Leading Change. Transforming Communities.



The ECCF staff is a friendly, dynamic and comprehensive team devoted to supporting Essex County's nonprofit sector through grants, guidance, education and collaborations.

Dave Edwards

President and CEO

Edwards joined ECCF in January, 2015. He began his career in philanthropy as the founding CEO of the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County, California, where he worked with the board to grow the Foundation’s total assets from $60,000 to over $23 million in just six years. Edwards then served for eight years as a principal with Sutherland - Edwards LCC, Consultants to Philanthropy, before joining ECCF. Edwards has deep ties to Essex County. His mother was born in Marblehead and his ancestral grandfather, Francis Norwood, came to Gloucester in the late 1600’s. He holds a certificate in strategic management for nonprofits from Harvard Business school and a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Vermont.

Rick Crowley

Chief Financial Officer

Rick joined ECCF in 2015. He has over 35 years of financial and management experience, working as a contract CFO with more than 45 for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Rick earned a BA in Economics from Providence College and received training in accounting at Cornell Business School. He earned his CPA while at Price Waterhouse and is a certified Cultural Transformation Consultant. Rick and his wife, Colette, live in Andover and are the parents of four young adults.


Michelle Xiarhos Curran

Communications Manager

Michelle joined ECCF in March, 2015. She has 15 years of experience as a copywriter, reporter, editor and freelance writer, creating engaging stories for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites throughout Eastern, MA. She also has several years of experience providing administrative, marketing and PR services to small businesses. Michelle was raised in Rhode Island, graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and lives in Newburyport with her husband, Rich, and their four young children.

Beth Francis

Vice President for Development

Beth joined ECCF in September, 2016. With over 25 years of development and communications experience, Beth joins ECCF at a critical juncture in its history, as the Foundation works to significantly expand its donor base and increase its impact in Essex County. Before joining ECCF, she served as Director of Product Development and, for the last nine years, Chief Development Officer at the North Shore YMCA. In this role, Beth raised vital funds for annual, capital, and endowment support, while building the brand of the organization. She is a graduate of Marquette University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Communications. Beth lives in Beverly with her husband, Rich and her two teenage children.

Jean Gennaco

Finance Assistant

Jean joined the ECCF staff working part time in October of 2016. Jean grew up In Ipswich and has been a lifelong resident of Essex County. She got her degree in Business administration from Fisher College and worked as an Office Manager in the Investment Industry before starting a family. After not working in the business field for many years while raising her children, she is very excited about reentering the workforce. Jean has two grown children and lives in Topsfield with her husband Joe.

Joan Henkels

Donor Services Officer and Office Manager

Joan joined ECCF in 2013. Prior to her time at ECCF, Joan spent several years working at a small jewelry store on the North Shore, and in the nonprofit sector handling bookkeeping for S.A.F.E. Studios in Ipswich. Before re-entering the workforce in 2005, Joan spent 20 years raising her three daughters with her husband Craig in Wenham.


Keri Ann Miserandino

Administrative Assistant

Keri-Ann joined ECCF in September, 2016. She started her career as a Project Manager for a packing design firm in Beverly, before staying home to care for her two daughters and later joining ECCF. She grew up in Salem and graduated from Salem State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Keri-Ann currently lives in Hamilton with her husband, Marty and two young daughters.

Carol Lavoie Schuster

Vice President for Grants and Services

Carol joined ECCF in March, 2011. She has dedicated her career to philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Before joining ECCF, Carol was the Program Manager at Associated Grant Makers (AGM) in Boston where she led grant writing education, nonprofit programming, and philanthropic initiatives. Prior to AGM, Carol worked as a gallery director for several local arts and cultural organizations. She is passionate about community volunteerism, serving as a Trustee for the House of Seven Gables, Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, and Parents United of Salem. Carol was raised in Beverly, graduated from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and lives in Salem with her husband Paul, two young children, and their beloved black lab Amos.

Rebecca Turner

IFT Consultant

Rebecca joined ECCF in September, 2015, with 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Before joining, Rebecca served as the operations director at a Cambridge, MA scientific nonprofit where she managed a team responsible for grant management, conferences, member services, office administration, web services, development and education/public outreach. Rebecca grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia. She currently resides in Malden.


Special thanks to Blake Fitch Photography and Mary Ann Alwan, LLC. for their generosity and talent with these photos.