Our investment in people and passions

Our entire staff—every single person—plays a vital role in our day-to-day operations. I am continually encouraged and impressed with their passion for people, for the work in front of them, and the community outside our doors. It is why investing in the Community Foundation is so important. An investment in the Community Foundation ensures that we are equipping creative minds to be stewards of our community's legacies and resources.

There have been some exciting changes in this New Year on our team. First, we recently promoted three staff members—individuals that we rely on to not only be purposeful in their work, but to come alongside others and help them do their best as well.

Kelly Thompson has been named Vice President of Grantmaking and Community Initiatives. Kelly leads our grant and scholarship programs and manages the Community Foundation's youth philanthropy program, Teens for Tomorrow. Our community is better connected because of the strong relationships she develops with nonprofits, bringing people and programs together to address issues that no organization alone can tackle. She also has a wonderful way of engaging with our donors, partnering with them to find creative ways they can make gifts that transform our region. I look forward to her leadership and creativity in the year ahead.

I also want to recognize Dana Berggren, who now serves as Grants Management Specialist. She's been with us since 2013, supporting our grantmaking work. In her new role, she'll continue to strengthen relationships with our donors and organizations across the region who receive grants from the Community Foundation. Dana will also work with donors on setting up—and eventually awarding—student scholarship funds.

Krista DeJoode has made her mark here at the Community Foundation as well, and will now serve as Finance Specialist. She brings a strong background and commitment working with a lot of "numbers," and will continue to help donors make gifts of stock to the Community Foundation.

This month, these three women are joined by a new part-time staff person, Nancy Goldsmith. Nancy comes to us after more than four decades in wealth management with Wells Fargo. She will serve as a Philanthropic Advisor with us, partnering with donors and professional advisors as current and new donors establish and grow funds through the Community Foundation. We are absolutely thrilled to have Nancy join our team part-time.

Jenny Molyneaux, who has been volunteering at the Community Foundation since last summer to enhance our data management systems, is also joining us as Interim Development Project Advisor to support our work in the first half of this year. Jenny has an awesome background in database marketing. Her enthusiasm for our mission is contagious, and we are glad to have her in our offices more regularly.

I mention these staff members because they are great examples of the incredible behind-the-scenes work that sometimes goes unnoticed, but is at the core of our mission. Whether it is the tedious task of number crunching or the responsibility of sitting down with our future change makers and walking alongside them as they consider their legacy and embark on their first grantmaking process, our staff makes a difference in the lives of people every day.

Looking ahead, 2017 will be a year for our Board of Directors and staff to build on our great past of facilitating endowed legacies, investing in our community through grantmaking, and engaging with our community in efforts like the Q2030 Regional Action Plan.

It will also be a chance for us to welcome even more new faces to our team. Earlier this month, we posted positions to hire a new Vice President of Development and a new Accounting Associate. Information on the positions are available here, and I would welcome recommendations of people you think may be perfect for the jobs.

There aren't enough ways to say thank you to our fabulous, hardworking, creative, dedicated staff.

Likewise, there aren't enough words to say thank you to the donors who believe in what we do—and in our community—to trust us with their legacies. So, I'll say it today and I'll continue to say it throughout this New Year: Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.