Nikki DiCaro stood out immediately during Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia’s search for a new chief financial officer.
“We were looking for a CFO that had been in the public sector and the for-profit world. And we were looking for a CFO who could build a solid finance team,” Finance Committee Chair David Gold said. “We were very happy with her past experience and what we felt she would bring to Jewish Federation.”
As CFO, DiCaro will be responsible for accounting, financial reporting and strategic planning, among other duties. She said her combination of experience in the public and private sectors will help her focus on maximizing money for Jewish Federation’s programs and making financial administration run smoothly.
Her goal is to make financial reporting as transparent as possible so that board members have access to information in a timely manner, as well as driving general organizational growth and sustainability.
She got her start as a staff accountant at a newspaper before becoming a regional controller at Comcast, first in Flint, Michigan, and later in Philadelphia. After Comcast, she worked as a controller and then as CFO at the startup venture firm Bachow & Associates, helping to source and finance portfolio acquisitions of several companies.
She stayed in the private sector for 25 years before moving to the nonprofit world, where she has worked for the past 15 years. She was the senior vice president at Treatment Research Institute and CFO at American Friends Service Committee, the Quaker social services organization. Immediately before joining Jewish Federation, she was the CFO and chief administrative officer at the Please Touch Museum.
Community is important to DiCaro, who has lived in the area most of her life. She grew up in West Philadelphia and attended Saint Joseph’s University. After college, she lived in Havertown, Media and Glen Mills.
Although she is not Jewish, she has always been a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish community.
“The Jewish people’s ability to sustain and to thrive in spite of all of their struggles has been absolutely amazing, and I’m encouraged by the unity of their community,” she said.
She also was drawn to Jewish Federation’s mission and dedication to building community.
“It is amazing to do work in your backyard, and it speaks volumes for this organization’s ability to raise funds and put those funds to work,” she said. “I’m a big admirer of organizations that can accomplish what the [Jewish] Federation has done as long as it’s been in existence, and I’m honored to be able to hopefully contribute to their success.”
DiCaro celebrates an important personal milestone this year: Dec. 31 will mark “the fifth anniversary of the completion of my transition to womanhood,” she said. She believes it is important for all organizations to have diverse leadership.
“I learn from being around a diverse group of people,” she said. “You get a chance to see and experience life through other people’s lens, you get a sense of what they struggle with.”
She said her career has blossomed since coming out and she has had the opportunity to be a role model for other trans people and their loved ones. People reach out to her with questions and for guidance about transitioning and supporting transgender individuals.
“I’ve been able to coach and mentor family members and budding transgender children, teenagers and adults to trust your heart and live authentically, because if you don’t live authentically, you’ll regret not being true to yourself,” she said.
In addition to her finance career, DiCaro is a creative writer. She has published 18 books on Amazon, including a series of thrillers, books of poetry and four gender transition guides for trans individuals and their parents, educators and employers. She is working on a seventh installment in “The Amelia Chronicles,” which tells the story of a working mother in the Philadelphia area.