Boccignone joins Rosecrance to lead fundraising as longtime development chief Lynne Vass retires


Anne Boccignone, a veteran executive in the fields of marketing and communications and an experienced fundraiser, has joined Rosecrance Health Network as Vice President of Development.

She takes the reins at the Rosecrance Foundation from Lynne Vass, a former Rosecrance board member who came to work for the organization more than two decades ago to head up the communications and development departments. Vass is retiring.

“We welcome Anne to Rosecrance, where she will inherit an excellent development and communications operation that was created by Lynne over the course of her 23 years with us,” said Rosecrance President/CEO Philip W. Eaton. “I know Anne’s deep ties to this community, and her commitment to the Rosecrance mission and vision will ensure that we keep moving toward the future by providing philanthropic support for programs and the people we serve.”

Boccignone is a Beloit, WI, native who has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. She spent more than a decade working in the advertising industry in Minneapolis. Most recently, she worked as a brand strategist for Rockford strategic communications firm GrahamSpencer.

As a community volunteer, she has served on boards and in leadership roles for several organizations, including The Discovery Center Museum, Junior League of Rockford and Spectrum Progressive School of Rockford.

“I feel so fortunate to join Rosecrance at this moment of strength and opportunity,” Boccignone said. “Lynne is an incredible fundraising leader who worked tirelessly with the Rosecrance Foundation Board to build the resources to serve so many vulnerable families in our community. I am determined to build on that success to enable Rosecrance to continue that legacy of serving our community.”

Through the years, Vass used her development skills not only to further the work of Rosecrance but, also, to raise the standard of professionalism and success for other area not-for-profit organizations. She was a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Northern Illinois Planned Giving Council, serving terms as president and board member for both organizations. She also served as president of the United Voices for Children Board of Directors.

“During Lynne’s tenure with Rosecrance, our annual Benefit became a signature fundraising event in this community,” Eaton said, “and because of her leadership, Rosecrance has been able to offer charity care to thousands of families.”

The Benefit annually raises more than half a million dollars that goes to help families in need access treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. Through the years, Vass led several multi-million dollar campaigns for capital projects, including the $14 million adolescent treatment center on University Drive, which opened in 2004 and now serves nearly 1,000 teens annually.

Welcoming Boccignone to her new role, Rosecrance Foundation Board Chair Lisa Lindman said Vass paved the way to the future through the relationships she developed with friends and donors over the years.

“It has been a privilege to serve on the Rosecrance Foundation and be mentored by Lynne Vass,” Lindman said. “Her expert leadership has enabled the Foundation to fund extensive programming throughout our region.”