Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

David Dittman - President

David Dittman – President

As the New Year begins, the Whitefish Community Foundation welcomes two new members to the Board of Directors and a new Board President. David Dittman was welcomed in as the new Board President to succeed Carol Atkinson who served for three years as Board President. Karen Rosenberg and Jamie Shennan have been appointed to the Community Foundation Board to serve two three year terms.

David Dittman is the new Board President for the Foundation, a three year term ending in December of 2016. He joined the Community Foundation in 2008 and served as Board Secretary/Treasurer from 2008 to 2012 and on the Foundation’s Investment Committee. David has worked with First Interstate Banks for over 28 years and is the current President of First Interstate Bank of Whitefish. He is on the Board for Montana Special Olympics and a former Board member for the Glacier Institute. David grew up in the Flathead, was on the Big Mountain ski team and went on to ski for the University of Montana. He earned his MBA at University of Oregon. Today, Whitefish is home to David, his wife Frances and his two talented children, Samantha who graduated from Whitefish High School and is now attending the University of Puget Sound, and Jon Dittman, a senior at Whitefish High School.

Karen Rosenberg is a 22 year resident of Whitefish and her husband Ron Rosenberg is native to Whitefish.  Karen has been involved in numerous nonprofit organizations in the valley. She served as a volunteer for the Humane Society of Northwest Montana which included working the front desk from the first day the Charlotte Edkins Animal Adoption Center opened. Karen has also served as a volunteer for the NW Montana Historical Society at the Central School Museum and the Conrad Mansion Museum.  She is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Whitefish whose main local ministries are the North Valley Food Bank, Shepherd’s Hand Clinic and Habitat for Humanity. Karen has already jumped in to help the Foundation with the Special Events committee and she will serve on the Community Grants Committee.

Jamie Shennan and his wife Janna built a home in Whitefish back in 2002 and today are pleased to call Whitefish their permanent home. Jamie brings to the Foundation Board a great deal of experience with community foundations. He has joined the Community Foundation’s Governance Committee and has taken an active role in the Foundation’s development. Jamie is a former partner for Trinity Ventures. Both Jamie and Janna have served as trustees for the Nature Conservancy of Montana since 2006, and Jamie is the Vice Chairman of the Board. He has served on numerous public, private and nonprofit boards around the country.

Carol Atkinson is the outgoing Board President. She has served on the Foundation Board for almost ten years and will continue with the Community Foundation Board for another year as the Past President. Carol turns the reins of the Foundation over to David Dittman on very solid footing with over $10 Million in assets and annual granting in excess of $4 million. She has served on the Community Grants Committee for nine years which has experienced tremendous growth and change over the years, awarding over $200,000 at the 2013 Community Grant Awards in November, a new record high for the Foundation. Carol and her husband Richard have been a major fundraisers and advisors for community projects throughout Whitefish. Together they have dedicated hundreds of hours in service to our community.

Three very dedicated members will be leaving the board due to reaching term limits after volunteering for six or more years in service to the community: Paul Johannsen, Bart Erickson and Virginia Weldon.

Paul Johannsen, owner of National Parks Reality of Whitefish, was a board member from 2004 -2013 and President of the Board from 2008-2010 and served as Chair for the Governance Committee for four years. Paul helped lead the foundation from a small organization into the thriving foundation that it is today.

Honorable Bart Erickson, a retired U.S. Magistrate Judge, served on the Board of Directors from 2007 – 2013, on the Governance Committee for five years and on the Community Grants Committee for six years. During Bart’s time on the Grants Committee he saw it grow from awarding a total of $40,000 annually to over $200,000 annually. Bart’s final year on the Grants Committee was busiest on record with the committee reviewing 84 grant applications.

Dr. Virginia Weldon, retired, Washington University School of Medicine, pediatric endocrinologist, brought her fundraising expertise and love of Whitefish to the Board from 2007-2013. She served on the Endowment and Community Foundation Development Committee, and has been a major supporter of the Foundation’s programs.  Ginny will remain involved as a member of the Advisory Council over the coming years.

For a complete list of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council please visit www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org.