Outgoing President & CEO Ann Lisi reflects on the foundation fundamentals that guide our work now and in the future.

In lead up to my last days with the Foundation, the bittersweet word “final” keeps coming up. June 28 is my final day in the office. You’re reading my final blog post! And last month, I attended my final GWCF Annual Meeting – as President, that is.

Though it seems like only yesterday, my first annual meeting was thirty years ago, seated as a new Program Officer. The reports were interesting; the goals ambitious; the constituents engaged. Decades later, the fundamentals of who we are and what we do to benefit our community are the same.

Now, as a strategic leadership foundation, we express the fundamentals this way: build our understanding of community need through research and data; value input from community stakeholders in the development of programs and approaches; and actively educate donors so that we may connect those who want to help with the most urgent needs and opportunities.

As I reflect on where we’ve been and my own mark on the Foundation, I realize that it’s not so helpful to dwell on finality. Neither I nor GWCF have reached a finish line. This work is not a race but an endless relay. My job now is to pass the baton with the smoothest possible hand-off.

In mid-August, new CEO Barbara Fields will take the helm leading a wonderful team of talented and devoted staff. New Chair Carolyn Stempler will lead the Board.

With the fundamentals as a guide, and with you as champions, I am confident that the Foundation will continue to build an ever-stronger community.

And so, with deepest pride, and gratitude beyond words, I fulfill my leg of the journey. Now, take it from here!

Me with some friends in 2005. Not quite passing the baton...

but, hey, I never was really great at sports metaphors!