Costello Brings Decade of HR Experience to MFH


Crystal Costello headshot

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Tiffany Phillips
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Crystal Costello joins Missouri Foundation for Health as Vice President of Talent and Culture, a newly created role on the leadership team. Their first day is May 29.

The new position is dual-pronged: Costello will oversee human resources, while fully developing and supporting an inclusive, empowering, and equitable work culture; they will also be a strategic thought partner with other Foundation leaders, developing and implementing tools and approaches around internal policy, talent acquisition, retention, and diversity.

Costello is more than up to the task. They’ve spent over a decade in nonprofit human resources leadership, most recently serving as Chief People Officer for Lambda Legal, and previously as Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Management for AIDS Foundation Chicago. Costello has considerable experience building, scaling, and modernizing human resource systems.

“I always operate with a people-first mentality,” said Costello. “We spend so many of our waking hours earning a living. Ensuring our work environment supports our professional and personal development is key to finding and keeping the best team members. I’m excited to support an optimal workplace for everyone at MFH.”

The organization is in a season of growth. Costello fills the second new leadership position created this year, with Ivory Clarke joining the Foundation as Vice President of Strategic Relationships in January. Both positions are key to helping MFH on a journey of trust-based philanthropy that incorporates an antiracist lens.

A key tenet of trust-based philanthropy is giving grantees more flexibility to decide where grant dollars are most needed, whether on direct program costs or overhead. Earlier this year the Foundation increased the indirect expense rate for some grantees from 15-25% of total direct expenses, based on an organization’s size. MFH recently released a statement affirming that achieving health equity in Missouri requires diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

“Crystal’s depth of human resources knowledge, nonprofit experience, and dedication to fostering an inclusive, supportive work environment make them a perfect fit for the position,” said Mark Seebeck, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at MFH.

“We have world-class staff who are committed to helping all Missourians live their healthiest lives . What we sought was someone to build a robust human resource strategy. The best way for us to maximize our impact across Missouri is to be intentional about our internal culture, ” said Dr. Dwayne Proctor, MFH President and CEO.

Crystal relocated to St. Louis from Chicago in 2023 with their wife and two small children.