Foundation CEO to step aside
Student scholarships have quadrupled, assets increased by 85% under Gibert’s leadership. Will remain involved with nonprofit
Having served 16 years as chief executive officer, Lisa Gibert is stepping aside from her leadership role at Clark College Foundation by next June. She will continue to be involved with the nonprofit and college by developing Clark College’s property in North County and other special projects.
“It has been my privilege to serve as the CEO of such a dynamic and nationally recognized fundraising organization. Clark College Foundation’s role in bringing together alumni, donors and community partners with Clark College has been by far the most rewarding part of my career. Supporting pathways of opportunities for students through scholarships and other financial assistance, as well as ensuring they have the resources they need to succeed, has been equally as gratifying for me,” said Gibert.
Gibert’s tenure has seen exceptional success including an 85% increase in assets, quadrupling scholarships awarded to Clark students, overseeing the fourth largest endowment in the nation for public community colleges, leading two major fundraising campaigns and expanding the footprint of Clark’s property in East and North counties.
Clark College President Dr. Karin Edwards has this to say about Gibert: “Having joined Clark College as president 15 months ago, I have witnessed Lisa’s commitment to the college, this community and to student success. I have appreciated Lisa and her team for introducing me to key people in the community who are steadfast in their support of Clark. In her new role, she and I will continue to work together on important projects that will benefit our students.”
Clark College Foundation’s Board of Directors will conduct a nationwide search for Gibert’s replacement. They anticipate having a new CEO in place by June 2022. Bryant Group is the search firm chosen to lead the effort. Bryant Group specializes in talent acquisition for advancement teams in higher education, nonprofits and health care.
“Under Lisa’s strong leadership and vision as CEO for 16 years, the foundation has thrived. Clark College Foundation’s Board of Directors fully appreciates her contributions to the college and community in her role as CEO and is pleased she will remain with us to focus on other areas that are essential to the growth of Clark College,” LeAnne Bremer, chair, Clark College Foundation Board of Directors.
Once a new CEO is in place, Gibert will focus on developing of Clark’s new campus in Ridgefield—Clark College at Boschma Farms—and other special projects.
“My decision allows plenty of time for a new CEO to build the essential relationships in the community that will be invaluable for the next campaign,” said Gibert.
Fundraising campaigns generally span seven to eight years. Nonprofits and their leadership, partners and donors prefer the same chief executive be in place during the entire campaign process.
Gibert is stepping aside on a high note as she ends the most recent and largest comprehensive fundraising effort—Promising Pathways: The Campaign for Clark College—a $30 million campaign supporting pathways of opportunities for students, while sharing partner and donor legacies. With less than a year to go before it wraps up, the campaign has realized $27.5 million in support of Clark and exceeded its goal of engaging with 5,000 donors, 68% of whom are new donors.
Under Gibert’s leadership, Clark College Foundation’s total assets have increased by $56 million—from $66 million to over $122 million—an 85% increase. Scholarship dollars awarded to Clark students have more than quadrupled to $1.2 million annually; in 2005, the foundation distributed $300,000. Additionally, while heading the nonprofit organization, Gibert has overseen more than $55 million distributed to the college for programs, projects and employee development. Furthermore, she has been instrumental in securing capital investments for Clark College at Columbian Tech in East Vancouver and the Ridgefield real estate.
The foundation’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign—Ensuring a Bright Future: Campaign for Clark College—raised more than $23 million in support for the college and its students. At the time, it was the largest campaign in terms of dollars raised in the 80-year history of the community college. It ended in 2014.
Gibert is one of the top fundraising professionals in the nation. In 2018, she received the CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award for her career in supporting advancement work at community colleges and higher education institutions across the country. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) gives the award.
She has been with Clark College Foundation for 23 years, starting in 1998 as the director of finance and administration before becoming the chief financial officer, and then interim president. In January 2005, she was appointed president/chief executive officer. In 2017, the foundation’s board of directors adjusted her title to CEO, while retaining her original duties.
Gibert holds a degree in business and finance from the University of Oregon and a master’s in business administration at the University of California at Irvine. She is a certified fundraising executive and a certified public accountant.
Her professional affiliations include the Southwest Washington Estate Planning Council and Willamette Valley Development Officers Association. She is a member of the Vancouver Rotary and serves on the Vancouver Rotary Foundation Board of Directors, CASE’s College and University Foundations committee and CASE Council for U.S. and Canada.
Gibert is asking that any gifts in her honor be made to the Promising Pathways Campaign. Contact the foundation at 360.992.2301 or give securely online.
Story updated 10/11/21