Special Announcement: ICF hires new President and CEO
Karen Bilowith
New ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith

The Idaho Community Foundation has hired Karen Bilowith to replace President and CEO Bob Hoover, who is retiring after nearly seven years with the community foundation. Bilowith will start in early February.

Bilowith has dedicated her career to nonprofits and has spent more than 15 years as a nonprofit leader. She is currently the president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region (CFGCR) in Albany, NY, which covers Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.

“Thanks to Bob Hoover and the talented staff at the Idaho Community Foundation, ICF has seen a period of unprecedented growth since the difficult years of the recession,” said ICF Board Chair Bill Berg of Sagle. “The board of directors and staff believe Karen is the perfect candidate to take ICF into the future and we are very pleased to have her on board.”

Bilowith noted ICF’s growth and strong statewide reputation and said she is excited about her new role.

“Community foundations have a very special role in bringing people together to create positive changes in their communities,” she said. “I look forward to learning about Idaho’s diverse communities and what makes them unique and special, and about the common themes that unite Idahoans.”

Under Bilowith’s six-year leadership, CFGCR received $30 million in new gifts and established 90 new funds. Its assets are $65 million and it grants more than $4 million every year to community organizations.

ICF is larger than CFGCR both geographically and financially. It covers all 44 Idaho counties, has assets of $113.4 million and provides approximately $6 million per year in grants and scholarships.

“It is truly exciting to think about being a part of the next stage of development for the Idaho Community Foundation. ICF has a unique position to be an anchor to communities at the very local level, while leveraging its statewide presence to promote the common good,” Bilowith said.

Bilowith has a master’s degree from the University of Colorado and she and her husband Stephen Romero are looking forward to returning to the West.

“Idaho provides all of the things we love about place, and we fell in love with the people on our recent visits,” she said.

Bilowith and Romero live in Saratoga Springs, NY with Satchmo, their White German Shepherd. Romero is a neuroscientist on the faculty at Union College.

They love the outdoors and are avid cyclists (both mountain and road bikes), skiers and hikers. They enjoy listening to live music, attending arts festivals and participating in other cultural activities.

Bilowith graduated cum laude from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Her master’s degree from University of Colorado is in public administration.

Prior to leading CFGCR, Bilowith was president and CEO of the United Way of Schenectady County and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, which was created through a merger.

Executive search firm Waldron conducted a national search for ICF’s President and CEO and 62 people from throughout the United States applied.

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