WARSAW — Suzie Light, long-time chief executive officer of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, has announced she will step down from her position effective March 1, in anticipation of her full retirement effective June 30.
Light notified the board of her future plans to retire in May 2019. Executing the succession plan, the board named Stephanie Overbey as the successor. Overbey, the associate director, has been with the foundation in a number of leadership positions since 2000.
Overbey will assume the role of CEO March 1 and Light will move to a part-time role as CEO mentor. On June 30, Light will retire. The Community Foundation will host a retirement reception in her honor in June.
“Under Stephanie’s leadership the foundation will flourish,” said Light. “She has helped shape the character and culture of this organization since she arrived in 2000. She has the full support of the board and staff.
“My retirement plans include taking advice from several longtime mentors, Avis Gunter and Jean Northenor who both told me, ‘stay busy.’ My husband and I will do a bit of traveling, I’ll be taking several hobby-related classes, and of course spending time with family. I might be doing some genealogy research, but Kosciusko County will remain our home.”
Overby stated “I am excited, humbled and honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve the Community Foundation in this role. I am grateful to Suzie Light for her mentorship. Working with the staff, board, donors and grantees of the Community Foundation has been and will continue to be my dream job. I have found Kosciusko County to be an amazing place to live, work and raise a family and I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of an organization that is making our community even stronger.”
Light began her tenure with the foundation Aug. 7, 1993, as the assistant director. In January 1995, she was promoted to executive director, a position now called CEO. During Light’s leadership, the foundation’s assets grew from just over $400,000 to more than $62 million. The Community Foundation now awards more than $3 million in grants annually, an amount 7.5 times greater than the total asset size of the foundation when she started. Light has led the foundation in the stewardship of a diverse board of directors, strong donor base and best practices in investing and grant making, evidenced by the Community Foundation’s achievement of National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.
“Suzie is a visionary,” said Community Foundation Board President, Sally Mahnken. “She sees the potential in all that is around her. She has the ability to bring people and entities together to make the vision a reality. It has been such a privilege to work with Suzie. Her enthusiasm, smile, intelligence and humor is so natural and easily caught.”
“We are confident that the Community Foundation’s impact will continue to grow under the leadership of Stephanie Overbey,” said Mahnken. “We are so fortunate to have been able to implement the succession plan we previously adopted so that we can offer donors and nonprofits a seamless transition. Stephanie’s education, skills and 20 years of leadership experience in every aspect of the Community Foundation’s work leaves her well-equipped to lead the foundation in accomplishing its mission.”
Meet Stephanie Overbey
Overbey began her tenure with the foundation Feb. 14, 2000, when she was hired to fill the newly created program officer position. Since that time, she has been promoted numerous times, serving as program director, communications director and recently as associate director.
In her various leadership roles she has managed the scholarship program, managed the unrestricted grant program; recruited, trained and supported hundreds of foundation volunteers; authored and implemented the foundation’s marketing plan, marketing budget and communication pieces; organized strategic planning efforts of the board; and helped train/orient new board members.
She has fulfilled numerous human resource functions including the development of personnel policies, staff training and wage and benefits research; built collaboration among public and private partners to meet community needs identified as priorities by the board, specifically in the areas of child care and early learning and workforce development. Overbey has also provided staff support to various board committees including grant, scholarship, governance, public relations, finance/investment and executive.
She has engaged in fundraising and donor development serving specific donor groups and initiatives and fulfilled the duties of the CEO in the absence of the CEO.
Overbey earned an undergraduate degree in communications from Ball State University and a masters of business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University. She is also a graduate of Kosciusko Leadership Academy and the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Services Series.
She has a heart for community service. A few of her volunteer and civic affiliations include: advisory council for LaunchPad Child Care and Early Learning Coalition, member of Kosciusko Human Resources Association; board member and legislative action committee member for Indiana Philanthropy Alliance; serving on the board of directors for Gradway; and a member of Warsaw Rotary Club.
Overbey and her husband, Jamie, reside in Silver Lake with their three children.