Board members of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are expected to announce the foundation’s new chief executive officer in the first quarter of 2015.
Board member John Sherman, chairman of the search committee, said the board was being “diligent in the recruiting process” for the $2 billion Kansas City-based foundation.
Its previous chief executive, Tom McDonnell, left June 30 after a year and a half in the top administration position. McDonnell said at the time that his personal plans didn’t allow for his commitment to the board’s new five-year strategic plan.
That plan — for researching and funding entrepreneurship and education programs — continues to be refined. Meanwhile, the board is being helped by an executive search firm.
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“We are looking for a leader that understands and appreciates the impact of successfully executing Mr. Kauffman’s vision,” Sherman said. “The new CEO is expected to be a team player that will collaborate with and lead our team in the implementation of the foundation’s strategy.”
The foundation’s vice president of communication, Wendy Guillies, has been serving as acting chief executive since July 1.
Sherman said the board was looking for “a proven leader with a track record of achieving desired results.” The candidate could come from either the private or nonprofit sectors, he said.
“Experience with our areas of focus (education, entrepreneurhsip, research and policy) would be a plus,” Sherman said.
The foundation was established by the founder of Marion Laboratories, who later bought the Kansas City Royals. Kauffman’s intent was to endow a foundation that would “help individuals attain economic independence through educational achievement and entrepreneurial success.”
Kauffman board president Jan Kreamer said the board was excited about revising the foundation’s strategy and wanted to take whatever time was necessary to find the right candidate.
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