August 13, 2019 – Janet Albert and Larry Griffin of Bridge Partners have recruited Javier Soto as the sixth president and CEO for the Denver Foundation, Colorado’s largest community foundation. The organization’s previous leader, Christine Marquez-Hudson, abruptly stepped down last summer. Former board chair and trustee Virginia Bayless had been serving as interim president.
Mr. Soto is the president and CEO of the Miami Foundation. He will step down from the Miami Foundation at the end of September to join the Denver Foundation in October.
Mr. Soto’s deep and relevant professional experience elevated him to the top of a pool of more than 350 highly qualified local and national candidates. After an extensive search by the Denver Foundation’s search committee, which was informed by feedback from community and non-profit leaders, donors, volunteers and staff, he was unanimously approved by the board of trustees.
Over the course of Mr. Soto’s 10-year tenure as the Miami Foundation’s leader, he led the organization through a period of significant growth in assets, ambitions and aspirations. He positioned the foundation at the center of civic and philanthropic activity in the Greater Miami area. Mr. Soto has broad influence within the philanthropic sector. He serves on many boards, including the Council on Foundations, where he recently completed a two-year term as board chair.
“Javier shares the Denver Foundation’s commitment to building stronger communities up from the grassroots,” said Nita Mosby Tyler, chair of the Denver Foundation’s board of trustees and co-chair of the CEO search committee. “Combined with our deep roots in this community, his varied experience and dynamic leadership will bring new energy, ideas and a fresh perspective to our efforts to address today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities.”
“Javier’s leadership skills, experience and vision align perfectly with the values of the Denver Foundation and our work across Metro Denver,” said Betsy Mangone, a long-time Denver Foundation trustee who co-chaired the CEO search committee. “Javier comes to us with specific ideas as well as a hunger to listen and learn from local people and communities. We are confident that his success at the Miami Foundation will enhance his immediate and future contributions to the Denver Foundation.”
With more than $800 million in total assets, including an endowment of $125 million and a 94-year history, the Denver Foundation is one of the largest and most experienced community foundations in the Rocky Mountain region. It provides services for seven counties in Metro Denver. The foundation serves three roles: working with community leaders to address the core challenges facing the region; stewarding its endowment to meet current and future needs for Metro Denver; and managing charitable funds on behalf of individuals, families and businesses.
“Miami has been my home since I was three years old. I always knew it would take a very special place to get me to leave Miami. Metro Denver checks all the boxes,” Mr. Soto said. “I am honored to join the Denver Foundation, one of the leading community foundations in the country. Greater Miami and Metro Denver are two of the fastest growing large cities in America.”
Why Recruiters Center On Fundraising Skills
Organizations nationwide are under pressure to find leaders who can act as de facto chief fundraisers – and recruiters are in lock step to find talent to satisfy the demand. These leaders need to be strategic thinkers who can motivate the stakeholders whose philanthropy pulls everything together.
“Denver has reached an exciting inflection point in terms of population growth, demographic change and economic development,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the Denver Foundation team and the entire community to build on the foundation’s long record of driving local solutions and bringing people with divergent perspectives together around common goals.”
Bridge Partners, founded in 2003, is a minority-owned business that has a focus on diversity, inclusion and equity. Bridge Partners conducts searches for for-profit companies and non-profit organizations both nationally and internationally. Based in New York, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Boston, the firm’s clients include GE, TIAA-CREF, Colgate, YMCA, Novartis, Starbucks, Habitat for Humanity and the Federal Reserve System.
Ms. Albert leads Bridge Partners’ U.S. non-profit practice and works on senior-level search assignments for foundations, government and non-profit organizations, across all functions, including executive directors/CEOs and their leadership teams. Her clients range from private, community and family foundations, to economic development organizations, to both large national and local non-profits. Ms. Albert has been in executive search for over 20 years.
Mr. Griffin, a co-founder of the firm, partners with clients on leadership assignments within the private, federal/public and nonprofit sectors. He has been in executive search for nearly 30 years and has recruited diverse leaders across multiple functions from CEO/executive directors/presidents, to functional heads including chief financial officer, chief marketing officer, chief information officer, chief strategy officer and their teams.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media