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Southwest Initiative Foundation names interim director

HUTCHINSON — The Southwest Initiative Foundation Board of Directors will appoint Diana Anderson as interim president and CEO effective Aug. 8.

Anderson joined the foundation as development director in 2001, leading fund-raising efforts and starting the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s community foundation program.

In 2007 she was promoted to chief operating officer. In this newly created position, Anderson provided leadership and oversight to internal operations and functions, including strategic planning, management team leadership and program design. In 2011 she was again promoted to vice president and chief operating officer, playing a more visible role in program development and delivery, working alongside team leads in communities across the southwest Minnesota region.

“Diana’s history at Southwest Initiative Foundation, extensive leadership and management experience, and connections throughout southwest Minnesota will serve her well as interim president/CEO,” said Robert Saunders, chairman of the Southwest Initiative Foundation Board of Directors. “Our organization is in great hands as we continue working through this leadership transition.”

Longtime Southwest Initiative Foundation President/CEO Sherry Ristau announced her forthcoming resignation in June. She has been employed with the foundation for over 20 years, including the last 17 as president/CEO. Ristau recently accepted the position as new president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, serving communities along the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and Rock Island and Moline in Illinois.

The board of the Southwest Initiative Foundation is implementing the organization’s succession plan, which includes appointing Anderson as interim president/CEO. The board appointed a search committee to explore all options and make recommendations to the board, which will continue leading the transition process.

The Southwest Initiative Foundation also this week announced the election of Randy Reinke to the board of directors, effective July 1.

Reinke is president and CEO of Custom Products in Litchfield. He is active in numerous organizations, including Grow Minnesota!, the Workers Compensation Research Institute, Litchfield Area Community Foundation and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.