Local Foundation Staff Receive Regional Fellowship Appointments

September 25, 2012

SPARTANBURG, SC – September 26, 2012 – The Mary Black Foundation and The Spartanburg County Foundation announced today that staff members have been appointed to be Hull Fellows with the Southeastern Council on Foundations. 

Cate Brandt Ryba, Media and Communications Officer for the Mary Black Foundation, and Tara Jane Weese, Communications and Donor Engagement Officer at The Spartanburg County Foundation, have both been named 2013 Hull Fellows with the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF).

Over the past decade, SECF’s Hull Fellows program has become the nation’s leading professional development opportunity for philanthropy’s up-and-coming leaders.

Ms. Ryba began work at the Mary Black Foundation in December 2008, where she uses the tools of communications and media to advance the Foundation’s agenda of improving health and wellness in Spartanburg County.  Prior to her position at the Foundation, Ms. Ryba was Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Spartanburg, where she worked to bring new businesses to Spartanburg and fostered community events.

Ms. Ryba’s past community involvement includes chairing the Hub-Bub Advisory Board, as well as serving as a board member for the Spartanburg Young Professionals, the Spartanburg Downtown Association, and the Spartanburg Art Museum.   She currently serves on the Converse College Board of Visitors, is a 2012 graduate of Leadership South Carolina and is the representative for District Four on Spartanburg’s City Council.

Ms. Weese joined The Spartanburg County Foundation in March 2011, where she is responsible for leading the Foundation’s communications and donor services activities. Prior to her service with the Foundation, Ms. Weese provided development and donor services expertise to The Anti-Cruelty Society, a comprehensive humane society in downtown Chicago.  She also spent several years in the community foundation sector, where she served as the Director of Communications and Development for the Midland Area Community Foundation in Midland, MI. 

Ms. Weese has served in a number of leadership and volunteer roles.  She is a member of CommA, Leadership Spartanburg Alumni Association, Leadership Midland Alumni Association, Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society, National Notary Association, and currently volunteers at H.A.L.T.E.R. where she assists with their therapeutic riding programs.  Her past memberships include the Association of Fundraising Professionals (International and Chicago Clubs), Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (Chicago), ROCK Youth Center (Board Member), Midland Morning Rotary Club and Rotary International.

SECF is a membership association of more than 360 grantmakers working together to strengthen, promote and increase philanthropy in 11 southeastern states.  SECF serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and the philanthropic infrastructure in the South.

About The Mary Black Foundation
The Mary Black Foundation is an independent private foundation. Since 1996, it has awarded more than $36 million to improve the health and wellness of the people and communities of Spartanburg County. Additional information about the Foundation is available at

About The Spartanburg County Foundation
The Spartanburg County Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of Spartanburg County residents by promoting philanthropy, encouraging community engagement and responding to community needs.  Established in 1943, The Spartanburg County Foundation is the oldest community foundation in South Carolina.  Additional information about the Foundation is available at www.spcf.org.