Photo Credit: Hill-Snowdon Foundation
ARTHUR B. HILL | Founder of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation
Arthur Bullock Hill was born to homesteaders in Oklahoma City on October 20, 1892. As one of many children, money was very tight in the Hill household. He left school at the age of twelve to go to work at a drugstore, which he purchased within a few years. In his early twenties he sold the drugstore and took a job in pharmaceutical sales. On a sales trip to Dallas, he met Marguerite Stewart. They married in 1914 and settled in Dallas. Lillian Lee, their only daughter, was born in 1919 and married Edward Snowdon in 1941.
On another sales trip, Arthur met a senior manager of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which was fast becoming the nation’s largest medical product company. When Arthur was offered a job with the firm he moved the family to Chicago in the early thirties to head the Midwest sales division. In the late thirties, the Hills moved to New Jersey to be near J&J’s New Brunswick headquarters, settling first in Bound Brook and later in Plainfield.
Despite his lack of formal education, Arthur worked his way up in the company. When he retired in 1948, he was the Vice President of Sales and on the Board of Directors. Arthur retired relatively early for health reasons but remained on the Board for several years after his retirement. The company went public in 1943, and like many senior executives, Arthur took stock options in lieu of pay during the war. This would prove to be a fortuitous move, as stock prices steadily climbed over the following decades while the company expanded and diversified.
After his retirement, Arthur became more involved in social and civic life in Plainfield. He was active in a number of social organizations and local charities. He founded the local Community Chest, which later became the United Way of New Jersey. He also supported a home for wayward boys in Nebraska and funded a settlement house in the Black neighborhood of Plainfield. As a result of his humble beginnings, Arthur felt it was his responsibility to help those less fortunate. But he also believed that individuals are responsible for helping themselves, as he had done. He had a deep understanding of the medical system and worried that the unequal access to decent healthcare would lead to serious social unrest.
In 1959, Arthur founded the Hill-Snowdon Foundation in New Jersey with several thousand dollars in assets, primarily J&J stock. He served as a trustee until his death in 1983.
ASHLEY SNOWDON BLANCHARD | Vice President
Ashley Snowdon Blanchard, great-granddaughter of Arthur B. Hill, is a consultant to nonprofit organizations and foundations. She helps clients determine their missions and values, and develop the strategies, operations and governance to support them. Prior to going out on her own, she was the Associate Director of Philanthropy at TCC Group, where she spent 13 years conducting strategic planning for a range of nonprofit and philanthropic clients.
In addition to HSF, Ashley was previously the co-chair of the Board of the Ms. Foundation for Women and was the founding co-chair of the Council on Foundation’s Next Generation Task Force.
Ashley received a B.A. from Stanford University and a Masters in Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where she concentrated her studies on social welfare policy and nonprofit management. Ashley lives with her husband and two children in New York City
ELIZABETH "LIZ" BONNER | President
Elizabeth Snowdon Bonner, great-granddaughter of Arthur B. Hill, is the founder of Nusta Spa, a full-service day spa in downtown DC that opened in 2004. In 2010, she brought on a business partner to run the spa’s daily operations and now serves in an advisory capacity on issues of financial management and strategic planning.
Elizabeth’s previous work experience was in corporate communications and investor relations in San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, where she was named a John W. Rollins Scholar for leadership and academic achievement. From 2003-2009 she served on the Governing Board of her high school alma mater, National Cathedral School.
MARIA BRENES | Trustee
Maria Brenes is the Executive Director of InnerCity Struggle.
Maria began her activism over twenty-five years ago as a high school student living along the U.S./Mexico border during a time when state legislation was proposed that criminalized immigrant families and youth. This hostile environment resulted in Maria and her fellow Latinx schoolmates being removed from their schools. Despite the discrimination she faced, she completed her studies and later earned degrees from UC Berkeley and Harvard University. The experience taught her the importance of lifting up her voice through collective action to ensure disadvantaged students have access to a quality education.
Maria has organized for educational justice through various campaigns and initiatives. Since 2002, as a leader of InnerCity Struggle, she has spearheaded an expansion of the influence of students and community residents in decision-making about Los Angeles' public schools, mobilizing thousands of Latinx parents and students in the Eastside of Los Angeles.
Maria's work with InnerCity Struggle has resulted in a wide range of improvements within Eastside schools as well as schools throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District. In the last few years, Maria's leadership has helped win several breakthrough victories; new schools for the Eastside, a district-wide policy focused on preparing all students for college, increased funds for high-need schools, smaller learning environments in Eastside high schools and an expansion of school-based health services. After years of demanding that all students be prepared for college, the tide is changing. Graduation rates in the Eastside are rising and more students are informed about what is needed to succeed.
Over the last decade, InnerCity Struggle has educated and mobilized thousands of Eastside voters ensuring greater civic participation and community action.
Maria's leadership also resulted in the construction of the organization's new permanent home now serving as a Youth and Community Center for the Eastside.
Maria was recognized as a Grassroots Leader to Watch by the Liberty Hill Foundation and has received various other leadership awards, including from the newspaper La Opinion, UC Berkeley’s Chicano/Latino Alumni Association of Southern California and the Latina Lawyers Association. In 2015, she was appointed as a Commissioner for the Commission for Children and Families by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. In 2018, Maria was recognized with the Woman of the Year Award by the LA County Commission for Women. She was recently elected as a Community Trustee for the Board of Directors of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, a national social justice fund. Maria is also a proud mom of two children that attend an LAUSD elementary school.
JUDITH BROWNE DIANIS | Trustee
Judith Browne Dianis is Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office.
Dianis has served as a lawyer, professor and civil rights advocate in the movement for racial justice. Hailed as a voting rights expert and pioneer in the movement to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, Dianis leads Advancement Project National Office’s work in combatting structural racism in education, voting, policing, criminal justice and immigration.
Since joining Advancement Project at its inception in 1999, Dianis has worked with grassroots organizations to wage successful campaigns using litigation, advocacy and communications. Dianis authored groundbreaking education reports including: Opportunities Suspended and Derailed: The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track, detailing the unnecessary criminalization of students by their schools. Advancement Project National Office’s work with grassroots partners significantly helped decrease student suspensions and arrests in Denver, Baltimore and school districts throughout Florida.
Taking from civil rights activist Ella J. Baker’s philosophy, Dianis’ belief in the “genius of ordinary people” has helped Advancement Project National Office combat discriminatory voting rights measures. For nearly two decades, the organization’s Voter Protection Program has partnered with civic engagement non-profits to thwart voter suppression efforts like strict voter ID requirements, cuts to early voting, the closure of polling locations and felony disenfranchisement. Advancement Project National Office is proud to be a founding member of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, recently credited with the historic passage of Amendment 4 to the Florida’s state constitution. The measure automatically restores the voting rights of those with prior felony convictions.
Judith Browne Dianis was awarded the Prime Movers Fellowship for trailblazing social movement leaders and was named one of the “Thirty Women to Watch” by Essence magazine. She serves on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Earth and the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.
WILLIAM "WILL" CORDERY | Trustee
William Cordery has 17 years of leadership experience in institutional philanthropy, community advocacy and social movements for advancing racial justice, economic justice, LGBTQI rights, and progressive public policy. Currently, Will is an Advisor with Leverage Philanthropic Partners LLC, a social impact firm working to advance justice by providing capacity building to foundations, nonprofits and high net worth individuals. Over his career, William has developed and implemented multi-million dollar grantmaking and fundraising portfolios.
William received his B.S./B.A. in Business Finance from Xavier University and his M.P.A. from New York University. He formerly worked with Marguerite Casey Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund. Beyond Hill Snowdon Foundation, H\is philanthropic board leadership includes the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Greater New Orleans Funders Network, Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, and Grantmakers for Southern Progress. Additionally, William is an Advisor for the Global Engagement Lab at the EDGE Funders Alliance, and is an alum of the Association of Black Foundation Executives’ Connecting Leaders Fellowship.
ANDREW SNOWDON | Trustee
Andrew Snowdon, great-grandson of Arthur B. Hill. Andrew Snowdon is the General Counsel to the Inspector General of a federal government agency. Previously, Andrew has served as an attorney and investigator in a variety of contexts, including the Security & Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, on Capitol Hill, in private practice, and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, responsible for the oversight of the federal program to stabilize the country's financial system in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Andrew and his family live in Annapolis, MD, and he enjoys playing golf with his son (age 18), watching his daughter's (age 13) lacrosse games, boating, and Duke Basketball.
ARIANA SNOWDON | Trustee
Ariana Snowdon, great-granddaughter of Arthur B. Hill, is an Executive Fellow at Resource Generation in Seattle, Washington. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a B.A. in the Science in Society Program, concentrating in Environmental Science and Sociology, with a focus in Public Health. Prior to joining the Hill-Snowdon board, she served for four years as a member of the Grantmaking Committee for the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole.
Ariana has also held several internships with various environmental and social-service organizations, including two semesters with American Rivers in Washington D.C. She has volunteered extensively for non-profits focusing on environmental protection, public health, and domestic violence prevention. In her spare time, she is a dedicated equestrian, back-country ski fanatic, and aspiring mountaineer.
EDWARD "TED" SNOWDON, JR. | Trustee
Ted Snowdon, grandson of Arthur B. Hill, straddles two worlds – that of the philanthropic community, where he sits on several nonprofit boards and supports numerous charities, and that of the commercial New York theater, where he develops and produces new plays. In addition to his work with the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, he is president of The Ted Snowdon Foundation, which funds primarily the arts and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) causes.
Ted received his B.S. in speech and drama from Syracuse University and his M.F.A. in directing from Catholic University. He lives and works in New York City, where his recent productions have included The Mountaintop, Master Class, Time Stands Still, Our Town, Secrets of the Trade, Reasons to be Pretty, Souvenir, The Little Dog Laughed, and the musical Spring Awakening. His first producing credit was in 1979 with the Tony winner, The Elephant Man. Ever since then, Ted has strived to find and present theater that reflects his world view.
MARGUERITE "MARGOT" SNOWDON | Trustee
Margot Snowdon, granddaughter of Arthur B. Hill, is the retired founder and director of the Yoga Room in Jackson, Wyoming. Margot studied at the Iyengar Institute in San Francisco, California, as well as the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India and was a certified Iyengar teacher. In 1997, she began in-depth study with John Friend and became a certified Anusara Teacher and Teacher Trainer in 2000. The Yoga Room was founded in 1985 as the first yoga center in Jackson Hole and became a dedicated Anusara Yoga studio in 2002.
Margot received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.S. in Education from the University of Wisconsin. She formerly worked in the field of Special Needs Education both at Boston College and in the greater Boston region. Beyond the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, her current philanthropic focus is on partnering with organizations in her home community of Jackson Hole, Wyoming which address health care, affordable housing, women’s and/or environmental issues. In addition, Margot maintains an active involvement with horses, skiing and mountaineering.
RICHARD "DICK" SNOWDON, III | Treasurer & Secretary
Dick Snowdon, grandson of Arthur B. Hill, is an attorney. Dick has worked with the firm, Trainum, Snowdon & Deane, where he specialized in estate planning, personal and corporate income tax and taxation of exempt organizations. Dick holds a B.S. from Syracuse University, College of Business Administration, and a Juris Doctor with honors from the National Law Center, George Washington University. Following two years of active military service with the United States Army (1968-1970), which earned him an Army Commendation Medal and an honorable discharge at the rank of Captain, Dick returned to the legal profession.
Dick is active in the Washington, DC community and has served on many nonprofit boards and advisory councils. Some of his current and past positions include National Children’s Museum, Vice Chair; Children’s National Medical Center, Chair; Children’s Hospital Foundation, Chair; Black Student Fund, Treasurer; For Love of Children, Vice Chairman; Protestant Episcopal Foundation of Washington (The National Cathedral), Chair; and Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, Treasurer; Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, two terms, Chair.
SHONA CHAKRAVARTTY | Senior Program Officer
As Senior Program Officer, Shona Chakravartty is responsible for leading and managing HSF’s Economic Justice grantmaking program, as well as developing and implementing learning and leveraging activities related to HSF’s economic justice interests. She was previously the co-chair of Neighborhood Funders Group, Funders for a Just Economy (formerly the Working Group on Labor & Community Partnerships), currently serves on the board of the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, and on the board of the Neighborhood Funders Group.
Before joining the Hill-Snowdon Foundation staff in 2006, Shona served as Program Officer for the Four Freedoms Fund, a philanthropic collaborative that made grants to enhance the capacity of local and state organizations to actively engage immigrants in the civic, social and economic life of their communities and participate in national policy and advocacy efforts. Prior to that, she was a program officer at the Jewish Fund for Justice for almost six years where she was responsible for grantmaking in the areas of Women in Poverty, Assisting New Immigrants, and Economic Justice. Shona has also worked at a variety of non-profits in New York City including the National Council of Jewish Women, Sakhi for South Asian Women, and Women and Philanthropy. She also serves on the board of Chhaya CDC in Queens, where she resides. Past board service includes the New York Women’s Foundation, South Asian Youth Action, and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants & Refugees (GCIR). Shona was born in India and holds a B.A. from Columbia University and a Master’s degree from Oxford University.
CHRISTINE HARRIS | Director of Finance & Administration
As Director of Finance and Administration, Christine Harris is responsible for administration of grants, finances, payroll and benefits, as well as implementation and management of office procedures, systems, and technology. Christine received her B.A. in political science from Drew University and her M.B.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University.
Prior to joining the Hill-Snowdon Foundation staff in September 2004, Christine served as Senior Project Manager for the law firm of Powers, Pyles, Sutter and Verville where she consulted to several nonprofit clients on matters of operations, membership, fundraising and government relations. In this role, she also held the position of Vice President of Operations for HalfthePlanet Foundation. Christine’s other past positions include Administrator, Melville Charitable Trust/The Philanthropic Initiative; Director of Administration, Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research; Director of External Affairs, VSA Arts; and Executive Assistant, United Cerebral Palsy Associations.
ERIN MORRIS | Program Assistant
As Program Assistant, Erin Morris is responsible for administrative and programmatic support to all HSF staff, website development, and providing support to the numerous funders forums and working groups in which HSF takes a leadership role.
Erin received her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Salisbury University. Before joining the Hill-Snowdon Foundation staff, Erin worked as a freelance graphic designer and personal assistant, before serving as Project Coordinator and then Business Operations Manager at Nusta Spa, a full-service day spa in downtown DC where she was responsible for handling the day-to-day operations.
An adoptee from South Korea, Erin had the opportunity during a sabbatical in 2016 to visit her birth country for the first time. She currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and two cats, Buttercup and Conrad.
NAT CHIOKE WILLIAMS, PH.D | Executive Director
As Executive Director, Nat Chioke Williams leads the Hill-Snowdon Foundation in its philanthropic and programmatic work, operations and partnerships within the community. Nat manages HSF’s Youth Organizing and Fund for DC programs. He is also responsible for developing learning and leveraging opportunities in these program areas. Back in 2015, Nat took the lead on the Foundation’s newly launched Making Black Lives Matter Initiative, a three year grantmaking and strategic co-funding initiative that seeks to maximize this historic moment to begin building long term institutional and political power for Black social change and racial justice. In partnership with other social justice funders, Nat has been involved with the development of Grantmakers for Southern Progress, a network of local, regional and national funders committed to facilitating joint learning, collaboration and leveraging of new resources to help build a vibrant and enduring infrastructure for social justice in the US South., and served several years as co-chair.
Nat’s funding experience has focused on community organizing and youth organizing, and his background includes research on the socio-political development of African American youth activists, social movements, social oppression and liberation psychology; tenant organizing and non-profit management consulting. He previously served on the board of the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing and the board of the Neighborhood Funders Group. Nat’s prior philanthropic work in youth and community organizing includes positions as Program Officer for Youth Development at the Edward Hazen Foundation and Program Officer for the New York Foundation. Additionally, Nat has served as Assistant Professor of Black Studies for the State University of New York at New Paltz, Senior Program Associate for Community Resource Exchange in New York City, and Director of Organizing for the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board in New York City. Nat holds a B.A. in Psychology from Morehouse College, as well as a M.A. and Ph.D. in Community Psychology from New York University.