Foundation welcomes new staff

Initiative Foundation Welcomes New Staff Members

The Initiative Foundation is pleased to welcome four experienced staff members to our growing team. These new staff members will support several teams as the Foundation expands work across Central Minnesota, which includes 14 counties and portions of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe.

“We are excited to welcome Nicole Clements, Jessica Gilder, Mary Kaye Peterson and Britt Vander Eyk to the Initiative Foundation team,” said Lynn Bushinger, interim co-president. “Their subject matter expertise in their respective areas will help us deliver the core work that supports the Foundation’s priorities to empower people throughout Central Minnesota to build a thriving economy, vibrant communities and a lasting culture of generosity.”

Nicole Clements

Nicole Clements joined the Foundation in July, succeeding Zach Tabatt as nonprofit development program officer. Tabatt recently transitioned to the Community Philanthropy manager role, where he oversees the Initiative Foundation’s growing family of hosted funds.

Clements supports Central Minnesota nonprofits by offering training programs and resource referrals. She also oversees grantmaking to area nonprofits and supports advisors for the Initiative Foundation’s hosted Partner Funds.

“I am excited to be in this role because it allows me to make sure our nonprofits have all they need to do their best work,” Clements said. “Nonprofit organizations are critical to thriving communities.”

Jessica Gilder

Jessica Gilder joined the team in August as the Foundation’s  Childcare Solutions program officer. In this new position, Gilder supports the expansion of childcare opportunities across Central Minnesota as the region works to address an unprecedented shortage of childcare providers.

Gilder has worked in the childcare field for most of her career and looks forward to supporting providers and community leaders as they work toward solutions. “I am excited to share my experience and knowledge so I can be a part of the solution,” she said. “I love that I can network and connect with others who desire to support families and help communities grow.”

Mary Kaye Peterson

Mary Kaye Peterson joined the Foundation in May to support the Initiators Fellowship, a social enterprise program that equips Greater Minnesota entrepreneurs with the tools they need to grow as community leaders and turn their for-profit or nonprofit ideas into scalable, sustainable ventures.

“I love that we support people in so many positive ways,” Peterson said. “It’s an honor to work with this program helping social entrepreneurs in Greater Minnesota.”

Britt Vander Eyk

Britt Vander Eyk joined the Foundation team in May as a development officer. She cultivates relationships with donors, coordinates communications materials and partners with the development team to identify funding sources.

“I appreciate that the Initiative Foundation supports Central Minnesota communities and the people that live, work and play here,” Vander Eyk said. “I see the impact that we make on people’s lives, and I look forward to contributing to that.”

Nicole Clements: web ready | high-resolution
Jessica Gilder: web ready | high-resolution
Mary Kaye Peterson: web ready | high-resolution
Britt Vander Eyk: web ready | high-resolution