Story by Mary Schenkel
After six years working side by side with some of the island’s leading philanthropists, Kerry Bartlett has resigned as executive director of the Indian River Community Foundation to take a position with an international philanthropic consulting firm.
Bartlett was hired in 2008 to lead the then new foundation, which offers donors services ranging from hands-on assistance developing estate plans and managing family foundations, to providing informational access to nonprofits and connecting donors to advisors.
From that start, the organization today manages $24 million in assets and has facilitated an additional $21 million in grants to predominantly local nonprofit organizations on behalf of its fund holders.
“I felt like Kerry was the perfect person to get the Indian River Community Foundation kick-started and get it off the ground,” said Ann Marie McCrystal, who had been chairman of the board of the VNA & Hospice Foundation when Bartlett previously worked there as chief advancement officer.
“I recommended her for the position,” said McCrystal, an early IRCF founder with husband Dr. Hugh McCrystal. “We are very fortunate to have someone with her skills, her talent and her dedication to the nonprofit sector living in this community.”
“Kerry has been a dedicated and tireless leader for the Community Foundation from the first day she was hired to lead our organization,” said Becky Allen, IRCF immediate past president. “I am heartbroken that she is leaving, but certainly understand that she is ready for a new chapter in her life.”
“One of the major challenges we’ve had is trying to help people understand just what a community foundation can do for them,” said current IRCF board president Bob Puff. “We’re not a charity in and of ourselves. We’re a collection of services and know-hows, as well as a vehicle to help people manage their own philanthropy.
“Kerry understood quite well the advantages of a public foundation and she was able to explain that effectively to any number of families who were interested in making that conversion,” Puff added.
“It’s bittersweet for me,” said Bartlett, who has accepted a position as managing director of Bob Carter Companies, an international philanthropic consulting firm, but will continue on a part-time basis through the end of the year while the board seeks her replacement.
“This was the first opportunity I had to work with a board to build a nonprofit organization from the ground up,” Bartlett said. “It has been so rewarding to see where we started six years ago, and the work we have done in partnership with our donors and the nonprofit community to achieve our mission – which is building a stronger community.”