It is with great sadness that Propel Nonprofits shares the news of the passing of Mary Nehring on Friday, April 22, 2022. A loving friend, committed colleague, excellent hugger, and champion for nonprofits, Mary’s ability to create community and make Propel a warm and welcoming place will be deeply missed at Propel and across the sector.
Photo by Anna Min
President and CEO Kate Barr, who worked closely with Mary during her tenure at Propel reflected, “Mary’s contributions to Propel cannot be easily stated or enumerated. Every organization has someone who has a knack for being helpful in everything they do, and that was Mary at Propel. She was the kind of person who cared deeply for people and made that care known through the way she diligently and carefully carried out her work, listened and empathized with others, and celebrated our colleagues by doing thoughtful things like sewing quilts for colleagues having babies, and hosting gatherings for holidays or special events. Working with her as we created Propel has been a joy and I will cherish those memories forever. I join my colleagues at Propel, and nonprofit leaders across the sector who knew and loved Mary in sending heartfelt sympathy and support to her family and friends.”
Mary worked for Propel Nonprofits before it was Propel, having worked at MAP for Nonprofits since 1988. She was at MAP for almost 30 years before it merged with Nonprofit Assistance Fund to create Propel in 2017. In her role at MAP, Mary was Assistant to the Director. At Propel, she served as the Administrative Manager, working closely with Propel’s staff and board, as well as many human resources leaders in the sector at Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) conferences.
Mary’s tenure at Propel is marked by many accomplishments and touchstones:
- She was an enthusiastic part of the implementation of the merger which included moving to new offices and many details related to the merger
- Creating a new organization
- Mary was proud to become a SHRM Certified Professional after months of studies and exams
- Caring for her colleagues, volunteers, and board members
- Mary’s commitment to the nonprofit sector was broadly felt, but by no one more than her colleagues. Perhaps closest to her heart was getting to connect with them at office celebrations where they could share stories of family, travels, and food.
“I had the joy of working with Mary for almost 20 years while I was executive director at MAP for Nonprofits,” Judy Alnes, former Executive Director at MAP for Nonprofits, said. “My colleagues and I always knew we could rely on Mary for flawless work and tremendous loyalty to the mission. She also planned and executed literally dozens of joy-filled staff gatherings! We will miss her!”
“Mary was someone whose attention to detail and tremendous knowledge of human resources made working with her both seamless and enjoyable,” reflected Heidi Kim, Director of Talent and Culture at Propel. “She was a generous colleague, a patient teacher, and someone who could make us laugh when things were complicated and hard. Her deep faith and love for her family were things that defined who she was and how she showed up in the world, and we will all miss her loving presence so much.”
The Propel Nonprofits staff, board, and community extend our deepest condolences to Mary’s family, especially her husband, Bob Nehring, and her children Jacob, Audrey, and Josh during this difficult time.