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ACF announces key promotions and recruitment

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Prickly pair cactus in bloom

The Arizona Community Foundation is pleased to announce that executive Eric Nystrom and senior leader Jennifer W. Perry have been elevated to new positions as part of an overall evolution in the foundation’s organizational structure.

Eric Nystrom was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, having been named as interim COO in December. In this role, Nystrom oversees ACF’s business operations and processes, including the finance, grants management, investment, and information services teams.

Since joining the foundation in 2019 as Chief Technology Officer, Nystrom has provided guidance and oversight of all technology systems and database management projects, including the complete conversion of ACF’s customer relationship management database, accounting system, online donor portal, and additional IT infrastructure upgrades that prepared ACF for its current work with donors and communities across Arizona.

Prior to ACF, Nystrom served as the Director of Technology for MRA Associates, an investment and wealth management firm, and spent 25 years as an independent executive consultant for several industries including banking, financial services, insurance, investment, public utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications and networking, computer systems and storage, and software vendors. Nystrom also spent five years as Chief Information Officer for the energy group of companies at Berkshire Hathaway and was also previously engaged as CIO at Blommer Chocolate and Walter Investment Management Corp, a NY Stock Exchange listed mortgage services company.

Jennifer W. Perry, MBA, CAP® was promoted to Vice President for Regional Impact. In this role, she is building collaborative infrastructure with her colleagues serving ACF’s regional offices to engage and serve donors and communities across the state.

Perry joined ACF in 2019 as Regional Director based in Sedona and took on an interim role as Managing Director of the regional team in December 2023. In addition to continuing to serve Sedona and the Verde Valley, she now also oversees staff serving Cochise and eastern Santa Cruz County, Flagstaff and northern Arizona, Graham and Greenlee counties, Yavapai County, and Yuma and western Arizona.

Prior to ACF, Perry’s career included extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, having served as a nonprofit executive director, building a strong background in asset development, and consulting with nonprofits nationwide and across Arizona for over a decade.

“Now is the perfect time to elevate these leaders to keep pace with the complexity and growth of the organization,” said Monica Brown, ACF Chief People Officer. “Eric and Jennifer have proven themselves many times over, and I am confident that their leadership will help continue to propel ACF forward.”

These key executive promotions were made in anticipation of other staffing changes that are planned to align with ACF’s FY25-FY27 Strategic Plan. ACF is also partnering with an executive search firm to recruit three new senior leaders to align with this strategy:

  • The Chief Impact Officer (CIO) will report to the CEO and be responsible for implementing and driving strategies that guide ACF’s work and catalyze visible and measurable statewide growth and community impact through development & donor engagement, community engagement, and marketing & communications programs (inclusive of the regions).  
  • The VP, Community Engagement & Impact will oversee programs, discretionary grantmaking, priority funding & focus area strategies, and community engagement & listening across the state. They will report to the Chief Impact Officer and help to develop impact strategies across Arizona, including the engagement of donors and statewide partners for co-investing opportunities.
  • The General Counsel will report to the CEO and be the point person for all legal affairs and liaison with outside legal counsel. Responsibilities will include all legal compliance issues, policies & contracts; fund agreements & non-cash assets; and corporate & board governance functions. 

More information about these three recruitment efforts will be available in the coming weeks. If you would like more information now, please reach out to Chief People Officer Monica Brown at mbrown@azfoundation.org.