Steamboat Springs When the Yampa Valley Community Foundation began the search to fill its recently vacated executive director position, its board of directors was looking for someone with local connections who was experienced in nonprofit work and is involved in philanthropic groups in Routt County. In Mark Andersen, the Community Foundation says it found its perfect fit.
“I think the biggest thing was that he could hit the ground running, and we wouldn’t lose any momentum,” said Ed Hill, chairman emeritus of the Community Foundation’s board.
Andersen, former executive director of Routt County United Way, as well as president of the Education Fund Board and an active member in several local groups, was selected from a field of 30 applicants and five finalists. He took over as executive director of the Community Foundation on Tuesday, filling the vacancy created when former leader Betsey Jay resigned abruptly in September.
The Community Foundation is sort of an umbrella organization that works to raise and manage funds and assist other local nonprofit organizations. As executive director, Andersen will oversee resource development, nonprofit collaboration, charitable endowment funds and day-to-day operations of the Community Foundation.
He also faces an economy in recession and a decrease in local giving.
Hill said Andersen impressed the group’s board and selection committee when he said that a slumping economy is nonetheless “filled with opportunity.”
“We may not hit a home run (because of the economy), but we’ll be getting things lined up for the future,” Hill said.
Andersen said a strength he brings to the job is the ability to work with local nonprofit organizations to examine their organizational structure and determine ways they can improve. According to a news release from the Community Foundation, Andersen has 15 years of experience in nonprofit administration, fundraising, program management and public relations.
Andersen moved to Steamboat Springs in 1993, moved away for eight years and moved back. He said in addition to working with local groups such as the Fund Board and the Environmental Coalition, he also ran a summer camp for children in Virginia.
He also has served for several years on the Community Foundation’s grant committee.
Andersen and his wife, Kris, have two sons.