Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Arabella Advisors has announced the appointments of Wil Priester as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Shelley Whelpton as a Managing Director. Both are based in Washington, DC.
Wil Priester will oversee Arabella's finance and operations teams with a focus on aligning financial systems and operational policies to better serve Arabella's clients. He comes to Arabella with over 25 years of dynamic cross-sector financial management experience, having served in CFO positions in both nonprofit and for-profit firms. At previous firms, Priester has overseen key technological advancements, increased operational efficiency, and improved processes, while providing strong financial oversight.
"We are thrilled to have an executive-level finance professional with decades of experience across the range of our client services join the team," said Eric Kessler, Founder, Principal and Managing Director of Arabella Advisors. "Our clients rely on our finance team for a variety of functions, and Wil's expertise caps an already strong team as we continue to provide our clients with excellent service."
"I am excited to join the gifted team at Arabella and to partake in this entrepreneurial mission," said Priester. "It will be gratifying to help strengthen Arabella¡¯s infrastructure in service of our clients' pursuit of greater good."
Prior to joining Arabella, Priester was Senior Vice President and CFO of the American Type Culture Collection, a $90 million nonprofit biological resource center and research organization. Prior to that, he served as CFO and managing director of Blue Water Capital, LLC, a venture capital firm. A certified public accountant (CPA), Priester has served on the Boards of Directors of several private companies and is a co-founder and former board member of a K-8 school. He has a B.S. in Commerce with Distinction from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from Georgetown University.
Shelley Whelpton's work at Arabella will focus on leading teams of specialists to build customized plans for clients that integrate and maximize all aspects of their charitable assets, including grants, investments, relationships and time. She will focus on foundations and individuals operating in the Mid-Atlantic region.
"Shelley's deep experience across a range of public interest issues and her background in policy and advocacy will be of great value to Arabella clients in the Mid-Atlantic region and across the country," said Bruce Boyd, Principal and Managing Director of Arabella Advisors.
"I am thrilled to join this passionate and mission-driven team," said Whelpton. "I look forward to helping our clients develop innovative strategies and creative collaborations to achieve breakthrough results throughout the philanthropic sector."
Prior to joining Arabella, Whelpton was the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for The Sheridan Group, a public policy firm dedicated to public interest causes. Her work included developing strategic partnerships that spanned a range of issue areas, including new social financing mechanisms, open access, education, youth development, child welfare and health. Prior to her tenure with The Sheridan Group, she was the Vice President at Academic Year in the USA, a leading high-school foreign exchange program that annually serves 2,000 students.
Whelpton is a founding board member of Running Start, a nonprofit dedicated to providing political leadership training for girls and young women. In addition, she sits on the advisory board at Playworks, a Washington, DC-based organization that is leading a national movement to safeguard recess, promoting safe, inclusive and physically engaging playground activities. Whelpton also coaches youth basketball and soccer teams.
Whelpton graduated with honors from Williams College with a B.A. in Political Science, earning the Richard Krouse Political Science Award, and completed a Master's degree in Education from Boston University.