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Leadership Transition at Lehigh Valley Community Foundation Announced for 2021

Erika Riddle Petrozelli to succeed Bernie Story as Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2021

Allentown, Pa., December 2, 2020—Bernie Story, President & CEO of Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, will step down on December 31, 2020.  Erika Riddle Petrozelli, CPA, Vice President of Philanthropy at the Foundation, will succeed Story as Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2021.  Story will continue to serve as President during a transitional period ending on June 30, 2021, after which he will serve as a Philanthropic Advisor at the Foundation.

Story began his tenure as President and CEO with the Community Foundation in 2012. Under his leadership, the Foundation’s total assets grew by nearly 90 percent, from $33 million to over $60 million.  In addition, the number of charitable funds held at the Foundation grew by over 60 percent, from 160 funds to over 260 funds.  Most notable, the annual grants made by the Foundation grew from just over $1 million to nearly $7 million, making the Community Foundation one of the largest funders of nonprofit organizations in the Lehigh Valley.

Petrozelli joined the Foundation in 2014 as Director of Donor Services with a focus on maintaining and expanding philanthropic relationships of the Foundation.  For the past year, she has served as Vice President of Philanthropy, contributing to strategic decisions and community leadership activities, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  A Certified Public Accountant, she provides professional knowledge and advice about charitable giving to a wide range of Lehigh Valley residents, from individuals and families to their trusted advisors and local businesses. 

“Erika is a tremendous asset to the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, and we are fortunate that she has agreed to succeed me as CEO. She has all of the necessary skills to make the Foundation even more impactful over the next decade and beyond,” said Bernie Story. “She is a true professional with proven potential to become a community leader in a very short time.”

“It has been an absolute joy working to support the Lehigh Valley’s wonderful nonprofit organizations as the CEO of the Valley’s Community Foundation,” said Story.  “I have been so fortunate to have been surrounded by an outstanding cast of colleagues on our board of governors and our staff.” 

“The Board of Governors of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation is indebted to Bernie Story for his leadership, enthusiasm, and dedication,” said Tom Campbell, Chair of the Board of Governors. “During his tenure, the Community Foundation has achieved unprecedented growth in both funding for the entire Lehigh Valley and the expansion of the variety of organizations and causes supported.  We are equally excited to have a seamless transition to our next chapter. Erika Riddle Petrozelli is uniquely qualified and fully prepared to continue the foundation’s upward trajectory,” Campbell continued.

Story joined the Foundation after 32 years in higher education administration.  He will continue to support the work of the Foundation as Philanthropic Advisor.  In that role, Story will maintain important community relationships for the Foundation. “I have loved every minute of my work at the Foundation and I know it is well-positioned to continue to grow in support of the Lehigh Valley community.  I look forward to my continued involvement in support of the Community Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life for all those in the Lehigh Valley.”

About Erika Riddle Petrozelli

Prior to joining Lehigh Valley Community Foundation in 2014, Erika Riddle Petrozelli, was Vice President of Investor Relations at Magnitude Capital, LLC, based in New York City.  In this role, she was responsible for client service and content management for the firm's global investor base.  Prior to joining Magnitude, she was a Senior Audit Associate in the Banking and Capital Markets sector at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

In recent years, Ms. Petrozelli has had several thought pieces and op-eds published in local publications including Network Magazine, Lehigh Valley Business, and The Express-Times. She has contributed to news stories in The Morning Call, and has appeared on television broadcasts including WLVT PBS39, WFMZ 69 News, WBPH TV-60, and on radio programs at WDIY 88.1 FM.

In 2019, Ms. Petrozelli completed the Rider-Pool Foundation Collective Impact Fellowship, an intensive, nine-month Fellowship program that trains and equips nonprofit leaders to address complex community needs and develop stronger cross-sector partnerships.  In that same year, she was named a Lehigh Valley Business “Forty Under 40” honoree.

Petrozelli is a current member of the Board of Managers of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council of the Lehigh Valley, for which she serves on the Executive Committee.  In addition, she is a member of the Junior League, previously in New York City and currently in the Lehigh Valley. 

A Bethlehem native, she graduated from Lehigh University with B.S. degree with a major in Accounting.  She was awarded the President’s Scholarship and went on to earn a M.S. degree in Accounting and Information Analysis. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

About Lehigh Valley Community Foundation

For more than five decades, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) has helped donors with their charitable contributions with a simple, powerful, and highly personalized approach. LVCF is a philanthropic hub for the Lehigh Valley—who knows and navigates the landscape of the Lehigh Valley’s community needs to connect people who care to causes that matter.

With a diverse and respected Board of Governors, the Community Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization located in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The Foundation is cause-neutral and supports all areas of community needs in the Lehigh Valley and beyond in compliance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. To learn more, visit: www.lehighvalleyfoundation.org.

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