Celeste Amato

Maryland Philanthropy Network

amato-celesteCeleste Amato became the second president of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers in 2012 and recently guided the organization in rebranding, including the launch of its new name, Maryland Philanthropy Network. Founded in 1983, the network’s mission is to be a leading voice and resource for all types of philanthropy and its philanthropic members across the state.

“While our mission remains the same, our membership has been growing steadily,” Amato said. “The new name more strongly reflects our statewide membership and the voices on issues and policies affecting communities across Maryland.”

The network represents more than 130 private and community foundations, corporations, nonprofits, public charities and other organizations that target issues like homelessness, health and education through educational programs and community partnerships.

Amato said she’s been successful because she’s a collaborative leader. “We will always achieve more when everyone — our members, partners and staff — have a voice and real engagement in the direction of our organization and our work.”

Amato seeks colleagues and other organizations for partnerships that benefit both groups and their outcomes. “We have been very intentional, for example, in directing our spending in support of local and diverse-owned businesses. Those relationships support local business owners of color and expand our network and ability to access other high-quality vendors and services.”

Amato has advice for young professionals who want to follow in her footsteps. “Seek organizations and managers who value all that you bring to a job. You don’t have to change who you are to create a successful career path. Also, you will learn the most and benefit the most from managers who treat you like a leader and ask you to be a leader.”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's 2019 Maryland's Most Admired CEOs awards. Some information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.

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