Mary L. Thomas
Mary L. Thomas | President + CEO


We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mary L. Thomas as the new President & CEO of CFLeads beginning in April 2023.

A philanthropic leader well-known and respected in her hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and across the country, Thomas brings a wealth of experience to this role. She has worked in the community foundation field for 25 years, joining the Spartanburg County Foundation as a Senior Program Officer and quickly being promoted to Vice President for Programs, then to Executive Vice President in 2007.

Currently, Thomas serves in a dual capacity as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Foundation and as Executive Director of the Robert Hett Chapman III Center for Philanthropy. As COO, Thomas is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Spartanburg County Foundation and works with the President & CEO in translating The Foundation’s goals into the overall program of work and operational plan. Thomas leads the strategic planning of the organization, working with the trustees, staff, and other foundation constituents. As Executive Director of the Center for Philanthropy – the first of its kind in the state of South Carolina and only one of a few in the country – Thomas leads the day-to-day operations of the Center, where she establishes partnerships and leverages funding across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to address critical community concerns.

Thomas has been a staunch supporter of CFLeads’ mission and vision from the very beginning, serving on its board in 2009 and participating in its first-ever community leadership network. As President & CEO of CFLeads, Thomas will use her skills as a dynamic leader, connector, and relationship-builder to identify opportunities, develop strategies, and implement initiatives that will help strengthen community foundations’ capacity to do more community leadership. Her long track record of amplifying community voice through local grassroots leadership training in Spartanburg and her tireless advocacy for racial equity, particularly in the South, will be an asset as CFLeads continues to create programming to help community foundations engage residents in creating equitable, community-led solutions to complex and systemic issues.

The full press release is linked here

Rebecca Swartz led this search with Haley Burrowes and Sokeng Cleary.