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IT can be argued that a community’s success can be measured in how far it has to go to recruit its leaders. In reading through a partial list of Columbus’ recruited leadership, it is evident that local organizations have not had to travel very far.
That was evidenced in a number of recent appointments made by major organizations.
Our Hospice of South Central Indiana had to reach out over a space of less than a football field to find someone to replace Sandy Carmichael, who had served as director of the program since its inception. Their choice was Laura Hurt, director of volunteer services and diversity strategy at Columbus Regional Hospital and a longtime community activist in the Columbus area. She has been involved with the Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, Su Casa and the hospital’s foundation.
In naming Lyn Morgan its president, the Centra Foundation — a creation of Centra Credit Union — was able to call upon an individual with deep ties to the community and her field of choice. Morgan has worked in the nonprofit field in Columbus for 23 years and most recently served as director of the grants program at the Heritage Fund. She has also been active in the community, most recently serving as president of the Columbus Sunrise Rotary Club.
Lisa Shafran brings a wealth of experience and contacts in the Columbus area to her new post as president of Turning Point Domestic Violence Services. Most recently she had served as vice president of development at the Heritage Fund. She also has been president of the Columbus Service League and co-chairwoman of the Women’s Professional Development Conference.
Replacing Shafran in her former post at the Heritage Fund was Amber Fischvogt, who only had to travel a short distance from the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, where she was director of Enterprise Columbus. Included in her many other community activities was her involvement with the Economic Growth Council, her role as chairwoman of the Women’s Giving Circle and her past history as co-founder of the Columbus Young
Mary Ferdon, who replaced Keith Weedman as executive director of Volunteers in Medicine, had most recently served as director of community development for the city of Columbus. Prior to that she had served four years as special projects coordinator for the Heritage Fund.
Cindy Frey stepped into her post as president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce from a role in the private sector with Cummins Inc. Before working at Cummins she had been associate director at the Columbus Area Visitors Center. Her community involvement has included work with the Community Education Coalition and Leadership Bartholomew County.
This is not a recent development. There are a number of community leaders, such as Tracy Souza, president of the Heritage Fund, and Chuck Kime, director of Foundation for Youth, who came to their positions from other organizations in the community.
Nor is this to be seen as an inward retreat. For instance the board of Turning Point went through an extensive search process for its new leader, considering more than 50 applicants before deciding on Shafran.
None of this is to say that these and other organizations will not reach outside city limits in the future. But that’s never a given considering the number of individuals in this community with top-notch qualities of leadership.
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