The Community Foundation of Marquette County, the $19 million community foundation helping people invest in the future of Marquette County, announces the promotion of Zosia Eppensteiner to CEO effective January 1, 2021. Eppensteiner has been with the Community Foundation for over seven years, serving as Director of Finance and Administration since 2015.
Tom Vear, Chair of the Community Foundation of Marquette County Board of Trustees, applauded the decision. “Zosia is an excellent choice for the next phase of growth as CEO. During these difficult times Zosia’s steady focus, compassion, and understanding of the needs of Marquette County make her the right captain to take the helm of the Community Foundation. The Board of Trustees look forward to working with Zosia and the great Community Foundation staff.”
Growing up in Gdansk, Poland, Eppensteiner holds a Math Education Master’s degree and a Sociology Master’s degree from the University of Gdansk. After relocating to Marquette in 2005, she worked in the banking industry for over eight years, including management positions at Wells Fargo Bank and First Merit Bank. From 2010 to 2017 she was a contingent instructor in the Mathematics and Computer Science department at Northern Michigan University. Eppensteiner is a 2019 graduate of the Lake Superior Leadership Academy and currently serves on the Marquette Food Co-op Board of Directors, where she is a member of the finance and nomination committees.
Eppensteiner will assume the role at a critical time, following the foundation’s recent establishment of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund in partnership with the United Way of Marquette County. This Fund has raised more than $160,000 and provided grants to over 50 nonprofits and charitable causes since March. Phase two of this fund, supporting operating costs for Marquette County non-profits, is open through December 31. “The Community Foundation of Marquette County is a vital resource for non-profits in the county, particularly during uncertain times. Programs like the Community Response Fund demonstrate how over 30 years of grantmaking in Marquette County allows the Foundation to utilize our expertise and community involvement to respond quickly and effectively.” Eppensteiner said.
Eppensteiner will follow Gail Anthony, who led the foundation for eight years and announced her retirement earlier this year. The transition process has already begun to ensure a seamless onboarding and orientation process. Anthony spoke highly of her successor: “Zosia has worked closely with me over the past seven years and her experience will be an incredible asset to this organization. Her dedication to our mission runs deep, and I look forward to the future of the Community Foundation under her leadership.”
As part of her CEO position, Eppensteiner will take on leadership roles with community projects, including the Community Environmental Monitoring Project (CEMP), a collaborative partnership between Superior Watershed Partnership, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Eagle Mine to monitor environmental impacts at the mine. She will also work closely with donors and fund representatives to ensure responsible management and growth of over 160 endowed funds that connect donors to non-profits and charitable causes across Marquette County. Eppensteiner will also oversee staff and a volunteer committee that awards over $55,000 annually to area non-profits as part of the competitive grant program.
Looking to the future, Eppensteiner sees potential for growth despite the current challenges facing all non-profits. “I am deeply honored by this opportunity to serve Marquette County’s residents as the CEO of the Community Foundation, especially during these unprecedented times. My goal in leading this organization is to build on the achievements of the past 33 years. The Community Foundation of Marquette County will not only maintain its high level of standards in grantmaking but will continue to expand upon our impact through long-term, sustainable investment in the people and the future of Marquette County.”