Johnson to step down as president of community foundation

Matt DeYoung • May 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees has accepted Holly Johnson’s resignation from her position as president.

Johnson has accepted the position of president at the Frey Foundation in Grand Rapids.

“While we are sad to see Holly go, we are pleased that she will be staying engaged with the philanthropic sector,” said Tammy Bailey, chairwoman of the GHACF Board.

Johnson said the decision to leave the local community foundation was a difficult one. 

“Without a doubt, no transition like this is ever made lightly,” she said. “It’s bittersweet, for sure — lots of mixed emotions. ... I’ll deeply miss running my hometown foundation and am so proud of the work we’ve been able to do together.”

Johnson has worked at the Grand Haven foundation for 11 years, serving as its president for the past six years. During that time, the foundation has helped numerous projects in the area. 

“We are so proud of the support we’ve been able to give to so many nonprofits, most recently helping The Salvation Army closing their gap on their fundraising project,” she said. “Also, TCM Counseling, helping them expand their footprint in our community, and certainly the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium. Launching Housing Next, focusing on workforce housing in our county is a big step, and supporting our schools. I would say the work we have done supporting our local school districts, helping them continue their excellence, has been a huge honor of mine.”

In addition, under Johnson’s leadership, the foundation’s assets have nearly doubled. She has seated a new team, expanded the office space and continued the tradition of impactful community grants.

Johnson will lead the Grand Haven foundation until Aug. 3. In the coming weeks, the foundation will officially launch a search to fill her position.

“We are already meeting to begin the search … and be sure we involve all our important community partners from the school systems to business to nonprofits,” Bailey said. “We want to make sure Holly’s successor is as collaborative as Holly has been. She is a rare bird and will leave some big shoes to fill, but the opportunities are everywhere, so we’re very optimistic about finding a really great fit for the community and the community foundation. Holly has been so strategic with the Housing Next initiative, the mental health roundtables, really addressing everything head-on. It’s been great.”

The foundation board’s vice chairman, Randy Hansen, said: “The team at the GHACF is strong and talented. We have dedicated and generous donors, we are in a very solid financial position, and we have spent the past six months envisioning our three- to five-year strategic plan and goals. The GHACF is well positioned for success now and into the future.”

To stay up to date on the board’s search for Holly’s successor, visit www.ghacf.org and subscribe to the foundation’s newsletter.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation is a charitable organization that has been serving the Tri-Cities community since 1971. It exists to encourage philanthropic gifts from individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of charitable funds and legacies.

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