The Community Foundation of Johnson County announced yesterday that Dave Lewis will replace the foundation’s first executive director, Mike Stoffregen, on May 2 of this year.
Stoffregen has built “the foundation of the foundation,” Lewis said. “As I get into the position and learn about all the intricacies of how this all can work, we’ll take the foundation to the next level and build on everything he’s done so far.”
Since its founding in 2000, Stoffregen has expanded the foundation into a $26 million organization. Donors make 25 percent-tax-deductible contributions to an endowment that provides grants to nonprofits in Johnson County. Stoffregen said it’s been wonderful to be part of a community that gives so freely of its time, money and effort. Lewis said he hopes the foundation will grow its donor base and expand the endowment to support additional projects.
“The community foundation is a really unique organization,” Lewis said. “There are over 200 organizations we write grants to, and the other end of it is we work with donors who are interested in doing things in the community and we help them make those things happen.”
Lewis brings a fresh perspective to the foundation. While serving in the Iowa National Guard, Lewis led the Military Science Department at Coe College and was Senior Military Science Instructor at the University of Iowa. Lewis has lived in the area for years, earning two degrees from the University of Iowa, teaching junior high science in the Iowa City Community School District and raising a family. His most recent work was as a senior associate for Advancement Resources, a “leader in research-based professional education and breakthrough thinking in philanthropy” according to the company’s website.
“My background is in leadership, education — and my previous position was training fundraisers. And that’s where I fell in love with the idea of becoming a fundraiser,” he said.
Lewis said the community foundation is a dream job. “If you work for a hospital, you’re raising money for that hospital. But if I’m talking to a prospective donor that wants to do something with arts or they wanna do something for education or they wanna do something for underprivileged children — you name it, there’s really nothing we can’t make happen at the community foundation.”