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Park City Community Foundation Hires Interim CEO As It Continues Search

Park City Community Foundation

Eight months after getting notice that their Executive Director would be retiring this spring, the Park City Community Foundation still hasn’t named a successor and instead has opted to appoint an interim CEO.

Former Community Foundation Executive Director Katie Wright announced in November 2020 that she would be stepping down from her position in April. The foundation issued a press release Thursday announcing that Joelle Kanshepolsky has been appointed as Interim CEO.

According to that release, Kanshepolsky is a “highly successful fundraiser, consultant and change-maker” with 24 years of professional nonprofit experience. She serves as a consultant with Pathway Associates – an agency that supports nonprofits with temporary leadership. Kanshepolsky has had several clients in the Park City area, including National Ability Center, Nuzzles & Co,  and Live Like Sam. She will begin her temporary job July 12th.

Community Foundation Board Chair Kristi Cumming says it’s taken longer than expected to find the right person given the depth and breadth of the work that the foundation is doing. Cumming adds it’s an important decision for not only the foundation, but the community - and it’s worth waiting to get the best person they can.

“And we're just looking for that perfect person,” Cumming said. “Perfect might not be the right word but we're looking for that executive that has deep philanthropic experience and understands our community and our culture in Park City, in Summit County, and I would just say that we haven't quite yet found that person. We are now getting into the summer months -- it's sometimes hard to get people's attention during the summer -- and we just thought it was appropriate to take a pause at this point, and sort of regroup and restart the search again in the fall.”

While they thought they would have someone in place by now, Cumming says the right thing to do was bring in someone part-time. She says she and the staff have worked tirelessly for the last eight months and they deserve to have the support of even a part-time leader.

“And as we think about strategic planning, as we think about our board retreat, as we think about the business, the day-to-day business of our foundations,” Cumming said, “we felt the right thing to do was to bring somebody in.  She'll be working part-time. I've been putting a lot of work in - much more than I have in the past as board chair - and I also need that support to help me as I plan to make the foundation as strong as it can be over this next year. So, I just didn't think it was, it wasn't responsible of us not to make this move.”

The board has agreed that the new leader will be titled CEO rather than Executive Director. While there has been some public criticism that the vacancy has been dragging on, Cumming says it’s not that the board can’t agree on a candidate, they just want to make sure they hire the right person.

“We have pretty high expectations,” Cumming said. “This is an important decision. What we don't want is to rush into making this decision and it not being the right fit. We’re being, I don't know if picky is the right word, but I think it's okay for us to take the time to make this right choice.”

As Interim CEO, Kanshepolsky will report to the board, lead operations, and conduct strategic planning for 2022.

The Community Foundation plans to continue its CEO search after a hiatus. All current CEO applicants are encouraged to keep their hats in the ring and will be reconsidered when the Search Committee reconvenes this fall. Cumming is confident the foundation will hire a permanent CEO in the coming year.

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