Girls Preparatory School has appointed Christa Mannarino as the school’s new director of Development and External Relations. Ms. Mannarino, who currently serves as director of Development for UTC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, has a history of work in local nonprofits and in local civic action initiatives with the Chattanooga Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chattanooga Venture.
Incoming Head of School Autumn Graves said, “After a national search assisted by People and Systems, I am extremely pleased to have Christa Mannarino join the GPS community. Her extensive background as a successful and creative fundraiser and manager made Christa’s application stand out within the pool of qualified candidates. I also appreciated Christa’s well-regarded work within the Chattanooga community, encouragement of women seeking careers in STEM and leadership development, and strong commitment to the arts. These are three attributes that complement the work for which GPS is known and that I will continue to advance with the support of the Board of Trustees and the faculty and staff. I look forward to Christa beginning her tenure June 2, as we close out what will be a banner year of successful fundraising for GPS.”
Since 2012, Ms. Mannarino has worked closely with LaunchTN and CoLab, business incubators that promote innovation and entrepreneurism. She serves on the boards of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, the Chattanooga Technology Council, and Mark Making. She is chair of the inaugural Women in Technology Committee and serves on Girls Inc.’s Technology Advisory Committee. She recently completed her term as chair of CWLI’s 2013 Women Mentoring Women program.
As executive director for the Association of Visual Arts in 2000-2010, Ms. Mannarino oversaw a 60 percent increase in memberships and local and national awards for program quality and community service. She has served on the Center for Nonprofits’ Advisory Committee and been a peer consultant for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
Ms. Mannarino holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and a master’s degree in business administration from UTC. She is a professional facilitator and holds the international Certified Fundraising Executive certification.
In accepting the position, Ms. Mannarino said, “This is a pivotal time for the school to elevate and expand on its mission. The necessary ingredients are in place, including the incoming Head of School, Dr. Autumn Graves; a strong Board of Trustees, and committed faculty and staff.
“Being a native of Chattanooga, I have many friends who are GPS alumnae and who are successful at what they do. I don’t believe that is a coincidence, but rather tangible, measurable evidence that GPS does prepare girls to be a strong force in the global community as well as active citizens locally.
“I look forward to getting to know the GPS family and helping this leader in girls’ education secure resources that it needs to make a difference, serve as a national leader for women in philanthropy, and continue to be involved with its local community.”
GPS Board member and Search Committee Chair Lisa Shanahan said, “After conducting a national search for someone experienced and highly engaged with 21st century fundraising, we are thrilled to have found that person, Christa Mannarino, right in our own backyard. A proven leader, manager, and creative fundraiser, she is connected to groups and resources in the Chattanooga community and is poised to assume a leadership role in the national and global conversations about girls’ education and women’s leadership development for the civic and economic sectors.”