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AFH News

AFH News

Lori Bertman Named to AFH Board of Directors

Athletes for Hope is thrilled to announce longtime collaborator, partner and supporter, Lori J. Bertman to our Board of Directors. Over the years, Ms. Bertman has been a prominent and steadfast supporter of our AFH University program, specifically in Baton Rouge, and has most recently championed our work in the mental health space.

Headshot of Lori Bertman with a white background and her smiling into the camera.
Lori J. Bertman

Currently, she is President and CEO of the Baton Rouge based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, Louisiana’s largest private family foundation. The foundation gives grants annually throughout Southern Louisiana and nationally. 

In addition to her role at the Pennington Family Foundation, she is a noted national expert in disaster philanthropy. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Bertman organized local and national philanthropic resources to raise over $40 million to contribute to recovery efforts.

In 2010, Ms. Bertman co-founded the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, based in Washington, DC. This organization is the first of its kind, and exists to advise donors on effective disaster giving, both nationally and internationally. In 2021, Ms. Bertman retired from her position as CDP’s first Board Chair, and now serves as Chair Emerita. During her tenure as board chair, CDP has granted over $80 million to organizations working in disaster recovery. Previously Ms. Bertman co-founded City Year Louisiana. She currently serves on the advisory board for the Children’s Health Fund in New York City. 

Ms. Bertman serves as a strategic consultant to both local and national organizations. In this capacity she has provided a cohesive vision for deepening the role of philanthropy in disaster management, fostered private/public partnerships for disaster response, and advised donors on effective long-term disaster grantmaking. She has also presented at regional and national conferences in these areas, in addition to general fundraising and resource development.  

Ms. Bertman founded and operates Bertman + Associates, a philanthropy advising and fund development consulting firm, where she has worked with nonprofit organizations, foundations, corporations, and individual donors in the areas of fund development and strategic philanthropy, including managing capital, annual and planned giving campaigns.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Bertman served as the first Director of Donor Services for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation where she managed over 300 donor-advised funds. 

As a coach’s daughter, Ms. Bertman has been surrounded by sports her entire life. She has worked with Athletes for Hope University and is currently developing programs related to athletes and mental health with multiple partners. Ms. Bertman has a passion for hockey and a strong relationship with the NHL and their Hockey is for Everyone programming. She is the first “fan” to serve on a Hockey Hall of Fame Board Committee (Fundraising Strategy Committee). Ms. Bertman has also assisted the museum in both their diversity and COVID exhibits and programming. As an avid female collector, she has been profiled in sports magazines such as Upper Deck and Beckett Hockey. 

Ms. Bertman has been honored with a National Leadership Award of Advocate of the Year by Share Our Strength, as well as recognized in the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Top 40 under 40 in 2000. In 2011, Ms. Bertman was honored by City Year Louisiana as a “Visionary Leader.” In 2013, she was recognized in Baton Rouge Business Report’s Influential Women in Business. In 2015 she was awarded the first Leader Award by the National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) as well as the Volunteer Activist Award from the Emerge Center. Most recently, she was recognized by the InRegister as a 2022 Woman with a Cause.

Ms. Bertman holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree from Louisiana State University.

We are thrilled to have Ms. Bertman on our Board and look forward to all of the great work ahead in making the world a better place.

AFH News

Meet Our New Board Members

Our Board of Directors is a dedicated group of individuals who champion, collaborate and contribute to everything we do at Athletes for Hope. In 2021, we were very fortunate to add three new members to the Board of Directors and it is with great excitement that we formally – and publicly – welcome them to our AFH Family.

“Of the list of exciting things that have happened at Athletes for Hope in 2021, adding Shooter, Kathleen and Matt to our Board of Directors is at the top,” said Jason Belinkie, AFH Chief Operating Officer. “Each brings a unique set of skills and expertise that will help our organization grow exponentially. We feel very lucky to welcome them to the AFH family.”

Headshot of Shooter Starr

Alexander “Shooter” Starr

Client Advisor, Brown Advisory

Shooter is a client advisor with Brown Advisory, a private, independent investment and strategic advisory firm in Washington, D.C.  He previously worked at Neuberger Berman, a private investment management firm. Prior to working as a client advisor, Shooter was an Associate Director of Development at the University of Virginia, where he helped raise the $131 million dollars needed to build UVA’s John Paul Jones basketball arena to open in 2006.

Shooter is a University of Virginia graduate, where he was a four-year letterman as a pitcher and a Team Captain for the UVa Baseball Team. Shooter went undefeated his senior year, posting a 1.29 ERA and leading the team to a 44-15 record. Shooter is also a member of the boards of the Association of Corporation Growth, the National Capital Advisory Circle, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the Maret School (a co-ed K-12 private school in Washington, D.C.). Shooter and his wife, Sarah, live in Washington, D.C.

Kathleen Purtill

Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Kathleen is a Principal in Deloitte’s Government & Public Services practice, leading the Civil Government Sector. She is a former US Navy officer with more than 20 years of experience in government consulting focusing on delivering enterprise transformation primarily to government clients.

Kathleen leads Deloitte’s civil government sector, which encompasses a wide range of clients including the Department of Treasury, Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Department of State, Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Security, and Department of Education as well as the US Postal Service and US Agency for International Development. Kathleen is also very engaged in Deloitte’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, in part by serving on its newly formed Allyship Counsel and partnering with HBCUs. She has also served on the Deloitte Board’s Nominating Committee and currently serves on the Girl Scout NCR Women’s Advisory Board.

Outside of the office, Kathleen has a strong passion for well-being and enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids coaching their soccer teams, running, and being active.  When not spending her free time with her family, Kathleen is passionate about mentoring veterans transitioning out of the military – something close to her heart as veteran herself.

Matthew Grant

Director of Business Development, DraftKings, Inc.

Matt Grant, Director of Business Development at DraftKings, is a seasoned marketing and sales executive with 14+ years of experience.  At DraftKings, the leader in online sports betting and daily fantasy sports, Matt is responsible for establishing and developing strategic partnerships with leagues, teams and colleges, including the NBA, NHL and various other properties across the sports and entertainment world.

Matt formerly served as Head of Sports Marketing and Director of Sales at The Clorox Company in Oakland, CA. Matt spent more than nine years with Clorox, and before that, another five years in sales leadership roles with Nestle. Throughout his time with Clorox, Matt led sports marketing activations across multiple brands within the Clorox portfolio including Kingsford, Glad, Brita, Hidden Valley Ranch, Burt’s Bees and the namesake, Clorox cleaning brands. Having brokered and managed Clorox’s NBA & WNBA League and team sponsorship deals, Matt was instrumental in helping lead the sports world back from the pandemic with the NBA bubble in Orlando. 

Matt has also held many positions within the Sales function including leading Brita and Clorox Disinfecting Wipes teams with responsibility for development and deployment of customer business plans. 

In addition to his role as Board Member for AFH, Matt is an active member of the Coaching Corps’ Youth Sports, Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce serving the city of Oakland. 

Matt graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and competed on the varsity football team.

Meet the rest of our Board of Directors here.