Maryann Fernandez


Maryann Fernandez
Founder & President, Philanthropy Indaba
New York, NY

Maryann Fernandez is Founder & President of Philanthropy Indaba, a unique consultancy that creates exclusive, customized field trips, journeys and service/internship opportunities to enhance philanthropic initiatives through experiential learning. Whether it is across town, across the country, or across the world, we develop experiences for individuals and small groups to go out into the field and gain tremendous insight and understanding on critical issues, local challenges, theories of change and models of success. She specializes in identifying synergies between groups and nurturing partnerships.

Previously, Maryann  served as a consultant to Educate Girls Globally and world-renown non-profit, Ashoka, Innovators for the Public. She also helped launch and establish a private network of ultra-affluent philanthropists which included 150+ families.

In 2000, Maryann co-founded Shaking the Tree Foundation (STT), whose mission is to use storytelling to positively transform the individual’s relationship to wealth, family and society.  STT developed the Living Case Study, a workshop which utilizes professionally executed theatrical productions to discuss challenges in affluent families including family dynamics, psychology of money and philanthropy. Maryann produces and co-authors every play and workshop.

Maryann was formerly Vice President, Family Education Services and Senior Marketing Representative at the Harris Private Bank, Chicago.  With Harris Bank from 1998 – 2002, Maryann oversaw the development and strategic direction of educational events designed to address the issues and opportunities in wealth management.

Maryann is part of the Transformational Philanthropy Leadership Circle at Inspired Legacies. Her major volunteer projects include Karongwe Ecological Research Institute in South Africa (Feb-Mar 2003) where she served as a research assistant gathering data on African wild dogs, lions, leopards, hyenas and cheetahs; College Summit (Aug 2007) as a writing coach to inner-city teens; and Educate Girls Globally (Jan-Feb 2008), videotaping interviews with the varied partners and government officials in India. Maryann also served as a judge for the 2008 and 2009 New York University Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship.