Community Foundation President to Retire; Successor Named

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Shari Harrell, president of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley for the past 10 years, is retiring, the organization’s board of directors announced Friday.

Casey Krell, a longtime director with the organization, will succeed Harrell as president after a transition period. Harrell’s retirement date is currently set for March 1, 2024.

“Shari Harrell has been an exceptional leader for the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley and the communities we serve,” said Timothy Francisco, professor of English at Youngstown State University and chair of CFMV’s Board of Directors. “During her tenure, the foundation has grown mightily in assets, outreach and impact.”

Harrell joined the CFMV in 2013. She has prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the organization and its operations and has overseen the creation of the Healthy Community Partnership, a cross-sector collaborative that aims to improve health outcomes in the Mahoning Valley through long-term partnerships with leaders, residents and stakeholders throughout the community.

Harrell’s role at the CFMV gave her an “understanding of the good work happening across the Valley and region,” she said.

“Serving as the president of the Community Foundation for the past decade has truly been an honor and a privilege. I have enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside so many dedicated people, from the staff team to all of the individuals and organizations out in the community,” she said.

Harrell led the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and implemented significant changes, including a joint grant application and review process with The Raymond John Wean Foundation and The Youngstown Foundation to expedite giving to those organizations most in need.

Under her leadership, the CFMV received both the largest gift in its history – $10.5 million to establish the Arnett Family Fund – and the first completely unrestricted fund in its history – the Willanna and William DiCiero Memorial Fund, which the organization can use to address the community’s most pressing needs.

Looking ahead, Harrell said the organization is in good hands.

“This has been a time of incredible growth and progress at the foundation,” she said. “And Casey has been a key team member since the day she joined the Community Foundation. Throughout her tenure here, she has demonstrated her ability to problem solve, carry out complex projects and initiatives and lead those around her. I am proud of all we have accomplished together and am truly excited for CFMV’s next chapter with Casey at the helm.”

Krell joined the organization in 2014 and is currently the director of supporting organizations and donor services, where she partners with CFMV’s three affiliated foundations – the Western Reserve Health Foundation, the Trumbull Memorial Health Foundation and the William Swanston Charitable Fund – and more than 160 component funds to make strategic investments to address community needs. 

“I am beyond humbled that the board of directors has chosen me to be the foundation’s next leader to continue moving the work forward that Shari and our team started,” Krell said. “Shari and the board have laid down strong groundwork, particularly through the most recent strategic planning process, and that will help guide us through this transition and into the foundation’s next chapter.”

Pictured at top: Shari Harrell, left, and Casey Krell.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.