Few people in Southwest Florida had a greater hand in redefining philanthropy for the 21st century than Teri A. Hansen did during her 13-year stint as president and CEO of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Hansen announced in March she would leave the captain’s chair at that organization and become the first CEO for the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, where she took the helm on July 1. We thought it a good time to look at the past and future of this philanthropist-in-chief. 

PHOTO BY GENE POLLUX.

Looking Back During her time at Gulf Coast, Hansen saw the growth both in the amount of money available to use at the community foundation and the breadth of its use. “I have seen systems changed, lives transformed, donors fulfilled and legacies eternalized,” Hansen says. “We are poised to surpass $200 million in grants made since the foundation’s inception.” In that time, the foundation revolutionized “micro-philanthropy,” the collection of small amounts of donations from a larger number of donors through websites like GulfCoastGives, and also got involved in charting the economic future of the region through efforts like Project BIG! and most recently the Gulf Coast Innovation Challenge. But when asked what her greatest accomplishment was in her time, Hansen credits others. “Putting together the finest staff of any foundation ever,” she responds.

Looking Forward As for her new job at a private foundation, Hansen quickly notes the donors will be the ones establishing the overall mission. Hansen says her main goal is, “making a difference in the Sarasota community in a way that reflects the creative intelligence and generosity of Chuck and Margie Barancik.” But a hint at what that means was given on Hansen’s first day on the job, when CareerEdge Funders announced a new partnership with the foundation, which was giving $250,000 worth of new training grants to fund paid internships and professional improvement opportunities for workers in targeted industries. “CareerEdge’s innovative approach to workforce development will fuel the mending economy and lead to greater economic growth and expansion,” said Hansen.