Marisa Swystun

Marisa Swystun

Director of Development

In her role as Director of Development for CNM, Marisa pairs her experience in fundraising, strategic planning, and project management with her experience in the business community. After moving to Nashville from New York in 2016, she gained a valuable introduction to the city’s generous spirit through her work in development at Hands On Nashville.

Her commitment to community began with a Detroit family foundation, helping to establish arts education programs in the city’s underserved schools. She then joined the Art Institute of Chicago’s, fundraising for the Modern Wing capital campaign and the museum’s permanent collection. Her next steps led to a grassroots effort to build a maternity clinic in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. The organization she co-founded, Ivory Coast Mothers and Children, and the clinic, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019.  

Continuing her love of business development, Marisa joined the high street retail-leasing team of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in Chicago, and later, Acadia Realty Trust in New York. After gaining valuable insight into corporate transaction management through commercial real estate, she made the decision to turn her focus back toward community-based initiatives in the nonprofit sector.

She has a B.A. in literature, with minors in business and journalism from Michigan State University and Lancaster University, UK; and a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has a certificate in writing from Charles University, Prague, CZ.

Outside of CNM, you can find Marisa practicing yoga, walking her Cavapoo, Little Buddha, taking cooking classes, traveling home to Michigan to visit family, or pretending she’s good at karaoke.

Ask Marisa about: Fundraising, process management, restaurants or other fun things to do in the city she’s coming to love with all her heart!