David Bennett, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne since 1995, will retire at the end of this year. The announcement came at the Foundation’s board meeting on February 9. Chris Rupp, board chair, indicated that the search process for David’s successor would begin shortly.
During Bennett’s tenure, the assets of the Foundation have grown from $33 million in 1995 to $142.9 million today. While the Foundation awarded $1.2 million in grants and scholarships in 1995, in 2016 $10.2 million in grants and scholarships were provided to local charities and students.
“Any success that we’ve had can be attributed to the fact that I had the good fortune to be able to stand on the shoulders of giants”, said Bennett. “Paul Clarke and Barbara Burt (the two previous executive directors) built and nurtured a well-respected organization. In addition, we have been blessed with wonderful board leaders and committed volunteers.”
Board Chair Rupp said “David is a leader known and recognized for his integrity and ethical stewardship. The Community Foundation has thrived under his leadership, and its mission of improving lives in our community through philanthropy has been greatly enhanced. We are fortunate to have had such a high quality leader for 22 years.”
An executive transition committee has been formed and is expected to take the remainder of 2017 to complete its work. The Foundation hopes to conclude its process by January 1, 2018. Bennett will remain as executive director until a successor is in place.
“It’s the goal of each generation to accept the responsibility to nurture and grow their community foundation. I hope that we have created a stronger community foundation during my tenure,” said Bennett. “Now, it is time to pass it on to the next generation.”