A fond farewell to Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Kaitlyn Oelsner

by | May 27, 2021 | Other News

After two years of serving the Tidewater Jewish community, Kaitlyn Oelsner, Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s director of Philanthropy, is leaving the organization.

“I’ve decided to put a pause on my professional career to fully focus on being a mom,” says Oelsner, who is expecting her first child later this year. “I’m incredibly grateful for my time at Tidewater Jewish Foundation and the many co-workers and community members that I’ve had the privilege to work with in this role. I look forward to keeping in touch and thank everyone for their support as I start this next chapter.”

Oelsner joined TJF in March 2019 as TJF’s development associate and LIFE & LEGACY coordinator. From the onset, she quickly became vital to the organization’s philanthropic efforts with her energy and passion for philanthropy.

“Right after we hired her, Kaitlyn quickly and fully jumped into the LIFE & LEGACY program and our development position,” says Randy Parrish, TJF vice president and CFO. “On her first day with us, she was thrust into the preparation for that evening’s LIFE & LEGACY celebration and interacted with dozens of community leaders, agency representatives, and staff. And her second day was a board meeting with an introduction and presentation to our leadership!”

After the departure of Scott Kaplan, TJF president and CEO in August 2019, Oelsner took on more duties as TJF’s new director of Philanthropy. She was at the forefront of outreach and new fund cultivation processes, supervised all marketing and development efforts, pushed to restructure external marketing services to bring more work in-house, helped onboard Naomi Limor Sedek, the new TJF president and CEO, and oversaw the successful completion of the four-year LIFE & LEGACY program.

“Kaitlyn was vital to my transition serving as an ambassador connecting me with leaders, community members, and donors allowing for an easier transition into the Tidewater Jewish community,” says Limor Sedek. “Her commitment and dedication to TJF were apparent in her care and concern for all teams participating in LIFE & LEGACY. She was passionate about making sure they all were able to hit their goals even in the midst of the pandemic and secure their future through legacy giving.”

Oelsner’s shepherding of the LIFE & LEGACY program resulted in 339 donors making 578 legacy commitments and $21.5 million in current and future gifts committed. Of those gifts, 88% ($18.1 million) have been formalized, exceeding community-wide goals. Moreover, despite a global pandemic, 55 commitments were secured in 2020, also exceeding community-wide goals.

Over the past two years, Oelsner has served the Tidewater Jewish community beyond what was expected of her and with the utmost professionalism. The leadership and staff of TJF are sad to see Oelsner leave, yet “wish her and her family the best,” says Limor Sedek.