GiveWell Community Foundation (GWCF) announced today the initiation of a leadership transition. John Attaway, Jr. has decided to step down as president and chief executive officer, effective March 1, 2023. The board of directors has appointed Catherine (Callie) Neslund as his successor. Attaway will remain on staff in a counsel role.
The decision was made at the January 31 board meeting, when the executive committee presented their recommendation to the board of directors who voted to approve Neslund as the organization’s next president/CEO.
“On behalf of the board, I want to thank John for his valuable contributions to GWCF over his past three years as president and CEO. His steady hand guided the organization through COVID and Hurricane Ian, providing support to those most impacted while at the same time growing the foundation and significantly solidifying its operations,” said John H. Gray, Jr., chair of the board of directors. “Callie has the vision and the drive to take GWCF to new levels of success and community impact.”
Neslund joined GWCF six months ago as chief operating officer. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications from Palm Beach Atlantic University and her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Florida. Her prior experience spans the government and private sectors including over a decade of work in corporate philanthropy for The Mosaic Company and service on nonprofit boards such as Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, Catapult Lakeland, A Woman’s Choice, the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, and both the Lakeland and Bartow Economic Development Councils.
“It’s a great privilege to build on John’s legacy and on those who have come before working in service of the foundation and this community,” stated Neslund. “There’s something uniquely powerful about giving back and lifting each other up. That’s the cornerstone of community, and that’s what GWCF does every day.”
John Attaway, Jr., the foundation’s current president/CEO, will transition to an internal counsel role on March 1, providing legal guidance on GWCF’s funds, investments, operations, general corporate and commercial transactions and contracts, compliance with tax laws and regulations, and investment-related tax matters. Attaway expressed confidence in the board’s choice. “Callie has an impressive track record in both business and philanthropy,” said Attaway. “I am very happy with the board’s decision, and confident that Callie will ensure the community foundation continues its mission of championing charitable giving to improve the quality of life in the areas we serve, both now and for future generations.”
About the GiveWell Community Foundation
GiveWell Community Foundation (GWCF) works with individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits to build a stronger community throughout Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties and beyond through charitable funds and competitive grant cycles. The foundation is home to more than 300 charitable funds and the Impact Polk and Empower Polk grant cycles. GWCF has awarded $400 million in grants since its founding in 1997. To learn more about GWCF, visit givecf.org or call 863-683-3131.
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