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Interim CEO named at Sherwood Trust

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An interim CEO will lead Sherwood Trust for the coming weeks as a search continues for a new permanent leader for the nonprofit philanthropic organization.

Kathy Small will serve on a part-time basis, according to information circulated by outgoing CEO Danielle Garbe Reser.

Garbe Reser’s last day is today. She has been in the top administrative position for the organization since 2015 and announced last August her intent to step down at the start of 2020.

“I am indebted to the Sherwood Trust board, past and present, for supporting me in this leadership role, and to the board and our staff for the great teamwork to advance our mission in honor of Donald and Virginia Sherwood,” she said in a farewell message Tuesday.

“I am confident that we have built a strong foundation for Sherwood Trust’s next CEO and Sherwood Trust’s next chapter of service to this region.”

Garbe Reser said she plans to remain in the Walla Walla Valley, where her husband’s farming operation is rooted.

The goal is for a new CEO by March, she said.

In the meantime, Small brings experience as a former board member and longtime community leader.

She joins Julia Leavitt, who continues as the full-time program manager and contact on grants, the leadership program, and classes at the Nonprofit & Community Learning Center.

Since its launch in 1991, Sherwood Trust has invested more than $32 million in the Walla Walla Valley.

That includes contributions through its core grants and in the new smaller “impact grants” between $5,000 and $20,000, introduced during Garbe Reser’s tenure.

Garbe Reser is credited with expanding and strengthening the organization’s awarding of grants, programs and community outreach. In the last four-plus years, she has overseen the awarding of $5 million in grants and attracted more than $500,000 in grants from foundations based outside of the region.

In October, she was chosen as recipient of the 2019 Outsized Impact Award and recognized during Exponent Philanthropy’s 2019 CONNECT Conference in St. Louis. The award honors an individual at an Exponent Philanthropy member organization whose style of philanthropy is achieving greater than expected impact.

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.