Meet Our New Staff Members

Posted on June 25, 2019

Laura Simmelink, Meredith Nassif Doupé, and Julie Howe Van Tongeren

Our exceptional team has gotten even better with the addition of three new staff members this year! We welcomed Laura Simmelink – Senior Director of Programs, Meredith Nassif Doupé – Director of Donor Services, and Julie Howe Van Tongeren – Vice President of Development.

Laura’s primary role is to provide leadership and oversight of all Community Grants from Community Impact, Field-of-Interest, and Giving Circle Funds as well as oversee the development, research, and management of Vital Signs and the Nonprofit Directory.

She has spent her professional career in the nonprofit sector and has worked for a university, a hospital, and as a consultant. She is a graduate of the Leadership Collier Class of 2017 and currently serves on the Public Policy Committee at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. Laura also volunteers as the Vice President of Programs for the Greater Naples Planned Giving Council and belongs to various professional associations.  Her previous civic and volunteer work includes grantmaking committee work, board service, and hands-on volunteering, as well as serving on the City of Asheville’s affordable housing advisory committee. 

Laura is a Wisconsin native and moved to Naples in 2015.  She earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an MPA from American University in Washington, D.C. and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.

Meredith’s primary role is to manage the Foundation’s donor service program by providing our donors with excellent, timely, and integrated service. Before joining the Community Foundation, she was the Director of Development for the Florida Southwestern State College Foundation at the Collier County Campus.  Meredith built relationships with individuals and organizations to help the College best serve the needs of FSW students and the Community and was also responsible for raising gifts to support College programs and student scholarships. 

Additionally, Meredith served as Director of the Frances Pew Hayes Center for Lifelong Learning at Hodges University.  She grew the course schedule, satellite locations and sponsorships for the program significantly during her tenure, which was accomplished without any additional paid staff.  She also worked with the Vice President of Institutional Advancement to secure the naming and endowment of the program.

Meredith earned her Master of Social Work in Non-profit Management and Gerontology from Washington University in St. Louis and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Education and Sociology from the University of Miami. She is also a community volunteer who has served on the boards of the Greater Naples Delta Gamma Alumnae and the Collier County Bar Foundation.  A scholarship established in her honor for her service to her sorority alumnae group benefits a worthy collegiate student.  She volunteers for the Collier County Public School District where her children attend school.  Meredith is a 2019 graduate of the Leadership Collier.  However, Meredith’s proudest achievement is being a mom to her three daughters, who light up her life every day.

Julie’s primary role is to lead the Foundation’s development efforts, including fundraising, community philanthropic partnerships, constituent relations, and stewardship.

Most recently, she spent the last seven years fundraising at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, during its $4B Victor’s for Michigan Campaign which concluded in December of 2018 raising over $5B.  Julie began at Michigan, focusing on the U.M. Athletic Department’s $200M campaign for scholarships, Athletic Campus construction and expansion, and student-athlete enrichment.   She concluded her time at Michigan as Associate Director of Development, leading fundraising efforts within the Children’s and Women’s Health campaign, also $200M, including initiatives in medical research, patient care, and training and educating the next generation of faculty and physicians. 

Julie is a native of Detroit, Michigan. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and international studies where she was also a varsity sailor earning two National Championships.   She has been an active member of the Council of Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), earning several certifications as well as a member and volunteer at nonprofits aligned with her passions.