Naples Children & Education Foundation Names Chief Development Officer

Tracy Connelly

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, announced today the appointment of Tracy A. Connelly, CFRE, as its Chief Development Officer. In this role, Connelly will enhance the non-profit organization’s philanthropy in the areas of major giving, planned giving and endowments.

 “We are delighted to welcome Tracy to our senior leadership team,” said NCEF Chief Executive Officer Maria Jimenez-Lara. “He brings more than 30 years of experience in the field of philanthropy and will contribute greatly as we seek to build upon the success of the Foundation.”

 Connelly most recently served as Vice President of Development for the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee where he completed the Rosemary and Walter Blankley Scholarship Endowment Campaign and launched “Guadalupe 2020 & Beyond,” a comprehensive campaign to build two new Early Learning campuses and establish operating reserves and an endowment. Before that, he was System Director of Gift Planning for Lee Health Foundation where he worked on the $100 million capital campaign to build the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

 A native of Michigan, Connelly graduated from Western Michigan University where he began his philanthropy career in 1987 as Assistant Director of Alumni Relations. He later worked at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

 Connelly currently serves on the board of Collier-Lee Chapter of The Association of Fundraising Professionals, which honored him in 2018 with its “Outstanding Fundraising Executive of the Year” award. He also is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Naples and a graduate of Leadership Collier. Connelly became a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) in 2018.

About Naples Children & Education Foundation

The Naples Children & Education Foundation, the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and collaborative strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted over 45 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing more than 275,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time.

About Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Naples Winter Wine Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, offers a weekend of unforgettable memories. Guests enjoy world-class food and wine during intimate dinners in private homes and are invited to bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences during an electrifying live auction. Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised more than $212 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

For additional information on the Naples Children & Education Foundation or the Naples Winter Wine Festival, contact Lisa Juliano at or 239-514-2239.


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