Community Foundation CEO Suzie Light Announces Retirement; Overbey Announced As Successor

(photo supplied / Kosciusko County Community Foundation)

Long-time Kosciusko County Community Foundation CEO Suzie Light announced she will step down from her position as CEO effective March 1, in anticipation of her full retirement, effective June 30.

In May 2019, Light notified the Board of Directors of her future plans to retire. At that time, the Board executed the Succession Plan it adopted in 2017, followed the process outlined within, and named Stephanie Overbey as the successor CEO of the Community Foundation. Overbey has been with the Community Foundation in a number of leadership positions since 2000 and currently serves as the associate director.

Light began her tenure with the Community Foundation Aug. 7, 1993, as the assistant director. In January 1995, she was promoted to executive director, a position now called CEO. During Light’s leadership, the Community Foundation’s assets grew from just over $400,000 to more than $62 million. The Community Foundation now awards more than $3 million in charitable grants annually, an amount 7.5 times greater than the total asset size of the Foundation when she started.

A news release from the Foundation states Light has led the Community Foundation in the stewardship of a diverse board of directors, strong donor base and best practices in investing and grantmaking as evidenced by the Community Foundation’s achievement of National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

“Suzie is a visionary,” said Community Foundation Board President Sally Mahnken. “She sees the potential in all that is around her. She has the ability to bring people and entities together to make the vision a reality. It has been such a privilege to work with Suzie. Her enthusiasm, smile, intelligence and humor is so natural and easily caught.”

On March 1, Overbey will assume the role of CEO of the Community Foundation. Light will move to a part-time role as CEO Mentor. On June 30, Light will retire. The Community Foundation will host a retirement reception in her honor in June.

“We are confident that the Community Foundation’s impact will continue to grow under the leadership of Stephanie Overbey,” said Mahnken. “We are so fortunate to have been able to implement the succession plan we previously adopted so that we can offer donors and nonprofits a seamless transition. Stephanie’s education, skills and 20 years of leadership experience in every aspect of the Community Foundation’s work leaves her well-equipped to lead the Foundation in accomplishing its mission.”

Light said, “I look forward to seeing the growth of the Foundation under Stephanie’s leadership. She has had a firm hand in shaping the culture and strategy over the past 20 years. As for my retirement plans, my husband and I will continue to call Kosciusko County home and we expect to remain advocates for citizens of our community and our state. I’ll continue to serve on the Indiana Humanities Board as well as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. I will definitely listen to two important mentors, Jean Northenor and Avis Gunter, who both told me to stay busy and be involved in things that make a difference. I plan to do that.”

Overbey said, “I am excited, humbled and honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the Community Foundation in this role. I am grateful to Suzie Light for her mentorship. Working with the staff, board, donors and grantees of the Community Foundation has been and will continue to be my dream job. I have found Kosciusko County to be an amazing place to live, work and raise a family and I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of an organization that is making our community even stronger.”

Since 1968, Kosciusko County Community Foundation Inc. has helped donors achieve their charitable dreams. The Community Foundation is a public charity that grants about $3 million annually in the areas of education, health, arts and culture, recreation, civic projects, environment and human services. Gifts made to the Community Foundation are tax-deductible.

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