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Grand Forks' Community Foundation taps transition director Sheila Bruhn

The water wheel sculpture at the corner of Third Street and DeMers Avenue in downtown Grand Forks. (Herald photo/Sam Easter)

A former senior staff member with the local Community Foundation has been appointed its transition director while leaders of the organization chart its future in coming months.

The position was awarded to Sheila Bruhn, a former executive director and chief operating officer with the group. She left in 2010 to become a coordinator with the Base Realignment Impact Committee, according to an online career profile, later becoming assistant to the president and chief development officer at Northland Community and Technical College.

“She’s helping a little bit with administrative duties right now, just as we’re organizing the search,” said John Marchell, president of the foundation’s board of directors.

The search was launched after the departure of Kristi Mishler, former executive director for the group, whose resignation was announced in December. She cited a long-held desire to resign in 2017 when her daughter left high school, and she said the time seemed right for her to jump into private consulting.

Speaking last week, Marchell said a job posting had not been issued yet. Though he expects staffing questions at the foundation to be settled within roughly six months, he said the group is exploring different staffing arrangements and has not settled on its future makeup.

That exploration extends beyond future staffing decisions. According to a Feb. 10 letter Marchell wrote to foundation donors, which he provided to the Herald, the foundation “will look at everything from policies and procedures, to staffing models, to granting processes, to operating efficiencies and strategic planning,” with current staff aiding the process.

“It’s an opportunity to look at everything,” Marchell said. “We’re just looking at the whole picture.”

Bruhn described her role as twofold: both helping the foundation’s leaders compile information on the group and chart its course forward while working with staff “and making sure we have everything taken care of for our fundholders.”

She stressed that her position is temporary.

“Those who have been around will know my name -- for the new ones, I’m looking forward to getting to meet them,” she said

This post has been updated to more accurately reflect Bruhn's work history.

Sam Easter

Sam Easter is a City Government reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. You can reach him with story tips, comments and ideas at 701-330-3441.

(701) 780-1108