FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 25, 2014) – As part of its strategic direction, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation announces the following recent hires and internal staff changes.

Jaqueline Ehlers has been appointed strategy coordinator/executive assistant. Ehlers joined the Community Foundation as a receptionist in May 2011 and most recently served as marketing and communications coordinator/executive assistant. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida State University and previously served as a background investigations representative for Fidelity Investments from 2006 to 2011.

Tessa LeSage, MPA, LEED AP BD+C has joined the Community Foundation as director of social innovation and sustainability. LeSage most recently served as sustainability programs manager for Lee County. Prior to joining Lee County, LeSage worked for a local nonprofit organization developing and implementing policies to address a variety of community challenges, including mental health, substance abuse and criminal justice issues. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, Master of Public Administration degree from Florida Gulf Coast University, and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). During 2011, she was recognized as one of Southwest Florida’s accomplished young leaders, receiving Gulfshore Business’ ‘40 Under Forty’ award, and received the Urban Land Institute’s Trailblazer Award. She was also a finalist for the Women In Business APEX Award.

Andrea McKiddie has been appointed donor services coordinator. She joined the staff at the Foundation in October 2013 and has seven years experience in client relations and event planning and execution. She attended Kent State University.

Monique Ward joins the Community Foundation as part of the development team, and her duties include donor relations and special events. She graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Human Services and a minor in communications. She also works in customer service and product awareness for Val Ward Cadillac and has served on the board of trustees of the Canterbury School for the past seven years.

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation is celebrating its 37th year of connecting donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $80 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $57 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, the Foundation granted more than $4 million to more than 100 different organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services, including more than $400,000 in regional community impact grants and $450,000 in scholarship grants.

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