Leadership Council - Women at Work

With the help of Peggy Ogden, former President & CEO of the Community Foundation, we organized and formed our Leadership Council. In addition, we forged consensus on our mission, our values and these four goals:

  • Identify and provide funding for causes that support and empower women and girls
  • Develop and recognize leadership in women and girls
  • Promote the status of women in the community at large
  • Establish in women a sense of identity and responsibility as philanthropists

In 2001 and 2002 we gave out our first small grants, to mentoring and leadership development programs for girls, to scholarships enabling women to attend training programs in political leadership (one of whom has since been elected to public office), to dialogue circles bringing together girls and women from different cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, and to finance an internship in public service law. Since those first grant rounds we have distributed more than $280,000 to programs benefiting women and girls in Central New York. Each year, as the Fund grows, we are able to give more and more.


Patti Callahan, Chair

Patti Callahan has been Director of Advancement at Christian Brothers Academy since 2002. Her goal has been to work with her advancement team to enhance alumni relations, expand communications and PR efforts, and grow the fundraising initiatives at the school – from the famous CBA Corvette raffle to major comprehensive campaign efforts.

Previously, Patti was a volunteer fundraiser for her parish and school, Most Holy Rosary; her alma mater, Wells College; Catholic Charities; and various neighborhood initiatives. Her initial  career was with IBM Syracuse as a systems engineer/data base specialist, a post she held for 6 years before starting a family.

Patti was presented with the Father Ted Hesburgh ’34 Award at Most Holy Rosary in 2000 for her work on a capital campaign and various activities at the church and school. She continues to volunteer in the community, currently serving as co-chair of the House of Providence Dinner for Catholic Charities of Onondaga County. She volunteers on behalf of Wells College, serving on the presidential inauguration committee, the presidents circle committee, class chair for fundraising, class secretary, and reunion co-chair. She has been a member of Portfolio Club for two decades, a ladies study group initiated in 1869 which meets during the academic year to study various topics regarding our community and our world.

Patti’s engagement with the mission of the Women’s Fund began when she made her first donation after learning about the Fund via mail solicitation in 2005. She joined the Women’s Fund of CNY in 2010 as a member of the fund development committee, and worked alongside devoted volunteers to achieve the one million dollar endowment goal. She joined the Leadership Council in 2012, serving as chair of the fund development committee from 2012-2015, then vice chair of the council 2015-2016. She assumed the role of chair in March 2016.

Hailing from Auburn, NY, Patti and her husband John reside on the West side of the City of Syracuse. They have three adult children and two daughters-in-law, who are their pride and joy. They enjoy living in Central New York and take advantage of the wonders of our region: the stunning beauty of the Finger Lakes and abundant cultural offerings. Patti enthusiastically participates in the running scene and looks forward annually to the Mountain Goat, Shamrock Run, and Veterans Memorial Day Run among others. 

The Women's Fund of Central New York is a component fund of the Central New York Community Foundation.

Governance Council Log-In

431 East Fayette Street - Suite 100
Syracuse, New York 13202

Syracuse Website Design and Development by Cowley