June 13, 2024 (Hudson, OH) American Endowment Foundation (AEF), one of the nation’s largest independent donor-advised fund sponsors, has recently strengthened its executive leadership by appointing two new C-Suite officers.

Karen Heath-Wade has been named Chief Business Development Officer at AEF. In this role, she will be pivotal in developing and executing strategies to drive the organization’s growth. Her focus on fostering innovation and cultivating strong relationships will be instrumental in positioning AEF for long-term success. Heath-Wade is an inspiring leader with more than 25 years of invaluable experience in global distribution, client relationship management and organizational innovation. Heath-Wade is known for her dynamic and results-oriented approach, consistently achieving outstanding results within the financial services industry.

Previously, Heath-Wade served as the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Client Strategy and Service at American Century Investments, where she led a team of 100+ employees to scale the firm’s assets under management to $207 billion. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Government and Politics from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago.

Kelly McGrath joins AEF as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. McGrath brings a proven track record and expertise in strategic leadership, which will be vital for the organization’s growth, engagement, and retention efforts. In this role, she will be responsible for creating and implementing comprehensive marketing and communication strategies targeting a diverse group of stakeholders. With nearly 25 years of experience in marketing and communications, she specializes in internal and external communications, corporate communications, crisis communications, media relations and change management. McGrath is a growth-oriented collaborator with a high sense of urgency, focusing on results and prioritizing the most impactful opportunities for the organization.

Prior to joining AEF, Kelly served as the Senior Manager of Internal Communications at The Lubrizol Corporation where she developed and executed a global internal communications strategy to optimize the engagement of 8,000+ employees. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Walsh University and an MBA from Ashland University.

“It’s an exciting time to be at AEF as we continue to grow our organization,” said Ron Ransom, CEO of American Endowment Foundation. “These two proven leaders are exceptional additions to our executive team, bringing a tremendous depth of experience. Their expertise will be instrumental in guiding us into a new era as we continue to expand philanthropy throughout the financial services industry.”


Established in 1993, American Endowment Foundation (AEF) is one of the nation’s largest independent donor-advised fund sponsors with $7 billion in assets under management. AEF is a mission-motivated organization focused on expanding philanthropy led by a people-driven culture that results in a best-in-class client experience. To learn more, visit www.aefonline.org

For additional information about AEF or press inquiries, please contact Lindsey Myers at lindseymyers@aefonline.org.