CEO Sutton resigns from community foundation | SteamboatToday.com

CEO Sutton resigns from community foundation

After eight years as the Yampa Valley Community Foundation’s first president and CEO, Dianna Sutton has announced her resignation.

Sutton has accepted a similar position in the Florida Keys, where she can be closer to her family and use her skills to help a young foundation grow.

Although she is looking forward to using skills and techniques she has found to be successful here, Sutton said she is sad to say goodbye to the community foundation.

“It has been an incredible opportunity for me. And I want to thank the community and those who helped me in this journey,” Sutton said. “I am proud to have been part of the foundation’s growth and am confident that it’s going to continue to be a leader in philanthropy.”

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation manages individual philanthropy, acting as a repository for donor funds and handling distribution of those funds as grants.

“In the short of it, we raise money to give it away, so we help people accomplish their philanthropic dreams and goals,” Sutton said.

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The community foundation was established 25 years ago as a volunteer-run organization, and in 1996, it was expanded and Sutton was hired as the first president and CEO.

As a professional certified fund-raiser, Sutton said she always hoped to be the head of a small nonprofit organization. With Sutton’s dream of living with her daughter in a Colorado mountain town, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation was a perfect fit.

In the early years, Sutton worked alone in a one-room office and had about a $200,000 endowment to manage.

Eight years later, Sutton, along with one full-time and two part-time staff members and the foundation board, now manage a more than $4 million endowment. With legacy gifts, that endowment is closer to $11 million.

“The Yampa Valley Community Foundation has heightened the level of philanthropy in our valley, and it’s because of the board and the generosity of this community,” Sutton said. “I’ve been proud to be a part of it.”

Sutton resigned Wednesday and will leave her position in mid-April. Linda Haltom, the foundation’s staff accountant, will serve as interim-director while the foundation searches for a replacement.

“We’re really sad to see her go,” said Ed Hill, chairman emeritus of the foundation board. “She has really done great things for us. Probably her best quality is her ability to put all these things together and move an organization forward in a very positive manner.”

Sutton’s job has required hard work and dealing with challenges but always has been rewarding, she said.

“There are endless examples of the things that bring me joy on a daily basis because we’re able to help people help other people,” she said.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com