A Charlotte-based nonprofit that has emerged as one of the nation’s top organizers of corporate disaster relief is losing its founding leader to retirement.
Laura Meyer Wellman will be leaving as head of E4E Relief effective Nov. 1, and a national firm will spearhead the search for a new CEO.
Foundation for the Carolinas, which spawned E4E as part of its community service, will oversee operations of the agency in the interim.
Wellman’s retirement comes as the nation remembers the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, which launched the Foundation for the Carolinas’ employee disaster relief program.
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When the terrorist attacks happened, a Charlotte-based company asked the foundation to help coordinate the company’s disaster relief for staff members based in New York. The foundation’s work was so successful that other companies began signing on for similar help, including flood, earthquake and tornado relief.
The result was the creation of a subsidiary of the foundation in 2014. Wellman, who had been an executive with Foundation for the Carolinas since 2002, assumed leadership of E4E Relief as it expanded nationwide and overseas.
E4E currently serves more than 1 million employees nationwide at companies as diverse as mid-size businesses and Fortune 500 organizations. Its extensive client roster includes Wells Fargo, Family Dollar and McKesson.
“This was probably the most difficult decision of my life,” Wellman said in a statement. “The foundation is an extraordinary organization, and the ability to lever years in U.S.-based and international financial services – both at FFTC and in building a terrific team and business opportunity at E4E – is pure joy.”
Foundation for the Carolinas CEO Michael Marsicano said Wellman’s work helped forge a national philanthropic response to the plight of families emerging from disasters and severe hardships.
Wellman will continue to be active in the community, serving as the region’s Honorary Consul of France and on the boards of Providence Day School, the World Affairs Council of Charlotte and Opera Carolina.
She previously was a vice president and business director with Citi in New York for 22 years and a senior vice president of marketing at Bank of America.