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Sara Carlson named executive director of Willmar Area Community Foundation

WILLMAR -- Sara Carlson was named the first full-time executive director of the Willmar Area Community Foundation.

Carlson will assume her new role leading the $14 million regional foundation on Sept. 15.

"We're excited about the passion and energy Sara will bring to the Community Foundation," said Tim Larson, Willmar Area Community Foundation board chairman.

"She is committed to our focus of engaging people, connecting resources and building community," he said.

As the foundation's executive director, Carlson will be the community leader and spokeswoman for the regional foundation. She will be responsible for coordinating fundraising and grantmaking activities through the foundation.

Carlson has served as a program officer and director of the Southwest Minnesota initiative Foundation, which is based in Hutchinson. She also has served as a program manager and coordinator of other nonprofit organizations in both Willmar and Rochester.

Carlson is a Willmar resident, where she lives with her husband, Michael Carlson, and their three children.

Current executive director Dean Anderson is retiring after serving in that role since 2010.

The Willmar Area Community Foundation is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local Kandiyohi County community. The foundation was started in 1998 and is an affiliate of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, a regional foundation based in St. Cloud.