Karen Sadik-Khan, President of the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board, announced on Monday the appointment of Scott Neff as Executive Director for the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the 202-bed Nathaniel Witherell Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center. Neff has served as the organization’s development director since 2009.
During the past eight years, Neff spearheaded work with the Friends’ Board of Directors and key Witherell volunteer leadership to conduct the first Capital Campaign in The Witherell’s 114-year history, that raised over $4.6 million to defray costs of the $27 million renovation of the facility, known as “Project Renew.”
Neff and The Friends board also played a critical role in procuring a cash grant of $4.49 million to the Town under the State of Connecticut’s Historic Income Tax Credit Program. Neff initiated research into the Nathaniel Witherell’s architectural history and applied to the U.S. Department of the Interior to list the campus on the National Register of Historic Places, which was approved in 2010.
“Scott’s been instrumental in advancing the mission of the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell to drive support and raise funds to enhance the care and services that the Nathaniel Witherell provides,” said Sadik-Khan. “He has helped bring to fruition many new programs and initiatives that continue to make The Nathaniel Witherell a treasured feature of the Town of Greenwich—a place where the community can come for short-term rehabilitation and find high quality long-term care for our seniors.”
Some of those activities include procuring a $500,000 grant under the State’s Small Town Economic Assistance Program for specific construction elements of “Project Renew;” obtaining energy efficiency grants aggregating more than $129,000; and recently completing a Friendship Garden in the heart of the Witherell’s campus. Officially dedicated on May 20, 2017, The Friendship Garden was designed to enhance residents’ sensory perception by including plants that change with the seasons. The garden also includes benches, wandering paths, and a central fountain. Fundraising for the Friendship Garden was a collaborative effort, with support coming from several private and public sources.
Neff also works closely with the Friends board, which supports ongoing projects to enhance the experience of Nathaniel Witherell’s elderly residents through its David G. Ormsby Resident Life Fund. This Fund provides for daily newspapers, weekly flowers for the Chapel, Chaplaincy services, music performances including specialized music and memory programs for residents who have Alzheimer’s disease/senior dementia, art appreciation lectures, birthday and holiday parties and day trips.
Previously, Neff served as Director of Development for ARC, Rockland County, NY; Director of Philanthropy at the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens in Stamford, CT; Director of Planned Giving and Corporate Major Giving, Stamford Health Foundation, Stamford, CT; and Director of Planned Giving at Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY. Neff holds a BA from Juniata College and MEd from Hofstra University.
Reflecting on all that has been achieved over the last several years, Neff said, “The success of all of the Friends efforts could not have been realized were it not for the generosity of the citizens of Greenwich whose support has enabled the Friends to continue to enhance the quality of life for Witherell’s residents.”