Fifth Third Launches Empowering Community Leaders Nonprofit Capacity Building Program

Curriculum will offer resources and skills development to assist community leaders

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fifth Third today announced the launch of its Empowering Community Leaders career development growth program. The 18 month-long program will provide resources and training to nonprofit leaders across Fifth Third’s 11-state footprint. The program is jointly funded by the Fifth Third Foundation and Fifth Third Bank.

“At Fifth Third, we know empowered and equipped nonprofit organizations are not only more successful, but they are also exponentially more effective in transforming their communities and making an impact,” said Stefanie Steward-Young, Fifth Third’s chief social responsibility officer. “That’s why we created Empowering Community Leaders. Through comprehensive capacity building programs, tailored to nonprofit organizations, community leaders will gain the resources and skills necessary to grow their knowledge and their impact.”

Empowering Community Leaders is designed to offer critical lessons in leadership development, technical skills and specialized certifications that will provide participants with the access to resources and knowledge that is necessary to enhance the impact that their organizations are able to have in the communities they serve.

“The Fifth Third Foundation is dedicated to strengthening our communities,” said Heidi B. Jark, managing director of The Foundation Office. “The funding in these grants equips community and nonprofit leaders and their leadership creates positive and long-lasting impacts that ultimately provide opportunities for neighborhoods, cities and entire regions.”

Fifth Third is partnering with several organizations to provide the following training and expertise to the program’s participants, free of charge to those who were selected to enroll:

  • Harvard Kennedy School: executive certificate in nonprofit leadership
  • Case Western Reserve University: emotional intelligence course and coaching
  • NeighborWorks America: eight certifications on varying aspects of homeownership
  • National Development Council: rental housing development finance certification
  • Opportunity Finance Network: small business and economic development training

“We are pleased to part of the Empowering Community Leaders (ECL) program,” said Melvin Smith, Ph.D., professor and faculty director of executive education, Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. “The content participants will receive on leading with emotional intelligence, as well as the 360-degree feedback and executive coaching will hopefully be a valuable component of the learning experience. I look forward to working with Fifth Third on this significant development opportunity for community leaders.”

One of the 25 selected leaders who will participate in the program is CEO, National Executive Director and Founder of Family Mankind A.W. Burgess. “I am beyond excited and humbled to be one of very few individuals and organizations chosen to participate in (this) exceptional program,” said Burgess. “These are rare opportunities for any business or community leader to have and I am humbled yet excited about the wealth of information that will increase my business capacity, leadership skill sets and intellectual properties that will be beneficial to all the stakeholders we serve throughout the United States and beyond our borders.”

In addition to Burgess, the following leaders have been selected for the program:

Accounting Aid Society


Jeremy Lewis


Detroit, Michigan

Austin Coming Together (ACT)


Darnell Shields

Chicago, Illinois

Black Leaders Detroit


Dwan Dandridge

Detroit, Michigan

Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp.


Michael Randall


Detroit, Michigan

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP)


Tania Menesse

Cleveland, Ohio

Collective Empowerment Group

Paul Booth Jr.


Cincinnati, Ohio

Family Mankind


A.W. Burgess

Charlotte, North Carolina

Family Scholar House

Kate Brackett


Louisville, Kentucky

Grace Place for Children & Families


Lara Fisher

Naples, Florida

Gray Matter Experience

Britney Robbins


Chicago, Illinois

Greater Cincinnati MicroEnterprise Initiative

Willie Hill


Cincinnati, Ohio

Historic West End Partners


J’Tanya Adams


Charlotte, North Carolina

Homebase Cincinnati


Dejah Rawlings

Cincinnati, Ohio

Martindale Brightwood Community Development Corporation (MBCDC)

Amina Pierson


Indianapolis, Indiana

Michigan Women Forward


Alexis Dishman

Dayton, Ohio

Northwest Side Housing Center

James Rudyk Jr.


Detroit, Michigan

OH Taste

Charlynda Scales


Chicago, Illinois

Osborn Business Association & Osborn Neighborhood

Paul Garrison


Dayton, Ohio

Prospera USA


Jose Alvarez


Charlotte, North Carolina and

Orlando, Florida

Quad Communities Development Corporation, NFP

Rhonda McFarland


Chicago, Illinois

Transformation Life Center


Demetrius Short


Hermitage, Tennessee

Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio


Nikol Miller

Dayton, Ohio

Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County


Annissa Franklin

Lexington, Kentucky

U SNAP BAC Nonprofit Housing Corp


Linda Smith

Detroit, Michigan

Claretian Associates


Angela Hurlock

Chicago, Illinois

To learn more about Empowering Community Leaders, please visit

About the Fifth Third Foundation

Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first charitable foundations created by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthy causes in the areas of health and human services, education, community development and the arts in the states where Fifth Third Bank operates.

About Fifth Third

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of June 30, 2022, the Company had $207 billion in assets and operates 1,080 full-service Banking Centers, and 2,153 Fifth Third branded ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 56,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2022, had $512 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $54 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.”


Adrienne Gutbier (Media Relations) | 513-534-8038

error: Content is protected !!