Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees has selected LaSandra "Sandra" Gaddy as the organization’s next president and CEO. With more than 25 years of nonprofit and corporate leadership experience in West Michigan, LaSandra brings extensive expertise in team development, strategic planning, forming collaborative partnerships and fundraising.
Most recently, LaSandra has been CEO of Women’s Resource Center, a gender-responsive organization in Grand Rapids focused on improving women’s economic opportunities. During her tenure, she developed and led the organization through a four-year restructuring process, increased the number of women of color served by more than 30 percent, and expanded programming into Muskegon and Ottawa Counties.
“Grand Rapids Community Foundation is fortunate to have LaSandra serve as our next president and CEO. Her thoughtful, courageous and effective reputation and results ensures that the decades of transformative, equity-centered and engaging leadership of the Community Foundation will continue and grow,” said Kyle D. Caldwell, chair of the Board of Trustees and President and CEO of Council of Michigan Foundations.
LaSandra previously served as vice president of advancement for Inner City Christian Federation, an affordable housing provider, and chief communication and development officer for Mel Trotter Ministries emergency shelter. Prior to her work as a nonprofit executive, LaSandra spent 15 years in banking including serving as a vice president in retail, business banking and wealth management.
“Leading the Women’s Resource Center over the past seven years has been an absolute honor. The work of securing a brighter economic future for women and their families will continue to reach new heights through the dedicated staff of professionals, Board of Directors, volunteers and generous donors,” said LaSandra. “I look forward to joining the team at Grand Rapids Community Foundation and building upon its legacy as a trusted steward of philanthropy across West Michigan.”
LaSandra is a passionate servant leader and social justice advocate to her core. Her professional and community activities include service on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Hope College; Inforum of Michigan Board of Directors and Regional Council chair-West Michigan; Grand Rapids’ Black Women Connect Council; Grand Action Advisory Committee; Consumers Credit Union Board of Directors; and the Grand Rapids Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. LaSandra holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornerstone University and an executive MBA from Grand Valley State University.
As the Community Foundation enters a new era of impact, LaSandra will have the opportunity to expand its scope and activity, guiding the Board of Trustees and staff in their fundraising, grantmaking and community leadership efforts.
LaSandra was selected after an extensive nationwide search led by the Board of Trustees and conducted by executive search firm Kittleman & Associates. A Search Committee partnered to outline a deliberate process for the President and CEO search. The Board of Trustees made the final selection and offer.
“Great leaders leave a place better than they found it. LaSandra has led WRC with passion, vision and grace,” said Women’s Resource Center board chair, Roya Bruce. “She has been a transformative leader, expanding the reach and impact of our programs and services. Although we are deeply saddened to see her go, we are excited that LaSandra will continue to enrich the lives of people within the Grand Rapids community and wish her nothing but success in her new role at the Community Foundation.”
LaSandra will assume her responsibilities as president and CEO on February 5, 2024, succeeding Diana R. Sieger, who has led the organization since 1987. In the interim, both the Community Foundation and Women’s Resource Center will work closely to ensure a smooth transition and continued partnership.
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