Martin Lehfeldt Announces Retirement Plans

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Martin Lehfeldt, who has led the Southeastern Council of Foundations as its president and CEO for the past 10 years, has informed SECF of his intention to retire no later than the end of 2009. The board will launch an immediate search for his successor.

Martin Lehfeldt, who has led the Southeastern Council of Foundations as its president and CEO for the past 10 years, has informed SECF of his intention to retire no later than the end of 2009. The board will launch an immediate search for his successor.

Lehfeldt, 66, made the announcement jointly with W.E. (Chip) Gaylor, chairman of SECF's board. Lehfeldt said he would remain in his current role until a new CEO is in place, after which he will continue as a senior advisor to SECF.

"Martin Lehfeldt is an extraordinary philanthropic leader," Gaylor said. "We've been fortunate to have his insight and inspiration for 10 years, and we're gratified that he's willing to stay on to ensure a smooth transition for a thriving organization."

During Lehfeldt's tenure, SECF has enhanced programs and services, boosted its membership, and positioned the organization as one of the leading regional associations of grantmakers in the country. It now has 370 members in 11 states, whose collective assets total approximately half of the $61 billion managed by foundations in the South.

The new CEO will have primary responsibility for implementing an ambitious new strategic plan that includes increased services for members, particularly at the state level. Lehfeldt will focus his attention on writing, speaking, fundraising, member relations, and strengthening partnerships with affinity groups and other philanthropy-related organizations.

The board has authorized the formation of a search committee for Lehfeldt's successor. The committee will be headed by SECF's vice chairman of the board, Debra Jacobs, president of the William G. Selby and Marie Selby Foundation in Sarasota, Fla.

For more information, contact Helen M. Ishii, Director of Communications at 404-524-0911, or visit SECF's Web site at http://www.secf.org

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