Community Foundation finds a new president in Flint, Michigan

Published on May 10, 2023 at 4:05 pm

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, one of the state’s top philanthropic organizations, will have a new president as of July 31.

Isaiah M. Oliver will serve as the third president of the foundation, stepping into the role after more than nine years at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, where he serves as president and CEO.

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He will succeed Nina M. Waters, who will retire Sept. 1 after 22 years with Northeast Florida’s foundation.

“The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida has an outstanding reputation locally and nationally for donor service and strategic community philanthropy,” Oliver said in a news release. “I’m looking forward to building relationships with donors, grantees and the community, to better understand how I can build on the strength of the foundation in our next chapter.”

The board chose Isaiah from almost 100 local, state and national applicants. U.S. District Judge Brian Davis, the board’s chairman, said Oliver “impressed us as a dynamic, collaborative leader who has the vision and the skills to advance our mission of stimulating philanthropy to build a better community.”

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The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida is Florida’s oldest community foundation. Oliver will join a staff of 25 people who have built the foundation into one of the nation’s 50 largest community foundations based on total assets.

The foundation works to stimulate philanthropy and help donors invest their philanthropic gifts. Created in 1964, the foundation has made more than $695 million in grants since its inception.

Under Waters’ leadership, the Community Foundation grew multiple philanthropic initiatives, including the Women’s Giving Alliance, the Beaches Community Fund, the LGBTQ Community Fund for Northeast Florida, the A.L. Lewis Black Opportunity and Impact Fund, and the Donors Forum.

As for Oliver, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint recruited him based on his previous service on the Flint Board of Education, local foundation officials said. He led the Flint foundation’s response to the city’s water crisis, forging partnerships with government and regional funders. In 2020, he directed the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to establish and lead a multisector COVID task force focused on addressing racial inequities.

Oliver is a native of Flint and has family in the Southeast and in Northeast Florida. He and his wife, Shay, have four children: Zaiah (12), Carrington (9), Chelyn (5) and Isaiah II (3).

Oliver is scheduled as a guest Thursday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, heard from 9 to 10 a.m. weekdays on WJCT 89.9.

author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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