Barry Griswell announces retirement; Kristi Knous will lead Community Foundation as President; Cara Heiden appointed Board Chair

Dec. 6, 2012 null

After five years of serving in a leadership role at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Barry Griswell will retire from his current position as Chief Executive Officer effective July 1, 2013. Kristi Knous will continue her leadership as President of the Community Foundation.  Cara Heiden succeeds Allison Fleming as Community Foundation Board Chair and Dr. Richard L. Deming succeeds Lynn Horak as Vice Chair effective January 1, 2013. 

Griswell joined the Community Foundation as President in 2008 after a distinguished career with the Principal Financial Group. Griswell transitioned to Chief Executive Officer in July 2011.  Knous has been employed at the Community Foundation since April 2002 and was promoted to President in July 2011 as part of a planned succession process.

The Community Foundation was founded in 1969 and improves quality of life for all by promoting charitable giving, connecting donors with causes they care about and providing leadership on important community issues.  The Community Foundation currently manages assets in excess of $200 million and administers more than 1,000 charitable funds.  Last year the Community Foundation and its donors distributed $25 million in grants.

Community Foundation Board Chair Allison Fleming said, "Barry's vision and business acumen have greatly strengthened the Community Foundation in so many areas as a convener and leader. The Community Foundation is returning to the leadership model it had before Barry joined. Kristi's role as President now encompasses all of the duties of one executive leading the Community Foundation, and she has already been actively and successfully serving in the role of President. The Community Foundation Board of Directors thanks Barry and congratulates him on his second retirement and is enthusiastic about Kristi's continued leadership.  We are very fortunate to have Cara Heiden stepping in as board chair in January. With her leadership, business and nonprofit experience, she will be able to provide outstanding guidance to Kristi and the Community Foundation. Dr. Richard Deming brings an incredible amount of passion for philanthropy and our community to his role as vice chair."

Griswell said, "As my business career came to a close in 2008, I began to be more attracted to nonprofit work. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Community Foundation and it has provided me the incredible opportunity to pursue that focus in a broad and comprehensive way. I look forward to watching the continued successes and growth of the Community Foundation under Kristi's leadership."

Knous said, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful organization and for the opportunity to work with Barry for the past five years.  The Community Foundation is a dynamic community asset.  We will continue to build community awareness and support for issues critical to our future; develop and strengthen partnerships and philanthropic resources to advance important initiatives; and serve as a premier philanthropic resource for the individuals, families, charitable organizations, corporations and communities who utilize us to meet their charitable giving goals."