Executive director of Community Foundation SLO County is stepping down

jlynem@thetribunenews.comAugust 13, 2013 

Barry VanderKelen

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is losing its executive director.

Barry VanderKelen is leaving his post at the nonprofit organization on Sept. 30. The board is working to finalize a transition plan.

VanderKelen, 53, has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1981. He joined the foundation as its executive director in January 2007, and before that, consulted with nonprofit agencies.

“We’ve had a great run these last seven years,” VanderKelen said. “I feel I’ve done about all that I can, and this will allow new energy and a new vision to come in.”

Under his leadership, the foundation’s asset base, which stands at roughly $37 million, has grown by 40 percent, “despite and during the Great Recession,” VanderKelen noted. As well, nearly 70 percent of the grant-making done by the foundation occurred during his tenure, he noted.

There has also been a “significant increase in planned and deferred gifts,” he said, and the budget is “solidly grounded.”

In addition, he said, the foundation has bought, renovated and now occupies a “beautiful historic structure and re-branded the organization to freshen up its image.”

VanderKelen doesn’t know yet what he will do after his departure, although he will be available to the organization for consulting and project work after he steps down.

“The organization has never been stronger, and it’s positioned wonderfully with a solid platform,” he said.

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