Diane Bell-McKoy

Associated Black Charities Announces Departure of CEO Diane Bell-McKoy

Diane Bell-McKoy

For Immediate Release
Contact: Adrian Harpool
Adrian Harpool Associates
(443) 226-4427

BALTIMORE, MD, June 06, 2022 / Associated Black Charities (ABC) of Maryland announced the departure of their CEO, Diane Bell-McKoy. Her absence will be deeply felt by the Board of Directors, staff, and supporters, all of whom have benefited from her experience, wisdom, and progressive thinking over the past 16 years. Diane will soon embark on new professional and personal endeavors – and with feelings of deep appreciation, the ABC organization celebrates Diane as she begins her new chapter of life.

The Board of Directors has engaged a search firm to identify candidates for the organization’s next CEO. The search process will be led by Tawana Bhagwat, Chair, ABC Board of Directors.

Ms. Bhagwat commented that “we are grateful for the steady leadership and experience that Diane brought to the organization.  Diane has been a great advocate for racial equity in Maryland and has given years of dedicated service to the organization. With Diane’s leadership, ABC has successfully navigated through the most unprecedented challenges facing a non-profit organization. Her leadership in guiding ABC’s pivots during critical movements enabled us to continue to make significant contributions to our community while expanding our relationships with numerous institutional and corporate partners. We are excited for Diane and her upcoming projects, and we will build on her legacy. We are continuing to build ABC for the future”.

Chief of Staff Heidi Arndt will serve in the role of interim CEO.

Early in Bell-Mckoy’s leadership, ABC furthered the “More in The Middle” initiative she began as an Annie E. Casey Foundation Fellow. It highlighted the impact of the flight of middle-class Black families from Baltimore City and encouraged increased wages for workers as well as expanded employment opportunities to restore and strengthen the city’s tax base, school enrollment, and political power.

Additionally, Bell-McKoy’s work to mentor hundreds of young Black business executives as part of ABC’s Board Pipeline Program, which recruits and trains volunteers and potential board members for area non-profits. The “Board Pipeline” has served to expand the capacity of, and provide cultural competence to, dozens of organizations supporting Maryland’s Black community.

Charles P. Martin, Administrative Vice President, Regional Community Reinvestment Officer of M&T Bank, and ABC Board Member commented, “Over the years we at M&T have both enjoyed and benefitted from our relationship with Diane in her role at ABC. We look forward to continuing to support ABC, as they build on the legacy that Diane has helped to establish. We are incredibly grateful for Diane’s years of enlightened leadership, defined by compassion and a deep commitment to Maryland’s African American community.”

The public will have an opportunity to join ABC in celebrating Diane’s tenure at its in-person fundraising gala on Friday, June 10th. For the first time in three years, ABC staff, supporters, and sponsors will gather to uplift their work towards closing the racial wealth gap in Maryland. Long-time attendees of the yearly gala will find themselves at a brand-new venue, as the event will take place on the Baltimore waterfront at the Sagamore Spirit distillery campus in Port Covington. Tickets are available now.

The dinner program will also boast a refreshed format. With an event theme of “A Night to Remember – Elevating & Celebrating Baltimore’s Black Workers.” Black employees from around the region will be honored with a video presentation, special remarks, and recognition in the Program booklet. April Watts, veteran on-air radio personality, print journalist, and influencer, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Special activities including distillery tours, a jazz band, and a cigar lounge will fill out the memorable evening.


About ABC
Associated Black Charities works across Maryland as an educator, advocate, and supporter to eliminate race-based barriers and advance long-term solutions that create economic opportunities for African Americans. Associated Black Charities is on an aggressive pursuit to Change the Future. ABC seeks to significantly strengthen Maryland’s economy by focusing on the economic growth, the economic inclusion, and economic influence of African Americans. Informed by data and leading through innovative and research-based approaches, ABC will ensure that economic opportunities are extended to and seek to advance ALL people. To learn more, visit https://www.abc-md.org/