When Peggy Ogden walked into her new job in 1984, she knew nothing about her employer.
"I was really just making a job change," she said. "I didn't really understand it would become a career."
The Central New York Community Foundation hired Ogden to fill the second position in a two-person office. Today, she leads the not-for-profit that flourished from $7 million to more than $120 million in assets since her tenure began.
"It's grown in dollars, it's grown in staff, but it's also grown in impact on the community, which is the most important thing," she said.
Ogden, whose passionate involvement is evident in the foundation's success, plans to step down as CEO and president in 2008.
What is CNY Community Foundation?
The foundation was established in 1927 as a way to enhance the quality of life for those who live and work within the Central New York community. This is done by preserving as much charitable capital for the community as possible, Ogden said, then distributing these funds through grants, in accordance with the community's needs. A board of volunteer directors ultimately acts as the decision maker, however, donors can have a say in the process.
"We aren't limited in our charitable scope," she said. "So if a donor comes to us and wants to make funds available for youth programming, or seniors, or the arts, or education, we are flexible enough to help the donor achieve their particular charitable interests and goals."
Ogden's decision to resign is based on a variety of reasons, chief among which is her faith in her team.
"There are not any big problems at this organization," she said, emphasizing solidarity among the current board members and staff. "I really have confidence that I am handing over an organization that is solid."
Big shoes to fill