Pritchett Tapped to Lead Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Exec Moves

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY SEP 29, 2015

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation announced a change in its leadership Monday morning, but new President and CEO Mark Pritchett promises the organization will continue providing the same cutting-edge philanthropic successes that made it a nonprofit powerhouse in the region. “We are on a great trajectory at Gulf Coast,” Pritchett said. “Staying on that trajectory is critical to our success.” 

Pritchett succeeds Teri Hansen, who announced earlier this year she would leave the organization after 13 years at its helm and instead lead the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation. A national search for Hansen’s replacement, led by search firm Spencer Stuart, considered more than 300 applicants for the post before the decision was made to promote Pritchett, previously senior vice president for Community Investment. Pritchett has worked at Gulf Coast since 2008, where he has led many grant-making strategies and community initiatives.

He noted that the organization in recent years has won national acclaim for education and workforce programs. CareerEdge Funders, an effort to provide professional advancement and enhancement opportunities for professionals in the area, was launched with the support of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and the program recently won recognition from the White House. The STEMsmart initiative, where Pritchett has been heavily involved, has boosted science and technology resources in Sarasota County middle schools and attracted corporations like Microsoft to help in the effort. And a hunger initiative aimed at keeping children in the region properly fed was recently lauded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “To get results so quickly on all our initiatives is amazing,” Pritchett said. “And we have got ideas as we go down the road. Our goal is not to have national recognition but it’s great when it happens.”

The top priority of the new executive, he said, will be keeping intact a team that has been willing to make bold moves and take big risks. “Our value proposition is not how big we are in assets. It’s really about our leadership in the region,” Pritchett said.

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