JumpStart Inc. has hired Teleangé Thomas to fill its newly created Chief Advancement and Relationships Officer role. Thomas will be responsible for leading the organization’s strategic fundraising initiatives, strengthening partnerships and spearheading JumpStart’s involvement in civic initiatives including the Cleveland Innovation Project, the MidTown Innovation District and other initiatives JumpStart anticipates pursuing in the coming years.
“I am extremely humbled to serve and lead in this new capacity,” said Teleangé Thomas. “I look forward to coalescing my various experiences, expertise, skill and fierce championship of Northeast Ohio to help our region tip towards an era of shared opportunity, prosperity and growth.”
Thomas brings with her almost twenty years of experience in public health, nonprofit management and philanthropy. She recently served as the Director of Partnerships at Candid, formed in 2019 when Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces to create a 21st-century data infrastructure for the social sector. Before her work at Candid, Thomas served in leadership and management positions at The Sisters of Charity Foundation, University Hospitals and the City of Cleveland’s Department of Public Health. During her seven-year tenure at The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, she developed strategies to reduce health inequities and poverty through strategic grantmaking, systems and policy change.
“We are thrilled to welcome Teleange Thomas to our team,” said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. “Her exemplary experience as both a civic and national philanthropic leader will enable us to advance our mission to unlock the potential of entrepreneurship to accelerate the transformation of Cleveland and all the communities we serve.
Through advocacy, policy work, strategic investment and innovative collaborations, Thomas has addressed countless social and economic inequities throughout her career. She has leveraged opportunities in sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, education, public health and economic development to advance the agenda of healthy people in healthy communities.
“In a time such as this, I am honored and energized to steward partnerships, innovate and grow opportunities in our region that are inclusive, sustainable and impactful,” said Thomas.
Thomas earned a Bachelor of Business Management and entrepreneurial studies from Case Western Reserve University. Always entrepreneurial, Ms. Thomas has consistently leveraged her talent in business, innovation and partnerships. As a consultant, she has managed major projects for clients including JumpStart, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, Molsen, Frank 151, Bacardi and others.
Thomas sits on the boards of Community Health Charities, Policy Matters Ohio, Green City Growers, The Conservancy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Cleveland Public Library. She is a Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is published in academic journals. Thomas is a member of Zeta-Phi-Beta Sorority and the Order of the Eastern Star. She helped amplify the significance of Black giving practices and power through The Soul of Philanthropy Cleveland and Celebrate Those Who Give Black.
Among her many career accomplishments, Thomas was appointed to the Commission on Infant Mortality by Governor Kasich in 2015; she built a multi-sector partnership that leveraged over $1 million in federal and private funding to establish an innovative social enterprise, integrating urban agriculture and economic development to impact food access and health; and helped establish the Ohio Fresh Food Financing Fund, a state-level fund to support healthy food production and distribution to benefit vulnerable communities.