Marla J. Williams, President and CEO of Community First Foundation, has announced she will be retiring in the first quarter of 2019. She has given us eight years of transformative leadership and serves as a shining example of how community unites and brings out the best in us, individually and collectively.
Since Marla stepped into the role of President and CEO in 2010, Community First Foundation has experienced dramatic growth. Under her leadership and guidance, the Foundation has defined its strategic priorities, expanded its asset size ten-fold, and created a new, permanent home in the heart of Olde Town Arvada. Colorado Gives Day, the largest online giving program in Colorado, has also grown under Marla’s watch, from $8.4 million raised in 24 hours when it premiered in December 2010, to $36.6 million in 24 hours on December 5, 2017.
Marla has also led the development of the teams and resources needed to expand our granting presence within the communities we serve. During her tenure, Community First Foundation developed a strategic plan that has served as the anchoring framework for improving the conditions of community health in Jefferson County, strengthening nonprofits and increasing generosity throughout the seven-county Denver metro area. As part of the planning process, the Foundation conducted a community listening tour and concluded it should dedicate resources to improving the systems supporting mental wellness and changing the public perception of mental health and mental illness.
The Board of Directors will be launching an executive search in the near future and will select a candidate that upholds our values and continues to drive our momentum.