Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Kanawha Foundation CEO 'Energized' about Community Effort

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Kanawha Foundation CEO 'Energized' about Community Effort

Article excerpt

Michelle Foster, president and CEO of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, gave her first address to the community during the foundation's 15th annual report Tuesday evening in the Clay Center Grand Lobby. Leslie Crutchfield, a senior research fellow at Georgetown University, also spoke, delivering the event's keynote address titled "The Courage to Change. Crutchfield is a nationally recognized speaker and has co-authored two books, most recently "Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World.

Foster was introduced by Charles Loeb, vice chairman of the foundation's board of trustees. Loeb recounted the highly competitive, year long process of finding the foundation's new president. He then congratulated Foster for being chosen out of 95 applicants from a number of national private and community foundations.

"Our committee unanimously and enthusiastically recommended Michelle Foster to serve as our foundation's next CEO, said Loeb. "In Michelle, we found a leader in our own backyard. In Michelle, we found a fearless person with a passion of excellence in everything she does.

During her state of the foundation address, Foster thanked the board of trustees for choosing her and recognized the 147 active volunteers for their contributions to the foundation. Additionally, Foster offered her thanks to predecessor Becky Ceperley, who was the president and CEO of foundation for 15 years prior to her retirement in June 2015.

"My chief aim in taking over the reigns from Becky is to reserve the vitality of this renowned organization while encouraging its progression to the next level, Foster said.

Foster said that the foundation received more than $4.7 million in contributions and distributed more than $6.2 million in grants and scholarships during the 2015 fiscal year. At the end of the fiscal year, the foundation had more than $216 million in assets under management.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I have examined the many facets of our community foundation, including our assets, our community investments, our operations and our relationships and it is my pleasure to report that the state of the foundation is strong, she said. …

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