Over the last year, I’ve had the honor to lead the What If Foundation as Interim Executive Director. It has been an experience that has enriched my life in more ways than I can express. And, as interim, one of my responsibilities with the Board has been to identify our next Executive Director to lead this wonderful organization. I am happy to share that we’ve accomplished this, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to David Manson, a seasoned nonprofit leader with a long-held passion for community service and a wealth of experience in fundraising, community relations, program management, and marketing, among other important skills.
David started his career as a classroom teacher in South Central Los Angeles in the late 1980’s, working with underprivileged youth. He channeled this experience into a variety of youth and community outreach roles in California. His family then took him to Idaho, where his natural talents as a community leader led him to an Executive Director role at one of the largest direct service food pantries and soup kitchens in the state, growing their capacity almost threefold during his tenure.
The What If Foundation’s Board, our Founder Margaret Trost, and I have all been impressed by David’s passion for social justice and his shared understanding that lasting change happens from the ground up, one act of love at a time. This coupled with his skills and experience with youth outreach and food insecurity made him a natural fit for our organization and ideally placed to guide us through the next chapter. I’m excited for you to hear from David directly in next month’s newsletter.
This past year has been deeply fulfilling for me and a time I will always look back on as a gift. I’ve had the privilege of further nurturing our relationship with Na Rive and seeing first-hand how they achieve miracles with the support we provide. Lavarice Gaudin and his team are the real superheroes I tell my kids about at night. I also treasure the opportunity to have connected with you, our family of donors, and to feel the deep love, solidarity and hope we share for Haitian children. And I feel fortunate to have worked more closely with our staff, collaborators and partners to accomplish important milestones for the What If Foundation and prepare the organization for this new phase under David’s leadership. You can read more about these milestones in our 2019 Annual Report.
Thank you for your generosity, commitment, and the trust you’ve placed in me this last year. I will be working with David and our team over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth leadership transition. I will remain as Chair of the Board of Directors and look forward to staying connected with all of you in that capacity.
With deep gratitude and appreciation,
Interim Executive Director