FLINT – The Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF) has named Isaiah M. Oliver as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Isaiah currently serves as Vice President of Community Impact for CFGF.
He will be the fifth chief executive in the 29-year-old foundation’s history, and the first leader born and raised in Flint.
Isaiah will assume his new role in June 2017. Kathi Horton, who has led the Foundation since 2004, announced her retirement earlier this year. In retirement, Horton will continue to lead the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network Steering Committee.
Shannon White, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and head of the search committee, expresses excitement about the prospect of Isaiah’s leadership. “We are thrilled to welcome Isaiah’s leadership at such at a pivotal moment in our history. He brings inspiring vision, hometown perspective, and deep community knowledge to the role of President and CEO of the Community Foundation. The board strongly believes his energy and insight are well matched to shape and guide the Foundation’s expanded mission focused on community engagement and civic leadership, while continuing to provide an expansive range of philanthropic services.”
“It is my honor to embrace this opportunity to serve the greater Flint community. With all that’s in front of this community, the stakes and the importance of our work are high,” said Oliver. “Working together, we will navigate big, tough decisions and create new opportunities for all of us. I am ready to do that with this board, with this Foundation and with this community.”
Oliver has been widely recognized for his leadership. Born and raised in Flint, Oliver’s background includes extensive community leadership and executive oversight experience. He served five years on the Flint Community Schools Board of Education, including two years as board president. His executive experience also includes serving four years on the Hurley Medical Center Board of Managers. He previously served as Associate Administrator for Workforce, Community and Grant Development at Mott Community College. Isaiah advocates for an inclusive approach to philanthropy that listens to and works with the people of the community in order to develop a true partnership. This approach allows both the people of a community and engaged philanthropists to be fully vested in and empowered to develop solutions.
A graduate of Flint Northwestern High School, Oliver earned a bachelor of applied arts degree from Central Michigan University. He is immediate past president of the Flint Alumni Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and active member of numerous other community organizations. He and his wife, Shay, live in Flint with their daughters, Zaiah Rene and Carrington Elyse.
He will lead CFGF during a significant period of growth. In 2016 the foundation set a new record for grantmaking — $9.9 million. At the same time, CFGF became the home for gifts from over 18,000 donors who gave $18 million to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund. To steward these significant resources, CFGF created the Foundation for Flint, a supporting organization of CFGF. In addition, Flint Kids Learn (FKL), another newly created supporting organization of CFGF, will steward the FKL Building Fund for the construction of a new early childhood development center in Flint.
The highly competitive national search, which began in January this year, attracted more than 126 applications and was conducted by DHR International. – G.G.