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Nicole Paquette

Senior Director, Communications, Public Relations, and External Affairs
Contact Information
Favorite quote
"Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."
— Swami Sivananda Saraswati
Favorite Aspect of CFT
"Being able to tell the stories of generosity in our community and inspiring others to give back."
Joined CFT

As director of communications, public relations, and external affairs, Nicole oversees the implementation of communication strategy aligned with CFT’s strategic plan, while also supporting special initiatives.

Prior to joining CFT in 2017, Nicole spent five years as communications manager at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area in Holland, Michigan. In this role, she managed all aspects of the foundation’s print, web and electronic communications, marketing, branding, and event planning.

Prior to her work in the community foundation field, Nicole worked as a grant writer, editor, project manager, and marketing coordinator in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region. She held various communications roles over a decade at the Bay County Library System in Bay City, Michigan.

Nicole holds a bachelor’s in professional and technical writing and communication from Saginaw Valley State University.


Nicole has a passion for civic engagement, libraries, and literacy, and has chaired two successful library millage levy renewal efforts to ensure continued funding for the local library systems in her hometown of Bay City, Michigan, as well as in Holland, Michigan where she previously worked.

In 2021-22, she co-led Big D Reads, serving as marketing chair and on the steering committee, in an equity-focused effort to foster community conversations around The Accommodation, a book on Dallas’ racial history. She serves on the Friends of the Dallas Public Library board of directors, has served on their executive commitee, and has twice served as co-chair of their annual fundraising event, Love Local (2022), and A Novel Night Out (2019).

She is a Mayor’s Star Council graduate, class of 2019-2020, and helped lead the organization’s re-brand/re-launch in 2021-22 to Engage Dallas. She now serves on the Engage Dallas advisory committee. She is a 2019 graduate of the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD YP program.

Since 2014, Nicole has served on the national steering committee CommA, a professional association of community foundation communicators, where she now serves as chair. She co-chaired the 2016 CommA Days national conference for communications professionals across the country, and was a co-chair for the joint AdNet-ProNet-CommA CFUnited conference for 300-plus community foundation colleagues across the nation in 2018 and 2020. She has helped plan four pre-conferences for community foundation leaders at the annual Communications Network conference, and currently serves on the 2022-23 Council on Foundations “Leading Locally: The Power of Place-based Community Philanthropy” conference working group.

She serves on the Philanthropy Southwest communications committee and is a founding member of the Communication Network’s ComNetworkLocal Dallas-Fort Worth chapter.

Prior to her move to Texas, Nicole was president of the Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals board of directors where she helped launch the “What You Do Matters” annual leadership awards for young professionals in the West Michigan lakeshore region. She also served as past president, vice president and communications chair for the organization. She is a past Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids (YNPN) award finalist and Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce Young Athena award finalist, as well as a graduate of the West Coast Leadership program.

In 2023, Nicole recieved the Distinguished Professional Achievement Award from the University of North Texas Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism.

Nicole’s Favorites
Libraries, literacy, civic engagement, and leadership
Local Restaurant
Knox Bistro, Crywolf, and Tacos Milagros
Place to take out-of-towners
Bishop Arts District and Knox-Henderson area
Helping others through volunteerism

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