Victoria Marie “Vicki” Fernandez (she/her) has been hired as the Director of Thriving Communities at the Grunin Foundation. In this newly created role, Vicki will codesign and implement programming focused on helping members of our nonprofit community and strategic partners achieve their capacity building goals. Additionally, Vicki will help the Foundation advance its Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging strategic framework.


Vicki comes to the Grunin Foundation from the Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL), a research center in Rutgers Business School where she most recently served as Acting Executive Director. In her evolving role at IEL, Vicki helped hundreds of nonprofit leaders at all stages of growth find support and develop their abilities. She also Co-Founded the Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective which seeks to support the whole Black, Indigenous, and Person of Color (BIPOC) leader with personal and professional development, community support and access to intentionally curated resources.


Jeremy Grunin, President of the Grunin Foundation said, “Vicki brings extensive nonprofit experience and leadership to the Foundation. We are excited to have her as an integral part of the team, working closely with nonprofit and community partners as a resource, connector, and convener. Vicki will also play a key role in helping the Foundation and its partners advance equity at the Central Jersey Shore and beyond.”


Vicki has been working in the nonprofit sector for 20 years in a variety of roles including leadership training and support, program development and leadership, community engagement, and communications. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at Ramapo College of NJ in Communications and Fine Arts: Visual Arts. She completed her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in non-profit administration at Rutgers - Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA). Vicki has also served on multiple nonprofit boards and community organizations.


“I am excited to be joining a foundation that is on the forefront of philanthropic evolution and working to be more intentional partners with the nonprofit sector,” said Vicki, “the Grunin Foundation is truly ‘walking the talk.’ I hope to be an asset to the greater Central Jersey Shore community!”