By Matthew Liedke
Departing Director Brad Barth to join West Central Initiative after spending past seven years leading the NDSCS Alumni Foundation
The next few months are expected to be a time of transition at the North Dakota State College of Science Alumni Foundation as Director Brad Barth steps down from his position to pursue other career options.
According to the NDSCS Alumni Foundation, Barth is leaving the position to become the President and CEO of West Central Initiative.
“The Alumni Foundation Board and President John Richman thanks Brad for the seven great years he has served the foundation,” an email from the foundation stated. “Under his leadership, Brad and his team have achieved several milestones.”
Accomplishments by Barth in his time as director include raising $2 million of revenue in 18 months which resulted in securing $1 million from the North Dakota Challenge Grant, developing a premier partnership with business and industry and building an ambassador leadership program for NDSCS students.
Due to Barth’s departure from the foundation, NDSCS has named Kim Nelson, currently a foundation development officer, as the interim executive director.
Barth will be at the foundation until June 12 and he will start his new position at West Central Initiative in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in July.
“Barth will lead, direct and manage the organization and guide its strategic direction,” said a release from WCI. “He will also serve as WCI’s chief spokesperson and represent the west region to the greater state of Minnesota.”
“Brad is a proven leader who is prepared to continue the excellent work of WCI,” Dean Simpson, chair of WCI Executive Search Committee said in the release. “Brad will build on an already diverse and talented team committed to furthering WCI’s mission to improve the economy, community and philanthropy in west central Minnesota.”
WCI is a regional community foundation serving the nine west central Minnesota counties, including Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin. West Central Initiative does this by investing resources in communities for regional success through economic development, community development and the promotion of philanthropy.
“It’s a very good opportunity and I’m excited to be the CEO and president and lead a group. It was hard to say no to,” Barth said. “It’s been a great ride here at NDSCS, as they say ‘once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat,’ so I am still a Wildcat.
“It’s been a pleasure and a true joy working with the region and the community and all of the alumni, we’re going to miss that,” Barth continued. “President Richman and I have been friends longer than we’ve been working here. We’ve been talking and he’s very supportive.”
“I’m very happy to have the opportunity to help move the foundation forward,” Nelson said. “Brad has been a great role model and has been someone to look up to. I think he’s leaving it in great hands and I’m glad to help out. I’m honored to show my Wildcat spirit.”
“She (Nelson) has earned that position,” Barth said. “The foundation won’t miss a beat. A lot of the process she already understands well and she will carry it forward. They’re in good hands.”
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