Susan Ross, president and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, has announced that she will leave her post as of Dec. 31. "The Community Foundation has a strong, positive reputation among our donors and in the community," Ross said in an internal announcement to staff. "Given our reputation and the exceptional pool of talent in the region, I am very excited about what will be accomplished in the next 15 years."
The Norwalk-based foundation has awarded $123 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. Under Ross' leadership, the foundation's assets grew from $10 million to $140 million, and annual grants grew from $900,000 to more than $11 million. Ross, who lives in Easton, has led the group for 15 years.
"The Community Foundation was formed by visionary leaders who understood that Fairfield County is not a collection of 23 cities and towns, but a socioeconomic region," Ross said in the statement. "The greatest challenges in our communities – education, affordable housing, transportation, etc. – cannot be resolved town by town, but only by the region. Over the last 15 years, while we have created opportunities for individuals and communities to thrive, we have also worked to help create the connective tissue that will enable our region to be healthy and vibrant into the future."
Barry C. Hawkins, the foundation's chairwoman, said the executive transition will be led by committee of board members led by Sheila Perrin, the foundation's vice chairwoman, with the assistance of the executive search firm Spencer Stuart.
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