Vice President leaves to head new foundation
Karen Johnson will lead Walla Walla General Hospital's Community Foundation
By: Amy Wilkinson
After 15 years and more than $100 million raised, Vice President of Advancement Karen Johnson is leaving Walla Walla College to establish and lead Walla Walla General Hospital’s Community Foundation.
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“Karen has rendered excellent service to the college for the last 15 years,” says President Jon Dybdahl. “It will be a real challenge to replace Karen and we will miss her. But we pray for her success in her new venture.”
Johnson will assume her new position September 5. As foundation president she will be responsible for creating awareness of the foundation and its impact on the community. She will oversee philanthropic activities including fund raising and community-building events.
“I have been looking for the right person to head up this initiative,” says WWGH Chief Executive Officer Morre Dean. “Karen brings the experience, the knowledge of our community, and the expertise to develop this program for us. We’re thrilled to have someone of her caliber on-board.”
Johnson has worked in development for 20 years. She has served as vice president of advancement since 1991, overseeing the college’s development, alumni relations, and college relations departments. Under her leadership, WWC recently completed its largest capital campaign ever, the $18 million Faith in the Vision campaign.
In 2004, Johnson received the Trailblazer in Philanthropy Award, the highest recognition in Seventh-day Adventist fund raising. The award recognizes a professional fund raiser who has lent creativity, initiative, and consistent professional leadership in support of Adventist philanthropy for health and/or education.
Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in English education from Union College in Lincoln, Neb., a master’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from Montana State University. She is also a certified fund raising executive.
“It has been my privilege to work at Walla Walla College. I have very much enjoyed my time there, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to impact the community through this new venture,” says Johnson.
A search committee will be formed to appoint a new vice president.