The Community Foundation is guided by an engaged and invested board of directors. All are active members of the community who volunteer time and expertise to ensure the Community Foundation fulfills its mission.
Immediate Past Chair
The Community Foundation’s professional staff is dedicated to providing the highest quality service, and regularly receives ratings of “high satisfaction” and “strong likelihood to refer” from clients and their professional advisors.
IRCF Team Member Since: 2015
When he is not surfing, Jeffrey R. Pickering is President and CEO of Indian River Community Foundation in Vero Beach, Florida. Mr. Pickering has more than 25 years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership and fundraising, including five years as President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation in Bakersfield, California, and four years as Vice President at the Community Foundation of Central Florida. Prior to entering the community foundation field, Mr. Pickering served for 10 years in leadership roles at two nonprofit respite centers in Chicago, Illinois and Orlando, Florida that provided residential medical recovery for ill and injured homeless adults discharged from area hospitals.
Mr. Pickering holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in leadership studies from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, a certificate in business administration from the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and attended Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (“d.school”). Mr. Pickering is an alumnus of the Vincentian Service Corps, where he served for one year after graduation from college as a lay missioner working among homeless men and women in New York City. In 2016, Mr. Pickering was honored to be selected for the CFLeads Executive Leadership Institute for Community Foundation CEOs, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Indian River Estate Planning Council and is Chairman of the Community Foundations of Florida.
Mr. Pickering is married to Stephanie Brooks Pickering of Palm Springs, California. The Pickerings have three children, Colin, Olivia and Grant.
Heather O’Shea has three decades of leadership experience, including stints in the for-profit sector with Baxter Healthcare Corporation and Robert Half International as well as 17 years as a teacher and administrator at the Bosque School, an independent, 6-12 school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most recently, she served as editor in chief of Vero Beach Magazine, where she developed a deep appreciation for her new “hometown” and its abundant nonprofit community.
Heather graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a triple major in English, Economics, and Theology, and completed both an Executive MBA and a PhD in literature at the University of New Mexico. A Pittsburgh native, Heather and her husband Fred Gordon moved to Vero Beach in 2018 and can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.
IRCF Team Member Since: 2015
Yamilet Cendejas is the Director of Philanthropy at Indian River Community Foundation in Vero Beach, Florida. Previously, Ms. Cendejas’ experience includes fine dining server at Oak Harbor Country Club and customer service representative in her family’s business, Yami’s Ice Cream Shop. Ms. Cendejas holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Indian River State College. She is a member of the international honor society Sigma Beta Delta.
IRCF Team Member Since: 2019
Chiaka J. Nwosu is Director of Philanthropy at Indian River Community Foundation in Vero Beach, Florida. Chiaka is a Vero Beach native, beginning at Beachland Elementary School and graduating from Sebastian River High School’s International Baccalaureate Program. She has extensive sales and technical user experience, specializing in data and information. Chiaka previously attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design & Development from Champlain College in Burlington, VT.
IRCF Team Member Since: 2021
Brooke Sauserman is the Foundation Coordinator of Grants and Nonprofit Services at Indian River Community Foundation in Vero Beach, Florida. Brooke is originally from Maryland but recently moved to Vero Beach with her husband, Hunter Sauserman. Brooke’s previous experience includes special education and office administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Development from Liberty University.