FORT MYERS, Fla. (March 19, 2013) – Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation announces that Carolyn Rogers will be joining the foundation as vice president of development and communications.

Rogers has more than 25 years of experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and nonprofit fund development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a specialization in public relations from the University of South Florida, Tampa. Rogers has achieved Certification as a Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) and the Universal Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), and is also a member of the Florida Public Relations Association’s Counselor’s Network. In addition, she has held the designation of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) from the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy & Association of Fundraising Professionals since 2000. Rogers is registered in the state of Florida as a fundraising consultant.

“Carolyn’s in-depth knowledge and expertise in fund development is going to be a tremendous asset to the foundation,” said Owen. “She has not only been a longtime supporter of the Community Foundation and its causes, but she has a passion for the behind-the-scenes work we do every day to make a real difference in our community.”

Rogers is a founder of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, an annual event supporting The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University and Edison State College. The event is Lee County’s most successful fundraising event of all time.

Rogers was most recently owner of SimplifyPR, a local public relations and marketing firm in Fort Myers. Her career also includes serving as director of development for Canterbury School and Lee Memorial Health System Foundation/The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, working in health care marketing and public relations for physician practices in Fort Myers and working as a public relations specialist at the University Community Hospital in Tampa.

“Our board of trustees is thrilled that Carolyn has decided to join us in a senior capacity,” said Dawn-Marie Driscoll, chairman of the board of trustees of the foundation. “She has a unique combination of skills and experience, with donors, with nonprofits and with our community, and she will play an integral role as we move forward on our strategic initiatives.”

Rogers was recognized as PR Professional of the Year in 2012 by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, and her work has been recognized by FPRA with Golden Image Awards for best public relations program in the state for special events in 2009 and 2010 and for best community relations program in 2008. She also received local awards including recognition by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the FPRA for special events and printed tools, and a 2009 Silver Addy awarded by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Ad Federation for best brochure/sales kit.

A long-time resident of Lee County, Rogers grew up in Cape Coral and is a graduate of Bishop Verot High School.

Rogers will be joining the foundation full time in July 2013.

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is celebrating its 36th year of supporting the communities of Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, and Hendry counties by connecting donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $68 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $54 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. During its 2012 fiscal year, the SWFLCF granted more than $3 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts and human services.

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