DER Member Spotlight:  Suzanne Alberga, Development and Communications Director, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

Suzanne Alberga leads the development and communications initiatives at Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. Renaissance’s mission is to empower and increase the entrepreneurial capacities of socially and economically diverse women and men, thereby strengthening communities by creating sustainable new businesses, jobs, and financial self-sufficiency. She declares, “I absolutely love the mission and getting to meet the clients, purchase their products and eat at their pop-up food events is so gratifying.”

She started her current position during the COVID-19 pandemic and was thrilled to help small business owners thrive during that difficult time. Originally Suzanne began working in the philanthropic sector as a grants professional in corporate foundations, but she wanted to be closer to mission-driven work as a fundraiser. Suzanne says, “I wanted to get a deeper understanding of how nonprofits operate and have a direct impact on the work. I became the Executive Director of a small nonprofit where I led the fundraising which has kept me in the development space for almost 9 years.”

During those nine years of experience in development, Suzanne has seen the explosion of online fundraising and social media platforms and a growing reliance on creative solutions to work remotely and to connect with her colleagues. “Project management software has become so much more important, especially since I didn’t meet any of my colleagues in person until about nine months after starting the position,” she reflects. “There was never the opportunity to swing by and ask about an impending deadline.”

Suzanne counts her greatest achievement as leading a capital campaign for the construction of a new school in Port au Prince, Haiti. Suzanne affirms that managing campaign logistics and the construction process was challenging. “I still can’t believe we did it. It was by far the most challenging professional experience I’ve ever had. Working in Haiti is unimaginably difficult. I am so proud that even with all of the current troubles, the Father Jeri school is still operating after seven years. It provides high-quality education to children in the Ti Plas Kazo Community of Port au Prince, from pre-school all the way through high school.”

For leisure, Suzanne enjoys walking and gardening, “I’m a big walker and often do Saturday morning “walk abouts” to take care of errands. With my backpack and lists, I make my rounds on foot taking care of all the tasks that have piled up during the week. I’m also new to gardening. My new procrastination activity is pulling weeds. So much more gratifying than writing grant reports!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *