Rossi honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Debbie Rossi, Director of Development for The Salvation Army Sierra del Mar Division and Senior Gift Planning Mentor, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for raising $100,000,000 in gifts to support the Army’s work.

Territorial Commander Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder presented the award to Rossi Sept. 27 at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in San Diego, during the Western Territory Gift Planners Dinner. The annual event allows gift planners from different divisions to share ideas and celebrate the work they’ve accomplished.

Sierra del Mar Divisional Commander Major George Baker acknowledged Rossi for her efforts and their long-term influence in the division.

“Debbie’s efforts in gift planning will impact the mission and ministry of the Sierra del Mar Division for decades to come,” Baker said. “Because of her efforts, dedication and devotion in working with donors, the Sierra del Mar Division will continue “doing the most good” in communities through the southernmost part of California.”

When asked what motivates her, Rossi said she finds inspiration in the Army’s dedication to “doing the most good.”

“From the day I started my ministry at The Salvation Army, I felt privileged to have this opportunity to be welcomed into the homes of our loyal supporters, listen to their goals, and help them achieve their legacy by joining forces with the nonprofit that truly does ‘the most good,’” she said.

(L-R) Jeff Hesseltine, Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, Debbie Rossi, Lt. Colonel Doug Tollerud, Chaz Watson

Rossi, who worked in gift planning for nine years before accepting the Director of Development position, credits The Salvation Army with setting the stage for success.

“The Salvation Army provides me with all the ingredients necessary to be successful—a great mission, an honored history, faith, and generous, loyal supporters who desire to be part of our extended family,” Rossi said. “Achieving this milestone was never a goal. My only goal is to be the most trusted professional on our donor’s team, to be the one person they can always turn to and know I will be there.”

Territorial Director of Gift Planning Jeff Hesseltine works closely with all the divisional gift directors, including Rossi.

“Debbie’s accomplishment is an example of what can be achieved when a person has a heart for the mission and uses a proactive strategic gift planning approach that focuses on building relationships with corps officers, fundraising staff, donors and advisors,” Hesseltine said.  

Baker summed it up: “Debbie has not just set the bar high when it comes to gift planning, she is the bar!”

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