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Chris Mason leaving Birmingham Foundation


Chris Mason, executive assistant for the Birmingham Foundation, is leaving the foundation at the end of the week to pursue other opportunities.

Ms. Mason, who began with the foundation in February 2007 as a temp, has been a permanent employee since June of that year. She began as an administrative assistant to then executive director Mary Phan-Gruber.

Ms. Phan-Gruber left shortly after and Ms. Mason “was on my own” while the foundation did a nationwide search for a new director. The foundation’s Board of Directors eventually chose Mark Bibro to become the new executive director.

Some of the things Ms. Mason is proud of during her tenure include getting the foundation’s offices moved and set up in its current location, the second floor of the Brashear Center in South Side and bringing the foundation’s grant making online.

“We were one of the first foundations in Pittsburgh to bring grant making online,” she said. “I think it was easier because we’re one of the smaller foundations.”

Other projects she’s proud of include the Family Day event in 2012 where they gathered all the foundation’s grantees in McKinley Park to celebrate; the annual Summer Fun in the South guide she coordinated each year along with the annual reports highlighting the work of grantees.

Another project Ms. Mason spoke fondly of was working to supply reusable shopping bags and water bottles to local food pantries and youth summer camps.

When she leaves at the end of the week, she plans to take about a month off before she looks for a part-time position in non-profit programing. A part-time job will leave her more time to pursue work as a freelance videographer, something she has wanted to do.

She would like to work with non-profit organizations in her career as a videographer and plans to set up a website during her time off.

Ms. Mason plans to continue the volunteer work she does closer to home in the East End and with several organizations that have an international connection.

Friends in the neighborhoods can contact her at the Birmingham Foundation until her last day, Sept. 27.


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