Yampa Valley Community Foundation director resigns for ‘opportunity of a lifetime’
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Mark Andersen announced Friday that he will resign from his position as executive director with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation at the end of the year — for the opportunity of a lifetime.
“It was very hard,” Andersen said. “I truly enjoyed my time here. It’s a wonderful organization and I work with wonderful people, but I was presented with another opportunity, and I took advantage of that. It was definitely a bitter-sweet decision.”
Andersen, who was the foundation’s fourth executive director, said he feels the organization is stronger than ever with knowledgeable staff, a dedicated board of trustees and an overabundance of individuals who believe in the mission of connecting people who care with causes that matter.
Andersen said the community foundation has been around for more than 20 years, and he believes it plays a role that goes beyond him.
“The community foundation extends beyond any individual,” Andersen said. “I’m happy we will have the time to bring in somebody that will take the organization to new heights. It’s important for me to see the continued success of the community foundation.”
Ron Krall, the chairman of the board of trustees for the foundation, said the organization is already in the process of searching for a replacement.
“We were not expecting it at all, and I think Mark was not expecting it either,” Krall said. “He got this opportunity with CSFF, and it was a great opportunity and, in a matter of weeks, made the decision himself that it was what he wanted to do.”
Krall, who has been on the community foundation’s board of trustees for six years, said Andersen continues to work hard to carry on the organization’s work. He said that Andersen has also been helpful in talking about the search for his successor, and in helping the organization through the transition period.
“He has helped the foundation be a really central resource in the community for philanthropy. The number of people who are engaged with the foundation, the number of funds we have and the activities that we either sponsor or support have all grown tremendously,” Krall said. “He has been right at the heart of that.”
When Andersen arrived in 2009, the foundation was a little more than $6 million and by the end of his tenure he expects that number to have grown to about $20 million.
“I don’t think there is any one item,” Andersen said of the accomplishments the community foundation has reached. “I look at everything from keeping a program like IMPACT 100 running to just the growth that we have been able to have. The sustained growth throughout my time has been nice to see.”
Andersen is leaving to take the reigns of charitable organization CSFF, or Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation, from Sara Craig-Scheckman who has been its executive director since 2004.
“That foundation has been doing wonderful things, and Michael and Sara have been very supportive of the community for many, many years,” Andersen said. “Their vision for the growth of their foundation and what they want to expand in their philanthropy is exciting to be a part of.
“I’m looking forward to working with them as they continue to give back to the community.”
Craig-Scheckman released a statement saying that hiring Andersen will allow her to shift from the executive director’s position to the CSFF Board of Directors.
“It has been a tremendous pleasure working and growing with all of you and your dynamic youth-serving nonprofit organizations since 2004,” she said in the statement. “CSFF is ready for new leadership and for me to step down as founding executive director … It is with humility, gratitude and mindfulness of what is best for the vibrant future of CSFF and for our Routt County community that I hand over the reins.”
She went on to write that Andersen’s extensive background in philanthropy, with over 30 years in nonprofit management and leadership roles, makes him an ideal person to fill the position.
Anderson and his wife, Kris, moved to Steamboat Springs in 1993. They moved away for a brief time but returned 13 years ago to raise their family. Their youngest is now a junior at the University of Colorado.
Krall said that while he is sad to see his executive director leave, he is happy that Andersen and his family will remain in Steamboat.
“He’s very excited, not only about what he has accomplished, but where he is going and the opportunity there,” Krall said. “It would have been a shame to lose him, and it’s great for our community that he is staying.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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