IRVINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION APPOINTS TWO DIRECTORS TO ADVANCE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATIONAL SPONSORSHIPS
Kellie Pendergest Joins IPSF as Director of Communications and Marketing, while Two-Time U.S. Olympic Athlete Donald Suxho Steps in as Director of Business Development
IRVINE, Calif., Oct. 5, 2015 – Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), a nonprofit organization focused on enriching the educational experience of each child in every school, welcomes nonprofit marketing and communications authority Kellie Pendergest and corporate sponsorship sales generator Donald Suxho to its leadership team. These appointments will enhance IPSF’s ability to provide programs, raise funds and unite the Irvine community in support of educational excellence.
“Kellie’s background in marketing, communications and fundraising for an independent school known for its STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) initiative meshes seamlessly with our own focus on offering K-12 students abundant opportunities to explore science and related subject areas,” said Neda Eaton, president and CEO, IPSF. “And Donald comes to us by way of one of our most ardent supporters, Sports 1 Marketing, the sports and entertainment marketing firm that helped IPSF raise more than $125,000 at our 2015 Tee It Up for Education golf tournament. Since then, we’ve been impressed with his passion for supporting the educational pursuits of students in public schools.”
Immediately prior to joining IPSF, Pendergest served as director of advancement at St. John’s Episcopal School. During her seven-year tenure at the Rancho Santa Margarita-based institution, she led re-branding efforts and increased fundraising participation among parents and community supporters by more than 80 percent. Her efforts resulted in an increase of annual giving by nearly 25 percent – a feat achieved during the country’s economic recession. She accomplished similar achievements at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, one of the largest private schools in the western United States. Earlier in Pendergest’s career, she helped Mammoth Mountain Ski Area increase awareness for its ski areas and terrain parks through media relations and familiarization tours. The Mission Viejo resident cut her teeth in professional marketing and communications with Los Angeles Avengers arena football after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Southern California. She also earned a masters of business administration, with an emphasis in nonprofit marketing, from California State University, Fullerton.
Suxho, IPSF’s new director of business development, is considered one of the greatest volleyball players to emerge from USC. After graduating with a bachelor’s in communications, he played on the Association of Volleyball Professionals’ beach circuit for two years before joining the U.S. national team. This Albania native then moved on to the U.S. Olympic team, playing as a setter in the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. He parleyed this formidable experience into a role as the USC men’s assistant volleyball coach for the 2001-2002 season and the junior varsity head coach for the Mater Dei Monarchs in 2010. He later joined Sports 1 Marketing under Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon. Suxho quickly gained a reputation for creating new sponsorship accounts, organizing events, and building lasting relationships to increase results, revenue and awareness for clients such as 1UP Golf Development Group and the NFL Players Association. Suxho, a Huntington Beach resident, cites his work with Unstoppable Foundation to help build a village in Kenya as one of his favorite accomplishments at Sports 1 Marketing.
About Irvine Public Schools Foundation
Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of enriching the educational experience of each child in every school. Founded in 1996 by concerned parents and community leaders, IPSF sponsors enrichment programs and provides financial support to ensure a world-class education in Irvine schools. In addition, IPSF excels at uniting local corporate and community partners, parents and residents in raising funds to nurture student potential. Each year, IPSF provides millions in funding to Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) to support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education, small-group learning, after-school and summer programs, grants for classroom innovation, and support for athletic trainers and school nurses. For more information about IPSF, visit ipsf.net.