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Pfeffer to lead Alexandria community foundation

Kathy Pfeffer

The Alexandria Area Community Foundation — a group that has given more than $650,000 to local nonprofits in the past 25 years — has its first executive director.

On Thursday, the foundation's board of directors and its consultant, CommunityGiving, announced Kathy Pfeffer will lead the organization. She'll be responsible for overseeing and directing foundation activities, including fundraising and grantmaking.

Pfeffer, who has lived in Alexandria for almost 40 years, said that being named director allows her to give back to the community. Pfeffer comes to the foundation with 20 years of experience as the previous executive director of the Alexandria Technical and Community College Foundation.

"I'm looking forward to it," she said in a phone interview. "I retired from the tech college two years ago and was trying to decide what to do with my retirement. ... I think you have to do what you love. I just have a passion about being connected to the community, helping people, and I love being a part of something that's bigger than me, something that is for the greater good."

When the opening was first announced, Barb Carlson with CommunityGiving said the half-time position of executive director was needed because it will "greatly augment the growth potential of community foundations."

Carlson said an executive director will also provide the foundation with a more local presence. The foundation has had local staff in the past but has relied on Carlson, who is based in St. Cloud, and CommunityGiving in recent years.

Pfeffer will work directly with the board of directors to develop strategies for growth and greater community impact and the person will develop relationships with key professional advisors in the area.

She began her career as an educator where she taught K-12 and some college courses and then transitioned into sales.

Pfeffer joined the team at Alex Tech, and under her leadership, the college foundation's net worth increased from $900,000 to more than $20 million.

Jason Pohlen, chairman of the search committee and vice chair of the foundation board noted in a news release, "We believe Kathy's years of fundraising experience combined with her deep knowledge of the local community will enable the Alexandria Area Community Foundation to grow and become an even stronger asset to the region."

Steve Joul, president and CEO of CommunityGiving added, "Kathy will be a wonderful addition to the entire CommunityGiving team. We are excited to have her as the AACF executive director."

The community foundation, in affiliation with CommunityGiving, is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local community.

Since 1992, the foundation has grown to have more than $2.4 million in assets and awarded $657,000 in grants to local nonprofits.

CommunityGiving is a collaboration of community foundations united under a single framework to create efficiencies that maximize the impact of donors. The core foundations working with CommunityGiving include the Alexandria Area Community Foundation, the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, the Central Minnesota Community Foundation and the Willmar Area Community Foundation.

Collectively, CommunityGiving administers more than 650 funds totaling more than $127 million. Learn more at CommunityGiving.org/Alexandria.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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