It is with great joy and anticipation that we announce the hire of Shelly Johnston as Congo Initiative USA’s Development Director! This is a new position that has been created to expand CI-USA’s capacity in the ongoing cultivation and stewardship of partnerships with institutional and individual supporters. Shelly will be responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of CI-USA’s development strategy. As the first person to occupy this new role, Shelly will also have the opportunity to help the organization innovate in fresh ways that further the mission of Congo Initiative. CI-USA Executive Director Cullen Rodgers-Gates expresses his enthusiasm in the following way:
I am so excited to welcome Shelly to the CI-USA family! She offers us the confidence and capabilities of a seasoned development professional, with an attitude of humility and the posture of a life-long learner. Our search committee was so impressed with this combination of skills, values, and characteristics that make Shelly such a remarkable person and an ideal fit with our organizational culture. This position represents one of the most critical steps forward in the 15-year history of our organization, and I believe it will yield much fruit in the years to come. Shelly will help us engage our supporters and partners more deeply and more consistently as we facilitate their engagement with the work in Congo.”
Shelly comes to CI-USA with 13 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as both an Executive Director and a Development Director, bringing an impressive track record in fundraising and development. She most recently served as the Development Director for the Grandfather Stewardship Foundation in Linville, North Carolina, where she successfully grew the foundation and expanded its philanthropic footprint. Shelly is fueled by a passion for God and nurturing authentic, long-lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial to donors and the organization’s beneficiaries. Shelly looks forward to journeying with her fellow brothers and sisters in Beni as we work together to build a better future for Congo.
Shelly is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor’s degree from Pfeiffer University and a master’s degree from North Carolina State University. In her free time, she enjoys learning to fly airplanes and volunteering with Flourish Kenya and JAARS. Shelly writes,
As a devoted follower of Jesus Christ with 13 years of professional non-profit experience, my desire is to make a difference in this world by being a part of an organization that is serving others because of the life-changing message of the gospel. I truly appreciate the value and depth of CI’s work to improve the lives of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I am thrilled to play a role.”
We are extremely grateful for the capacity building grant provided by one of CI-USA’s partners that made it possible for us to create this new position.