Project Team

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Great Expectations is an initiative of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston Salem, North Carolina. The Trust is the legacy of the late Kate Gertrude Bitting Reynolds, who was married to William Neal Reynolds, chairman of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Before her death in 1946, Mrs. Reynolds established the Trust to continue much of the work she had supported during her lifetime. The Trust’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the quality of health for the financially-disadvantaged in North Carolina.

In 2012, The Trust began a more focused approach to grantmaking with Healthy Places NC, and Great Expectations represents a continued emphasis on prevention. Trust leadership looks forward to ongoing learning from the process of community partnership and targeted grantmaking in Forsyth County. 

Great Expectations Activating Agency

While the Trust’s investment in early childhood is large, the Trust staff is quite small. In order to support the successful implementation of Great Expectations, the Trust has partnered with an "Activating Agency" - MDC, a Durham, NC-based nonprofit that works with organizations and communities across the South to close the gaps that separate people from opportunity.   By bringing organizations, practitioners, and families together and emphasizing cross-sector collaboration, MDC ensures that the Great Expectations strategy is rooted in local knowledge and perspective and that it can be extended well beyond the commitment of any single funder or partner.  MDC’s responsibilities also include working with the Trust to shape and guide the overall direction of the initiative, development of collaborative strategies that advance key system-level outcomes, shaping grantmaking strategies with a systems focus, knowledge development and ongoing refinement of the initiative, and, working closely with Pyramid, an expert communications firm, strategic communications.   MDC also ensures the strategic use of data throughout the initiative and works with the Trust to evaluate progress.


For nearly 50 years, MDC has helped organizations and communities close the gaps that separate people from opportunity, largely in the South. An essential part of MDC's philosophy is that the pathway to opportunity is cleared by creating equity—removing the social, financial, and educational barriers that make it harder for those left behind to take advantage of the opportunities America offers. MDC employs integrated, sustainable solutions that connect people with the financial supports that can stabilize their lives, the education and training they need to get better jobs, and the industries that will benefit from their labors and improve the entire community.

Great Expectations Contacts

Joseph D. Crocker                                                                                                                       Director, Poor and Needy Division
Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
128 Reynolda Village
Winston-Salem, NC 27106
Office Phone: 336-397-5503
Mobile: 336-757-2984

Marni Langbert Eisner                                                                                                                 Director, Great Expectations
MDC                                                                                                                                             Albert H. Anderson Jr. Conference Center                                                                             Winston-Salem State University                                                                                             601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive                                                                                               Winston Salem, NC 27107                                                                                                           Mobile: 704-904-4348                                                                                                               Email: