and basic infrastructure are issues that people deal with every day and how philanthropy can use its power to alleviate those issues.


Donovan Lee-Sin
Senior Director of Community Impact, Augusta National Golf Club

What made you say “yes” when asked to serve on the Philanthropy Southeast Board?

For 54 years, Philanthropy Southeast has convened and supported philanthropy's positive influence on the Southeast and the nation. It's an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve on the Board. Many years ago, when I attended my first Annual Meeting, our members, staff, leadership team, and Board welcomed me with open arms. This is an energizing opportunity to fully reinforce our values – integrity, excellence, equity, respect, and courage.

Do you have any goals for your first year of Board service?

Each opportunity to promote and affect change is precious. I am determined to support the innovative thought leadership of the Philanthropy Southeast staff and the membership to realize our strategic plan’s true potential.

Most people know Augusta National Golf Club as the home of The Masters. Can you tell us more about its philanthropy and what you’ve been working on?

Augusta National Golf Club is committed to activating longstanding positive impact in the communities where we live and serve. To that point, we continue to seek transformational opportunities that support the vitality of Augusta's neighborhoods and their residents.

What else should our members know about you?

I care deeply about our collective work and hope to continue learning from all who engage Philanthropy Southeast.


Kellan Moore
President & CEO, John Rex Endowment

What made you say “yes” when asked to serve on the Philanthropy Southeast Board?

I felt called to be part of this movement – and that’s what this is! The “Leading with Courage” report was a bold message to Southern Philanthropy and made clear the Philanthropy Southeast leadership and membership were serious about making real, lasting change. It spoke truth. Their actions since the report tell me they mean it! I was inspired and challenged to learn, grow, and contribute.

Do you have any goals for your first year of Board service?

Foster new relationships. Listen. Learn. Lead. Be an active, contributing Trustee. Chair the 2024 CEO Forum and take what I’m learning back home to North Carolina and the John Rex Endowment.

Your foundation has been on an equity journey – and you were in the inaugural class of our Accelerating Equity Learning Collaborative. How will those experiences inform your work on the Board?

Our equity journey started in earnest in 2019. The lived experiences to date, lessons learned and exciting progress makes me know transformation is possible at the organizational level and throughout the sector. Racial equity and justice is important and hard work and everyone is on their personal journey. We won’t always get it right, but you need to ask for grace and forgiveness. Then, get back to it. We also need to understand that BIPOC leaders at every level carry a disproportionate burden in the equity work.

What else should our members know about you?

I value kindness. Everyone is struggling with something we cannot see. Be kind.

I love people. But, some days, I just want to talk to my dog.


Dr. Rhea Williams-Bishop
Director of Mississippi and New Orleans Programming, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

What made you say “yes” when asked to serve on the Philanthropy Southeast Board?

I said yes for a number of reasons. Since joining the field, I have been impressed with not only the quality of information and support Philanthropy Southeast provides to members, but also the direction of the organization and the bold courageous leadership provided to the Southeast by the President & CEO and the Board. The focus on equity is a very important component of my decision and, last but not least, so is the growing acknowledgement of the fact that if we want to truly impact and build on equity gains that have been made across the country, we must be focused in our approach and target efforts in our region – the South is the place to do it.

Do you have any goals for your first year of Board service?

Learn more about the organization, get to know more colleagues doing this important work in our sector across the Southeast, and make connections to amplify our voice and our work in the field.

You work for a national funder but are on the ground in Mississippi and New Orleans. Can you tell us about the work you’re leading in the region?

Mississippi and New Orleans are priority places for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s investments, and like all our work we are focused on Thriving Children, Working Families and Equitable Communities here in the South. While our north star is ensuring all children thrive, we recognize the inextricable connection to supporting families and communities – families must have access to good jobs with a living wage and their communities must be equitable places of opportunity – and we do this through a racial equity lens.

With that in mind, our investments regionally support access to quality early learning, which includes helping to make connections between service partners to create a stronger pre-K and early learning system. Our child care teachers must be paid a wage commensurate with the level of education and skill needed to nurture our future workforce and leaders. Currently you can earn more flipping hamburgers at a fast food restaurant than teaching our children. So when classrooms close because of staff shortages, that impacts our workforce’s ability to work.

In Mississippi, we also invest in classroom supports to ensure children can pass the third-grade reading gate. We’re especially proud of our investments in East Biloxi, where students in a school with the lowest income bracket and highest English Language Learners are outperforming more affluent peer schools. Not only are students outperforming academically, but our investments have had a positive impact on chronic absenteeism and discipline.

Maternal death and infant mortality are the highest in the South, especially in rural communities where families have to travel a considerable distance for care. The closing of hospitals in Mississippi has exacerbated this need. Across the region, we support organizations that are closing that gap to care through policy advocacy and offering family supports, such as doulas and community health workers.

We also know that families need economic security, so we support access to good jobs with sustainable wages and work supports. This includes investing in programs that assist non-traditional students so they have on-ramps into good paying jobs and investing in programs that train and certify students in emerging careers. We have found that wrap-around supports, such as child care, transportation and counseling, are essential to ensuring students can participate in those training programs and be successful in the workforce. Additionally, we work to support small business development, including through access to capital. In New Orleans, as an example, the number of businesses of color have increased over the years; however, they have been stuck as receiving collectively just 2 percent of the receipts. While there are more businesses of color, they need access to capital to compete for contracts that enable them to scale and grow.

It’s important to note that there is a lack of investment generally in the South. Yet, the need is the greatest. Changing systems to make them more equitable and supportive of all people, especially those who need them the most, will take years. We need more peer funders to join our generational commitment to supporting children and families in Mississippi and New Orleans.

What else should our members know about you?

As a fifth-generation Mississippian and Southerner, I want to see the next generation do better – be better than all of us. I approach this work wanting children in my state, and the region, to have the exact same things I want for my own children.


Connecting with Philanthropy Southeast:
The Philanthropy Southeast staff works remotely – the best way to reach us is by email or by calling (404) 524-0911.

Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)

On Fridays, staff work on a flexible schedule. Members can reach our team via email or by calling (404) 524-0911 between 9:00am and 6:00pm (ET). We will respond to all urgent and time-sensitive matters promptly.

Mailing address:
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Mission: Philanthropy Southeast strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.