May 20, 2019

Horizon Foundation Announces New Chief Operating Officer

The Horizon Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Anne Brinker as its new chief operating officer. In this role, she will be part of the Foundation’s senior executive team and oversee human resources, administrative operations, finance and accounting.

“Anne is a seasoned leader with a deep commitment to improving lives in our local community,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation. “We are proud and honored to have her join the Foundation and contribute to our mission to improve health and wellness for all who live or work in Howard County.”

Brinker has more than 15 years of experience with nonprofits including program and grant management, strategic planning and operations. For the past 13 years, she has held roles serving the local community.

Most recently, she served as vice president and director of operations for the Community Action Council of Howard County, where she supervised day-to-day management of numerous programs including the Howard County Food Bank, 13 community pantries and energy and housing assistance. In this position, she spearheaded the organization’s community needs assessment and strategic planning process, designed and launched a streamlined approach to managing client interactions and oversaw the renovation and expansion of the food bank.

Previously, she served as director of strategic organizational planning at Columbia Association, where she spearheaded the development of a new strategic plan for the $63 million nonprofit and oversaw the Innovations Center of Excellence to pursue solutions for organizational and community challenges. Prior to that, she was village manager for the King’s Contrivance Community Association.

Brinker is vice chair of the board of directors for Leadership Howard County. She has also served on the Howard County Economic Opportunity and Prosperity Task Force. Brinker holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and an executive certificate in creating collaborative solutions from the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Horizon Foundation is the largest independent health philanthropy in Maryland. Since 1998, the Foundation has invested nearly $50 million in more than 250 community programs serving the local community.



The Horizon Foundation is the largest independent health philanthropy in Maryland. We lead community change so everyone in Howard County can live a longer, better life. We are committed to improving health through innovative initiatives, collaborative partnerships, strategic grantmaking and thoughtful advocacy. Learn more at