Staff Blog

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This is a space where Foundation staff share their thoughts and musings on giving and community:

Leaving the Vermont Community Foundation

Posted by: Stuart Comstock-Gay on 12/9/2015

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to let you know that after a great deal of thought and consideration, I’ve decided to accept a position as the President and CEO of the Delaware Community Foundation in Wilmington.

As you might imagine, this was not an easy choice. I am leaving the Vermont Community Foundation at a moment of tremendous energy and momentum, as we are just entering a new phase of focus and growth. Since starting here in late 2008, the assets that we manage have increased significantly thanks to the generosity of our donors; this growth, in turn, has allowed us to put more money to work in the community than ever before, while deepening the work we do with our many partners throughout the state. It has been an exciting time.

I am proud of many things we’ve worked on during my tenure here. The integration of the Vermont Women’s Fund and the Samara Fund has strengthened their work and ours. The sharpened focus of the McClure Foundation on access to higher education and career readiness, of the High Meadows Fund on climate change, and of the Permanent Fund on early care and education is a model for how philanthropy can lead, inspire, and grow. The establishment of the Addison Community Athletics Foundation and the Northeast Kingdom Fund adds two more stars to the constellation of regions and issues in which we’re involved. And of course, I am particularly grateful for the work we were privileged to do after Tropical Storm Irene—with farmers, nonprofits, state agencies, businesses, and community leaders. I will greatly miss all of this.

I will be going to a foundation that recently began a strategic redesign to create a new leadership profile to better meet the needs of that state. As the new president there, I will be able to use many of the lessons that I learned in Vermont. The job in Delaware also presents me with an opportunity to work in a setting that includes diverse urban and rural communities, and the challenges that are inherent in those places. In returning to the mid-Atlantic region, my wife Lucy and I will be going to the place where we started our careers, and a location that allows us to more easily spend time with our adult daughters.

My last day in the Vermont position will be in late January, and I begin in Delaware at the beginning of February. (I will also be in Vermont periodically through the summer, when our daughter will be getting married here.) I am working closely with Tim Volk, our board chair, as well as with the rest of the board and with staff to create a transition plan that ensures service to our donors and partners is maintained at the highest level, and I am confident that the work we have all created together will continue to grow and thrive. In every way, I remain unabashedly bullish about the future of the Vermont Community Foundation.

I am so very lucky to have had the chance to work with you in ensuring that Vermont remains a great place to live, and I hope to be able to say goodbye to many of you in person before I leave for the new job. Vermonters have shown me—more than I could ever have imagined—the power of strong and engaged communities that work together to address their common needs.

Thank you for your counsel, your inspiration, and your generosity.


Stuart Comstock-Gay
President & CEO

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