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Nina Zanella comes to the Deering Estate Foundation with over 25 years in nonprofit management and a strong fund development and communications background. Nina attended the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island School of Design. She began her journey into the nonprofit world in her home state of Rhode Island and has not looked back – continuing her personal and professional endeavor to ‘make a difference.’ Nina enjoys meeting and interacting with a variety of people on both a personal and professional level and she believes that the key to successful leadership lies in being a good listener and making, stewarding, and fostering relationships. Her successes include initiating and bringing capital campaigns and projects to completion, growing organizational endowments, and commencing successful planned giving programs. Throughout the years, Nina’s work has impacted several non-profit organizations including a private, experiential-learning school, a local SPCA, a home-visit child health organization for marginalized populations, an AIDS advocacy organization, a hospice organization, and other human services agencies.

Nina can often be found gardening, walking, reading or singing rock and roll quite loudly in her car. No matter what she does or where she is, Nina is a strong proponent of women’s rights, inclusivity and diversity, and advocating for the LGBTQ community. Nina recently relocated from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, her mother, and a few very special cats. She has been with the Deering Estate Foundation since August 2019 in the role of Director of Operations and Development.