The Nehemiah Foundation

Nehemiah Launches New Rise & Build Influence Initiative

The Nehemiah Foundation introduced its fourth pathway initiative today with the announcement of the Rise & Build Influence Initiative during its annual Leadership Breakfast at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. At the same time, the organization took the opportunity to recognize ministry, civic and church leaders who are making an impact in the community. 

“From the inception of this organization, this desire to invest in Christian leaders has been part of the DNA,” said Amy Willmann, Executive Director of Nehemiah. “We intend to press into four areas of Christian leadership to honor that tradition.”

Each of Nehemiah’s “pathways” will serve as strategic initiatives as the organizations focused on community-building in 2022 and beyond. The Rise & Build Influence Initiative will include four key components: 

  • MP Grant Program – a collaborative grant paradigm to increase capacity-building within ministries. 
  • S.O.U.L. Talk Podcast – wisdom for faith-leaders invest in “hope worth spreading.”
  • Leadership Coaching – cultivating transformational leadership practices and support for faith leaders
  • New Ministry LaunchPad – nurturing innovative kingdom-building ideas and guiding new ministries

Two Leadership Awards were presented – one from a church leader to a civic leader and vice versa. City Commissioner Rob Rue presented the Church Leadership award to David Cotto and Pastor Jeremy Hudson of Fellowship Springhill Church presented the Civic Leadership award to Marlo Fox of Think Tank. 

Rev. David Cotto is the minister of Clifton Ave. Church of God, along with his wife, Tina, and is actively involved in helping to minister to Springfield’s south side. Cotto has been an active member of the Clark County Substance Abuse Coalition, Kid’s Hope, Promise Neighborhood and Celebrate Recovery. He has strongly advocated for the return of a grocery market on the city’s south side — a prominent food desert — which will come to fruition next month. 

Marlo Fox co-founded Think Tank, Inc. in 2006, with the purpose of equipping and facilitating collaboration among people and organizations seeking ways to promote greater connectedness and a more thriving community. For fifteen years she has served in various leadership capacities in the nonprofit sector. This has included working with diverse teams to develop and implement strategies and approaches aimed at fostering economic opportunity and personal and community leadership potential present among under-resourced neighborhoods and groups. Fox serves on the Springfield Promise Neighborhood Board of Directors and enjoys connecting with and serving the community through her church. She lives in Springfield, Ohio with her husband and two daughters.

More information about the Rise & Build Leadership Initiative will be available on the foundation’s website at

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