Hannah Olechnowicz, who started June 1, became the foundation’s first full-time executive director.
Previously, Olechnowicz served as Tulip Time’s group sales and business development manager. Her role with the Holland festival focused on community outreach, group sales revenue and maintaining more than 180 partners that supported the nonprofit.
Lana Jacobson, emeritus board member for the Grand Haven Schools Foundation, said the board was looking for a leader “who had talent beyond qualifications.”
“Board members felt that Hannah would best carry out the values and the vision of an organization that serves a vulnerable population,” Jacobson said. “She is passionate about serving children and families of our community, and will do so with empathy, patience, and understanding.”
Jacobson said the foundation is excited for donors and community members to meet Olechnowicz because she’s open to dialogue and personable.
“We feel she will make a great impact,” Jacobson said.
The Grand Haven Schools Foundation, a nonprofit established in 1994, is dedicated to ensuring children have access to early learning opportunities, regardless of their economic background. The foundation has recently funded programs aimed at promoting early literacy and helping social-emotional development in children, Jacobson said.
Each year, the foundation grants 55-70 preschool scholarships.
Olechnowicz lives in Grand Haven with her husband, Luke, and said she enjoys attending community events. She noted that she wanted to make a bigger impact in the community she lives in.
Olechnowicz grew up in Montague, earned a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership, philanthropy, and public administration from Grand Valley State University. She is the president-elect for the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club.
As she gets underway at her new job, Olechnowicz said she looks forward to what they’re able to do for children and families in the community.