The Lenny Zakim Fund (LZF) recently announced that they have hired Eric Esteves to succeed Jude Goldman as their Executive Director. Ms. Goldman, who will retire in December after a 14-year tenure, collaborated closely with leaders from nearly 300 grassroots organizations and oversaw the allocation of over $7 million in grants to nonprofits in eastern Massachusetts.
“I am thrilled that The Lenny Zakim Fund will be helmed by Eric Esteves,” said Jude Goldman. “Eric’s authentic and deep commitment to justice, equity, and community at the grassroots make him the perfect leader for the Fund as we enter our second quarter century.”
Mr. Esteves, who previously served as Director of the Social Innovation Fund at The Boston Foundation, has been serving as a consultant for Root Cause, Harvard Business School’s Interpersonal Skills Development Lab, and the Boston Impact Initiative, where he identified investing, lending and grant-making opportunities for entrepreneurs of color. He has also been co-directing LeadBoston, an experiential professional development program focused on socially responsible leadership, based at YW Boston. Esteves received both his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and his graduate degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University. A resident of Roxbury, he spent the early part of his career in educational technology, including leadership roles at Lesley University and Boston Public Schools.
“I am humbled and excited by this opportunity to lead The Lenny Zakim Fund and I appreciate the confidence the board of directors has placed in me,” Esteves said. “It will be a tremendous privilege to continue the bridge building legacy set by Jude and Lenny to advance social, racial, and economic justice.
Jude’s vision and personal touch have strengthened LZF in many ways and I hope to sustain and continue that philanthropic work with an intentional focus on grassroots leadership and responsiveness to those communities most impacted by inequities.”
LZF Board Chair, Suzi Kaitz, said “As a result of Jude’s guidance and relationships, The Lenny Zakim Fund has found a unique place among funders in the region. She has helped the Fund to earn widespread recognition for helping grassroots organizations build strong foundations to create change in their communities. We are so deeply grateful for her steadfast commitment to LZF’s mission and community.” Kaitz said, “I’m also confident that the future is in good hands. The board of directors has worked hard to strengthen LZF’s foundation during this transitional time and we’re very excited that Eric Esteves will bring strong, experienced leadership to guide us toward ongoing success. He has a proven commitment to social justice and a deep understanding of the issues and communities that have always been at the center of LZF’s work.”
The Lenny Zakim Fund provides resources and training to grassroots community leaders and organizations that work to effectively address racial, social, and economic injustice in eastern Massachusetts. It nurtures grassroots organizations toward growth and sustainability by providing training, grants, coaching, legal assistance, and more, all at no cost. Such resources are often inaccessible to small and emerging grassroots organizations and programs.
LZF’s mission is to listen to those most impacted by inequity and provide the funding, essential resources, and support they need to work against systemic oppression and create lasting change.