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updated: 9/10/2013 1:39 PM

Karen L. Schmidt named executive director of College of Lake County Foundation

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  • Karen L. Schmidt, new executive director of the College of Lake County Foundation.

    Karen L. Schmidt, new executive director of the College of Lake County Foundation.

College of Lake County

Karen L. Schmidt was named executive director of College of Lake County Foundation, effective Aug. 28, replacing William Devore, who served 17 years as executive director and retired in June 2013.

Schmidt brings many years of fundraising and executive leadership experience to the CLC Foundation. Her most recent position was executive vice president/chief marketing and development officer for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)/Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville, Ky. from 2007-2012. The decentralized organization she served has more than 10,500 congregations, over 2.3 million members, 186 middle judicatories and six national agencies. Schmidt led 75 staff members, helped raise $40 million annually (excluding disasters and endowments), generated $1.7 million in services and resources revenue and managed an $11 million expense budget. She earned an M.B.A. and a B.S.B.A. from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Co.

As executive director of the CLC Foundation, Schmidt is responsible for fund raising for scholarships including researching, designing, cultivating, coordinating and executing all advancement programs including leadership and major gift fund raising, corporate/foundation gifts and sponsorship, planned giving, alumni relations, prospect research, prospect and donor communications, advancement events and advancement technology information systems. She reports to CLC President Jerry Weber.

The CLC Foundation is governed by a 42-member board of directors, headed by President Joanna P. Rolek. Other officers include Carol L. Passalaqua, immediate past president; Barbara Richardson, secretary; Timothy B. Klein, treasurer; and Christopher Piazzi, 1st vice president, president-elect.

Schmidt said she feels proud to move into fundraising for higher education at the College of Lake County, a community college with nearly 18,000 students at campuses in Grayslake, Waukegan and Vernon Hills, Ill.

"I have generated revenue and raised funds as an individual performer and managing executive in both the for profit and nonprofit worlds during changing times of growth and revitalization," she said. "What drew me to the College of Lake County is my passion is making a difference by helping donors make a difference through the gift of their resources. And since the College of Lake County is changing lives by connecting students to their future, it is a perfect fit for me. I look forward to working with our dedicated staff, board and volunteers to increase funds available for student scholarships."

Schmidt spent much of her for profit career in sales and marketing leadership roles in professional services organizations including BDO Seidman, LLP; KPMG Peat Marwick; and Accenture; all in Chicago.