Naples Children & Education Foundation names new executive director

Howard Olshansky

Howard Olshansky

Dawn Montecalvo

Dawn Montecalvo

A new executive director is taking over at the Naples Children & Education Foundation, which sponsors the Naples Winter Wine Festival.

Howard S. Olshansky takes over as executive director on March 7.

Dawn Montecalvo oversaw seven Naples Winter Wine Festivals and served as the organization’s executive director since 2004. In June 2010, she announced the 2011 festival would be her last so she could pursue new challenges in the nonprofit arena in Southwest Florida.

Including the just-completed 11th annual event, the festival’s auctions have raised $94.5 million for children’s charities in Collier County.

“NCEF trustees conducted a very thorough and orderly search for a new executive director, and we are very pleased to welcome Howard,” said Robert Scott, an NCEF trustee, board chairman and head of the search committee in a statement.

“All the trustees wish Dawn the very best in her new endeavors,’’ Scott said in the statement. “She has been with us during unprecedented growth, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we transitioned from a small organization to one that’s recognized throughout the country. She sets the bar very high as she leaves.”

Montecalvo said Olshansky will do an “amazing and wonderful job” as the new executive director. As for advice, Montecalvo said Olshansky should just remember the organization’s mission.

“Keep the mission and focus on the many talents of your staff,” she said. “It’s not about one person. It’s all about the kids.”

Olshansky’s experience in managing nonprofits includes 14 years in Palm Beach County. He has special expertise in children’s organizations.

He has served as executive director of The Arc of the Piedmont in Charlottesville, Va., and The Arc of Palm Beach County, where he worked on behalf of people with disabilities throughout those counties. He was executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Ostroff Group in Boca Raton, overseeing operations and providing consulting services to nonprofits in the areas of fund development, organizational development, strategic planning and marketing.

He also served as chief executive director of The Children’s Place at Home Safe in West Palm Beach. While there, his accomplishments included spearheading the implementation of child welfare privatization in Palm Beach County. His community service work includes serving as a founding member, board president and board member at Child and Family Connections, the lead agency for child welfare in Palm Beach County.

Earlier

The Naples Children & Education Foundation and its fundraising arm, the Naples Winter Wine Festival, have announced the appointment of Howard S. Olshansky as executive director, effective March 7.

Olshansky is assuming the responsibilities held by Dawn Montecalvo, who oversaw seven Naples Winter Wine Festivals and served as executive director since 2004. In June 2010, she announced her decision to leave the organization to pursue new challenges in the nonprofit arena in Southwest Florida.

“NCEF trustees conducted a very thorough and orderly search for a new executive director, and we are very pleased to welcome Howard,” said Robert Scott, NCEF trustee, board chairman and head of the search committee.

According to Scott, Olshansky has a wealth of experience managing nonprofits, including 14 years in Palm Beach County, and has special expertise in children’s organizations. “He’s experienced, effective and a proven leader, and we are thrilled to have him join us as executive director.”

“All the trustees wish Dawn the very best in her new endeavors. She has been with us during unprecedented growth, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure we transitioned from a small organization to one that’s recognized throughout the country. She sets the bar very high as she leaves,” he said.

In his new position, Olshansky will be responsible for furthering the organization’s mission of making a profound and sustainable difference for underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County and working with trustees to put on wine festivals to raise funds that support NCEF’s efforts.

Olshansky’s career spans more than two decades in nonprofit leadership. He has served as executive director of The Arc of the Piedmont in Charlottesville, Va. and The Arc of Palm Beach County, where he worked on behalf of people with disabilities throughout those counties. He was also executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Ostroff Group in Boca Raton, overseeing operations and providing consulting services to nonprofits in the areas of fund development, organizational development, strategic planning and marketing. He also served as chief executive director of The Children’s Place at Home Safe in West Palm Beach. While there, his accomplishments included spearheading the implementation of child welfare privatization in Palm Beach County. His community service work includes serving as a founding member, board president and board member at Child and Family Connections, the lead agency for child welfare in Palm Beach County.

Since 2001, the Naples Children & Education Foundation has made yearly grants to children’s charities. The organization also spearheads major new initiatives in collaboration with other private and public entities. These initiatives have included a pediatric dental clinic and an early learning center.

The Naples Winter Wine Festival ranks as the most successful charity wine auction in the nation since 2004 according to Wine Spectator, and the Luxury Institute named it a top 10 event for wealthy Americans. To date, the festival’s auctions have raised $94.5 million and proceeds have helped 125,000 Collier County children. For more information about NCEF and the Naples Winter Wine Festival, visit www.napleswinefestival.com

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COMPLETE COVERAGE: Find archived videos, photos and stories about previous Naples Winter Wine Festivals in our special section »

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