The Board of Directors of the Winona Community Foundation is pleased to introduce three new staff to the Winona Community Foundation. An event was held on October 8 at Sobieski Park Lodge to welcome the new team.

Nancy Brown, CFRE, was appointed the leader of the Winona Community Foundation unanimously by the board of directors in May. She has a B.A. degree from UW-Madison and a M.S. degree in Administration from Notre Dame. She is also a CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive). Nancy will be guiding the overall operations, growth and expansion of the Foundation. At an event held on October 8, the Board announced Nancy’s promotion to President/CEO of the Winona Community Foundation.

Sara Brandon started as the Finance Director at the Foundation in May 2019. She earned a B.A. degree in Business Administration from St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Sara is a retired Vice President of Merchants Bank Trust with over 35 years of experience in banking. In her part-time role, her primary responsibility will be the accounting and recordkeeping at the Winona Community Foundation, along with working with agency funds and overseeing investment returns.

Mandi Olson started as the Marketing & Administrative Coordinator at the Winona Community Foundation in August. She has an A.A.S. degree in Marketing from Western Technical College and a B.B.A. degree in Organization Management from Viterbo University. In her part-time role at the Foundation, she will support internal and external customers and be the point person for marketing. Mandi is also the part-time Director of Ready Set School Winona County.

In addition to introducing the new team to the community, Brown shared a strategic vision for the Winona Community Foundation that calls on all members of the community to actively engage in philanthropy. The vision is that all members of the community see how they can make a difference be that through direct giving to the causes they care about most or through establishing charitable funds at the Winona Community Foundation.

Kay Peterson, client services coordinator at Winona Volunteer Services, provided a testimonial on how two funds at the Foundation, the Emergency Assistance Fund and the Dental Access Fund, have a direct impact on community members. She told the story of how a couple went from homelessness sleeping on friends’ couches to full employment. At various points in their journey, the Emergency Assistance Fund helped them secure shelter (a tent), secure transportation (a refurbished bike), and secure employment (steel-toe boots). If it were not for the Emergency Assistance Fund, this couple would likely still be in a cycle of homelessness and joblessness.

Inspired by the area’s rich tradition of generosity, The Winona Community Foundation strengthens our community through philanthropy.