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

Dave Edwards began his term as CEO January 2015. He brings almost 15 years of successful leadership with community foundations and expertise in the nonprofit sector, and over 15 years of higher education administration experience in the Greater Boston area. Before coming to ECCF, he has served for eight years as a principal with Sutherland ~ Edwards LCC, Consultants to Philanthropy, a consulting firm that has worked with over 40 community foundations as well as regional and national nonprofits both nationally and internationally. Before that, Edwards was the founding CEO of the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County in San Luis Obispo, CA, where he oversaw all aspects of operations, asset development, marketing and endowment management. During his six-year term there, he worked with the board to grow the Foundation’s total assets from $60,000 to over $23 million. 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. Since 1995, he has worked 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 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 more than 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. Previously with the YMCA of the North Shore for over 20 years, she served as both Director of Product Development and, for the last nine years, as Chief Development Officer. In this role, Beth has 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.

Joan Henkels

Donor Services Officer and Office Manager

Joan joined ECCF on a temporary basis in early 2013 before being hired full time in December as Program Assistant. Prior to her time at ECCF, Joan spent several years working at a small jewelry store on the North Shore. She also spent time in the nonprofit sector when she handled bookkeeping responsibilities for S.A.F.E. Studios in Ipswich prior to its merger with Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center. Before re-entering the workforce in 2005, Joan spent 20 years raising her 3 daughters with her husband Craig in Wenham.


Maria Mahdasian

Finance Manager

Maria joined ECCF in September 2015. She has 25 years of investment experience, primarily in Boston, and retired from Wellington Management as an associate partner. Previously, Maria was with State Street Global Advisors in Boston and Credit Suisse Asset Management in New York. She holds a B.S. in Economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Boston University. She has taught Economics as well as ESL in the Boston area. Maria is married to Dan Teager and they have two young children. She enjoys traveling with her family and stay-cations, especially in New England.

Keri Ann Miserandino

Administrative Assistant

Keri-Ann joined ECCF in September of 2016 as a Part-Time Administrative Assistant. Prior to ECCF Keri-Ann stayed home caring for her two daughters. Before children, she was a Project Manager for a packing design firm in Beverly where she started as an Intern and hired straight out of college. She grew up in Salem, 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. Carol has dedicated her career and leadership to philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Before joining ECCF, Carol was the Program Manager at Associated Grant Makers (AGM) in Boston where she crafted and led  grantmaker education, nonprofit programming and special philanthropic initiatives. Prior to AGM, Carol worked in development and as gallery director for several arts and cultural organizations such as The Commonwealth Museum, Panopticon Gallery, The Field Gallery, The Harvard University Art Museums, and the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association. Carol is active and passionate about community and 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 black lab Amos.

Rebecca Turner

IFT Consultant

Rebecca joined ECCF in September 2015. She has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Before joining the ECCF team, 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.