The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has announced Roxanne Jerde, an executive of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, as its incoming president and CEO. Jerde was selected from hundreds of candidates nationwide after a year-long search process following the retirement of longtime CEO Stewart W. Stearns. She will assume her new position in March.
Jerde is currently senior vice president for donor relations and education at the GKCCF. She has spearheaded many initiatives there, including the development and implementation of DonorEdge, an online tool that enables donors to evaluate their philanthropic choices.
The North Dakota native has stayed close to her roots, by living in various places throughout the Midwest after earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the University of Iowa, as well as an MBA in finance and organization behavior.
Before joining the GKCCF, Jerde spent 11 years at Hallmark’s Kansas City, Mo., headquarters. She became familiar with the Ringling College of Art and Design during her time there, because the company would often recruit artists from the college.
It was Jerdes’ unique combination of foundation experience and business savvy that made her stand out to the community foundation.
“It is very unusual to find that particular skill set,” says Charla Burchett, chairwoman of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County Board of Directors. “It was the blending of all those components that made Roxy so appealing,”
In addition to her corporate career and her work with the foundation, Jerde has served in leadership positions on several nonprofit boards, including the Kansas City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Junior League and the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault.
Jerde will join the Community Foundation March 1 and will be moving from Kansas City to Sarasota with her husband, Mike, a retired litigation attorney.
“I’m looking to build on great success that the Community Foundation has already achieved,” says Jerde. “Stearns built up the foundation to be phenomenal and so successful that I’m the lucky one.”
For more than 30 years, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has helped create permanent charitable funds in the area. The foundation was created in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council and is now one of more than 700 locally-controlled community foundations in the U.S. and Canada.
The Community Foundation’s assets total approximately $182 million in more than 700 charitable funds, and it awards grants totaling $8 million each year to organizations involved in the arts, culture and humanities; education; civic engagement; health; human services; animal welfare; and the environment.
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