Foundation Staff

Washington County Community Foundation Staff

Betsie Trew, President & CEO

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Betsie Trew is the President & CEO of the Washington County Community Foundation, a position created by the Board of Trustees in December of 2010. Previously, Trew was the Executive Director of the Foundation, a position she has held since late 1998. Under her leadership, the assets of the Foundation have grown from less than $250,000 to more than $39 million, with over $15 million in grants and scholarships awarded.

During her tenure, the Washington County Community Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the country to be approved for the National Standards for Community Foundations.

Immediately prior to her position at the Community Foundation, she was the Vice President, Community Services for the United Way of Washington County, where she was responsible for the distribution of approximately $1 million annually to local health and human services organizations. Previously, she was employed at US Steel in both Washington and Pittsburgh, where she held positions in human resources, sales, and accounting. Trew is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Washington and the Rotary Club of Monongahela. She has also served on the Washington County Tourism and Promotion Agency Grants Committee and the Community Connections Grant Committee for Washington County. In 2009, she received the ATHENA Award from the Washington County Chamber of Commerce which in part, recognized her efforts to support disadvantaged women and children through the Foundation’s Mother’s Fund.

Trew is a magna cum laude graduate of California University of PA, where she earned a degree in Business Administration and Management. She is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Michigan and was selected from a nationwide pool of applicants to attend the premier Community Foundation Course at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. She also has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, PA. Her expertise extends to non-cash gifts such as securities, life insurance and retirement assets, as well as planned giving strategies including bequests, charitable gift annuities, and charitable remainder trusts.

She resides in Bentleyville with her husband Jack. They are the parents of five grown children and have seven grandchildren.

Aliesha Walz, Chief Operating Officer

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Aliesha Walz is the Chief Operating Officer for the Community Foundation. She previously served as its Director of Development and Public Relations.

Immediately prior to her position at the Community Foundation, she was the Director of Development and Public Relations for St. Anne Home, a continuing care retirement community in Greensburg, PA. Previously, Walz served the Washington County Community Foundation as the Manager, Marketing & Communications and worked in strategic advertising and marketing as a Copywriter/Account Services Representative for West Media Group.

Walz is a graduate of Saint Vincent College. She has served as the Secretary and Communications Chair of the Alumni Council, member of the Capital Campaign Liaison Committee, and Event Co-Chair of the Saint Vincent Theatre Gala. In 2017, the College recognized her with the Recent Alumna Achievement Award.

She resides in Washington County with her husband, Andy, and two young sons.

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Leslie Briggs, Grants Associate

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Leslie Briggs is the Grants Associate for the Washington County Community Foundation. Prior to her position here she worked for nine years as a customer service representative for Clover Technologies. She obtained her Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Leslie currently serves as a volunteer Sunday school teacher at Trinity Church in Washington.

She is a native of Washington County, and she resides in Amwell Township with her husband and daughter.

Emeline Ferguson, Administrative Associate

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Emeline "Em" Ferguson is the Administrative Associate for the Community Foundation. A recent graduate of Grove City College, she has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Biblical and Religious Studies.

During her college years, Ferguson was involved in numerous mission trips. These included volunteering in Scotland and New York, at homeless shelters in Los Angeles, and in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

Ferguson is a Washington County native. After graduating, she returned to her hometown of Prosperity, where she serves as a Deacon at Upper Ten Mile Presbyterian Church.

Emily Fox, Communications Associate

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Emily Fox is the Communications Associate for the Washington County Community Foundation.

Born and raised in Georgia, Emily acquired both her BA in English and her MA in American Studies from Kennesaw State University, after a brief stint in operatic studies. Her thesis focused on the intersection and impact of historic preservation and modern development in growing communities. She served as the office manager for her old hometown’s historic society and worked as a docent and curatorial assistant at a local historic antebellum plantation home.

Emily moved to Mt. Lebanon in the fall of 2018 to be closer to the rest of her family living in Dormont and Washington D.C. 

Karen Sphar, Manager, Allocations & Programs

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Karen Sphar is the Manager, Allocations & Programs for the Community Foundation. She previously served as a Community Innovation Specialist with the Pennsylvania Key of Excellence, where she provided grant support throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. In this role, she worked collaboratively with the Office of Child Development Early Learning, and she also served on the planning team for the Pennsylvania Governor’s Institutes.

Karen is a graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with over 30 years of experience in the education field. She has served as an Education Supervisor and Director, and she owned and directed her own business, Karen’s Creative Classroom. Her passion for helping others succeed, enhancing the learning environment, and managing funding have afforded her many rewarding experiences.

Karen is a native of Washington County and lives in South Strabane Township with her husband, Tracy. She has three grown children and loves spending time with her family.