Lori J. Bertman, widely recognized as a noted expert and innovative thinker in the field of disaster philanthropy, serves as the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s inaugural board chair and on the board of Good360, an organization that is revolutionizing in-kind giving. Not only was she honored by City Year Louisiana in 2011 as a Visionary Leader for her work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but she also was given a National Leadership Award for Advocate of the Year by Share Our Strength, and recognized among the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2000.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Lori organized local and national philanthropic resources to raise more than $40 million in funds for recovery. She was not new to the field: Lori founded Bertman + Associates, a philanthropy and fund development consulting firm in 2001 and, prior to that, she created the first donor services department for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, where she managed more than 150 donor-advised funds. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree from Louisiana State University.
With Bertman + Associates, Lori was instrumental in providing a cohesive vision for deepening the role of philanthropy in disaster management. She fostered partnerships between private and public entities; offered insight on post-disaster planning for long-term recovery; and presented at regional and national conferences.
More recently, Lori became president and CEO of the Baton Rouge-based Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, Louisiana’s largest private family foundation. She currently advises the Pennington Disaster Resilience Fund at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and serves as an adjunct instructor for the LSU School of Social Work, where she teaches a course on philanthropy and community leadership.
Lori co-founded the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, coming full circle in her past work with nonprofit organizations, foundations, corporations, and individual donors in fund development and strategic giving.