By now you have likely seen or heard media reports that I have been selected to serve as the next president of Aquinas College. It has been an honor and pleasure to serve as the Community Foundation's leader. Therefore, it is with mixed emotions that I write to you.

Under the leadership of Chairperson Barbara James, the board of trustees has already begun to develop a plan that will ensure a smooth transition of leadership at the Community Foundation, which will include a search process to identify my successor. We commit to keeping you informed throughout this process.

I am proud of all of our organizational accomplishments over the last three years, some of which include the creation of the Lifeline Initiative in partnership with the Greater Kalamazoo United Way, convening community leaders around key issues, the meaningful professional and personal growth of our staff, and the development of an internal culture of excellence in all we do.

There are many opportunities ahead for the Community Foundation and the greater Kalamazoo community, and we will continue to listen, lead and evolve as is expected and needed in order to take full advantage of them, and enhance the quality of life for all in the greater Kalamazoo area.

I look forward to continuing to work with you, the Community Foundation's staff and board of trustees over the next few months to continue our community's rich tradition of philanthropy.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at 269.381.4416 or


Juan R. Olivarez, Ph.D.