Pepin Academies Foundation announced it has hired Don Orrico as its director of development to lead the Foundation’s strategic partnership work, including expansion of its community and corporate outreach efforts.

Orrico will be responsible for building and managing a regional and nationwide fundraising network to support the growth and raise awareness of Pepin Academies, a specialized network of public independent not-for-profit charter schools for students with learning and learning-related disabilities in the Tampa Bay area. 

“With Don leading our team we will better equipped to tackle the needs and deliver the support for our students and the schools as they continue to expand and open new campuses,” said Natalie King, Chair of the Pepin Academies Foundation Board of Directors.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Orrico served as the Florida-based director of strategic partnerships at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Prior, he served in a major gifts role, focused on the south Florida area, at the James Madison Institute. Orrico is a graduate of both the Atlas Network’s Think Tank Leadership Training and the Charles Koch Institute’s [email protected] program. He also served on the board of directors of the Catholic Education Awareness Fund and is now a fundraising advisor to the Latin Mass Society of Tampa Bay.

“I am incredibly excited to blend my passion for non-profit charter schools and improving the lives of those most in need in our local community. I believe this year has taught us that tight-knit communities caring for the most vulnerable are the ones best setup for long-term success.” said Orrico.

The Foundation’s reach across the community is already one to be admired; they have partnerships with organizations such as Publix, AdventHealth and Ferman Auto. With annual events such as their infamous Puttin’ for Pepin Golf Tournament that attracts high profile community leaders, the Foundation is able to invest directly into the academic success of the students.

“Pepin Academies has a tremendous track record of success providing a highly specialized form of education for students and helping launch the professional careers of graduates through the Transition Program which has helped foster numerous high-level partnerships in the Tampa Bay area.” continued Orrico. “I want to cultivate those partnerships but also go further in telling the Pepin Academies success story all over the country. As one of the only tuition free schools in the country exclusively focused on students with learning disabilities, Pepin Academies deserve to have their story told nationally and that will happen as we develop more partnerships outside the Tampa area.”

The growth of Pepin Academies Foundation and its established partnerships reflects a simultaneous growth for Pepin Academies, which is set to open its new Pasco County campus in New Port Richey this year and expand its Riverview campus with the purchase of an additional property adjacent to their campus. Pepin Academies also anticipates adding two new campuses in the next five years located in Wesley Chapel and Citrus Park.