Fairfield Community Foundation looking for a new president

Diane Ruder will retire at the end of April as president of the Fairfield Community Foundation. She helped guide the foundation through many issues, including a re-accreditation process and installing new software. GREG LYNCH/STAFF
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Diane Ruder will retire at the end of April as president of the Fairfield Community Foundation. She helped guide the foundation through many issues, including a re-accreditation process and installing new software. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

For the second time in three years, the Fairfield Community Foundation will be looking for a new president.

Diane Ruder took on the position at a crucial time for the foundation, first being named interim president in January 2014 and then permanent president in September 2014.

The foundation was going through re-accreditation, something she said is “very all consuming.” The organization also celebrated its 15th anniversary during her tenure and implemented new office software.

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“We’ve gotten through all that, and we feel we’re on good footing right now,” said Ruder, adding that “it’s time” for her to retire — again.

Ruder first retired in 2011 from Otterbein Homes in Lebanon.

“Right now I think I’d like to spend some time with my husband and do some of the things I’d like to do,” said the Fairfield Twp. resident.

The Fairfield Community Foundation was founded in 1999 as a not-for-profit by a group by Fairfield and Fairfield Twp. residents. It’s grown to hold nearly $3.6 million in assets. The foundation’s board of trustees oversees the mission of the foundation, but the day-to-day operations are managed by Ruder and Senior Development Officer Jennifer Hamon.

Ruder plans to retire by April 28, and the board has already received close to a dozen resumes from applicants. Lani Wildow, the board’s chair of its human resources committee, said the plan is to call in a few of the applicants for an initial round of interviews by a small group, then the entire board will interview the finalists.

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“The main thing is to find someone with fundraising expedience, who’s good with community and public relations, and has a strong financial background,” Wildow said.

The hope is to install a new executive director by mid-April to shadow Ruder.

An application deadline, however, has not been set.

“We’re not going to rush this, we’re going to do it right,” said Steve Wolterman, the chairman of the Fairfield Community Foundation.

He said in order for the foundation to be effective, the administrative leader of the foundation needs to have “the ability to communicate with our donors and stakeholders. That’s the importance of the position.”“

“The goal of the foundation is to be a place to be a place where want to give and support the Fairfield community,” Wolterman said. “To have a person they know, they trust and like is an important part of the process.”

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