MANATEE -- A Bradenton resident with a wealth of experience in philanthropy has been tabbed to replace Marilyn Howard as the new executive director of the Manatee Community Foundation.
Susie Bowie, who, for the past 11 years has been with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and is currently its vice president of philanthropic engagement and marketing, has been named to the post, Karen Miller, board chair of the Manatee Community Foundation, said Monday.
"I'm excited about the experience, talent and energy she will bring to help lead and grow our foundation," Miller said.
After 17 years as the Manatee Community Foundation's executive director, Howard retired on Jan. 1 and left an impressive legacy.
Starting with absolutely nothing, Howard watched the organization grow to where it is today with community foundation assets of $36 million, and gifting $14 million in grants and scholarships back to the community.
"We have been able to make a difference in the community," Howard said just before her retirement. "I am proud of what we've been able to accomplish but it's not me. It is a group effort. It is the board members, the staff, the donors. If we didn't have wonderful generous people in this community, we couldn't do anything. They are the ones who should get the credit."
The foundation completed a national search for Howard's successor, Miller said.
The board appointed a six-person search committee and employed an outside consultant. A final group of five candidates including three local and two national were interviewed by the search committee and a recommendation was presented to the executive committee of the board so it could interview the highest rated candidate, Miller said.
"It is a great honor to be selected for this important role in shaping the future of Manatee County through philanthropy," Bowie said.
"Manatee County residents are deeply connected to their community, and the board and staff of MCF give their resources and time so sincerely," Bowie added. "What a privilege it is to join this team."
Bowie will start on April 4.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@RichardDymond.