Hitting Well Above Their Weight

President & CEO Mark Stuart with Chair-Elect Kay Coleman on their recent trip to Sacramento for the League of California Community Foundations Annual Conference.
President & CEO Mark Stuart with Chair-Elect Kay Coleman on their recent trip to Sacramento for the League of California Community Foundations Annual Conference.

Greetings! I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead The San Diego Foundation.

In my first week, I traveled with incoming Board Chair, Kay Coleman, to Sacramento for the League of California Community Foundations Annual Conference. What an incredible group of new colleagues.

While there were huge community foundations like Silicon Valley and Marin in attendance, I was amazed by the work of smaller foundations like Placer and Tahoe Truckee. The vision and leadership those foundations are advancing in their respective communications was eye-opening.

Kay and I agreed that these organizations were hitting well above their weight.

I admired all that they did and continue to do. These community foundations took time to determine the most pressing issues for their regions and worked in a focused capacity as a funder of dreams, convener of interested parties, and a partner to align systems, structures and sectors.

Kay and I resolved that launching a vigorous and comprehensive strategic plan back home was item #1 as we both begin our tenures at The San Diego Foundation.

The goal of this process—that will involve many stakeholders and supporters—will be focused on answering one simple question: On what should The San Diego Foundation lead?

Like all of you who love San Diego, I am eager to determine those critical issues for which The Foundation should provide leadership. This work will not be easy nor without challenge—but what great things are easy or without challenge?

I believe our Foundation partners and donors do not wish to invest in neutral. Nor do I believe that any of you wish to give your time, talent and treasure to standing still or remaining idle.

We have much to do—together. I look forward to learning and listening to our many stakeholders to determine the best course forward for The Foundation. One guarantee: our efforts will be focused on ensuring that the best days for all San Diegans lay ahead.

Thanks, Mark

P.S. We also spent time while in Sacramento with Toni Atkins, our Senate President Pro Tempore. Despite all the pulls on her schedule, she took time and much interest to help advance The San Diego Foundation. With partners like her, I am sure a much brighter future for our region is well within reach.