Jodi Grinwald boasts more than 16 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. She started her career as a Regional Director at the American Heart Association, where she worked her way up the ladder to become the Executive Director, overseeing two-thirds of New Jersey. She next repositioned herself as Vice President of Development for the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, where she led a team of 17 throughout six states and was responsible for five regional boards of directors for over three and a half years.
In 2017, Jodi became the co-founder and CEO of the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit (for impact) organization. The Zzak (Zack) G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation provides ongoing funding to children living with financial barriers to take lessons in dance, acting, instrumental music, and vocal instruction. Over the last four years, the organization has grown exponentially and continues to be featured in the media. Jodi’s role as CEO is to build strategic partnerships in the communities in which it serves, garner funding to support its mission, and engage people in the organization’s mission, as well. Under Jodi’s leadership, the foundation has partnered with organizations that include Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, Salvation Army, Rowan University, Count Basie Monmouth Conservatory of Music, and many others throughout New Jersey.
Jodi also launched the sought-after AOK Performance Group. Her vision was to create a group that would give back with every performance. This audition-only kids-helping-kids group of talented youth learn about the importance of community service every time they take the stage. The students interact with those that are funded through the foundation and have a better understanding of the importance of non-profit work.
Additionally, Jodi serves as the statewide lead for the NJBIA Not-for-Profit Council and was instrumental in launching the first not-for-profit summit for the organization in 2021.
The NJBIA, a statewide membership organization with more than 10,000 business and non-profit members, also launched a Women Business Leaders Council and Forum, for which Jodi served as the first co-chair. The following year, Jodi headed up the event in the role of chairperson.
Over the last two years, Jodi has been a mentor for the NJ Advance Media’s Mentoring Monday event.
Jodi is also a Certified Professional Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. Whether she is presenting to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, or private clients, Jodi focuses on helping individuals better connect with what is most important to them. She also provides consulting services to other not-for-profit organizations. Her mission is to help organizations create a mindset shift, going from calling themselves “not-for-profit” to “for-impact” organizations.
In late 2020, Jodi launched the Today is the Day Changemakers podcast and YouTube Channel, where she highlights guests who are changemakers, inspirers, and those who are disrupting the status quo. She has had the honor of interviewing CNN heroes, CEOs, professors, celebrities, entrepreneurs, coaches, and others who are truly making a difference in the world. In 2022, Jodi is launching, Challenge Yourself…Disrupt the Status Quo, a Changemakers Forum event.
You can find the Today is the Day Changemakers podcast on all popular streaming sites and the Today is the Day Changemakers YouTube Channel.
Currently, Jodi is in the midst of writing a book centered around her quest to help people feel more connected. It highlights the answers to the last question her podcast guests answer: “If I knew then what I know now, what would I do?”