Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Nonprofit Taps Familiar Name | Bowie Shifts from Sarasota Organization to Lead Manatee's Community Group

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Nonprofit Taps Familiar Name | Bowie Shifts from Sarasota Organization to Lead Manatee's Community Group

Article excerpt

Manatee Community Foundation

A national search for the new executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation ended close to home.

Susie Bowie, vice president of philanthropic engagement and marketing for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, will lead the Manatee foundation beginning April 4.

"This is amazing because we all know her," said Karen Miller, board chairwoman of the Manatee foundation. "She is just exceptional."

Fifty-eight candidates applied, and five finalists were interviewed.

Bowie was the unanimous choice of the board to manage the foundation's $36 million in assets and take the organization to the next level, Miller said.

"I see a tremendous opportunity for more giving and philanthropy in Manatee County, and there is also a great need," Bowie said.

A Bradenton resident, Bowie said she is familiar with nonprofits and funding needs. Her first days on the job, though, will be spent listening and learning from people who have great pride in Manatee County, including the board and staff.

She said she is excited about the potential the foundation has at its new headquarters, the Gene and Anne Beckstein Center, 2820 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, a 4,600-square-foot building including a community room that can be used by nonprofits and for training needs.

"I'm eager for people to see it not just as a building, but as a center for philanthropy," Bowie said.

Bowie worked for the Sarasota foundation for 11 years in several capacities, including communicating with nonprofits, leading Giving Challenge events that resulted in $15 million in donations, and helping launch The Giving Partner online tool.

Her supervisor at the Sarasota foundation, which has assets of $292 million and a staff of 23, called Bowie a smart, remarkable team player who has become a great leader.

"This is terrific for Susie," said Sarasota foundation President and CEO Roxie Jerde, who predicted Bowie will do great things in Manatee. …

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