From our beginnings, in 1998, there have been monumental moments in the history of the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, and one of the biggest was the hiring of Melissa Tschanz on February 7, 2013, more than eight years ago.
The Community Foundation looked quite different then. Although we were 15 years old, we were less than half the size we are today. There were just six on the staff team, and not everyone was full-time. We were beginning to evolve into a more mature Community Foundation. We needed someone who could advance our financial operations and services into a structure that would work for us as we continued our growth.
My ideal candidate was to be a Certified Public Accountant who also had experience with charities and fund accounting. I wanted someone who took our mission to heart and who was passionate about serving others. Melissa was hands down the best candidate, and I was thrilled when she joined our team. I won’t try to cover all of her accomplishments, but it is of note that her peers in Bay Area Community Foundations, and indeed throughout the country, are aware of her abilities.
Melissa is indeed a Woman of Achievement. She has handled more than $80 million in thousands of grants and developed internal processes for administering gifts, grants, and property used by all staff. Melissa made changes to our accounting system that meet or exceed the highest standards. She managed our Investment, Finance, and Audit Committees and set up our fundholder impact investing option. Melissa managed the Community Housing Land Trust operations finances and engaged the staff in our financial systems in ways that will benefit all of us going forward. There is much more I could say.
I am sad to say that Melissa will be leaving our Community Foundation. With her permission, I can share that her sister’s family and parents have relocated to Tennessee recently, and moving nearer to them has become a priority for her. I am fully supportive, of course, and grateful for all of the great work Melissa has done for the Community Foundation over the past eight years. She asked me to let you know she is going to miss this community within our Community Foundation, including the fundholders, professional advisors, board members, and staff very much.
Melissa has been offered the CFO position at the Community Foundation of Eastern Tennessee in Knoxville! I am incredibly gratified and touched that Melissa is continuing service at a community foundation. They are lucky to get such an experienced, capable, and passionate leader.
Next week I will share more information about our new CFO, Dave Brokaski, who joined us a short time ago as Controller. Dave was hired and trained by Melissa – rest assured that the Community Foundation of Northern Nevada is in good hands.
Chris Askin, President/ CEO
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