The Dresher Foundation
Harford County, MD
The Dresher Foundation seeks an experienced foundation leader with the desire to lead a vital philanthropic resource in Harford County. This position supports the work of the Dresher Foundation whose mission is to strengthen the capability of others to improve lives, primarily in Harford County.
The Dresher Foundation was founded in 1988 by James Thomas Dresher and Virginia Morgan Dresher. Charitable giving had always been a part of the Dreshers’ lives, but they were not visible philanthropists. Known as a man of integrity, Jim Dresher was unpretentious, quiet and humble. He earned his wealth through a long and successful business career that began during the Great Depression. Jim and Virginia created the Dresher Foundation to serve several of their goals: use their wealth for philanthropic purposes and create a vehicle to bond their family for generations to come.
All granting decisions are made by the Board of Trustees, comprised of the founders’ adult children and spouses and, more recently, their grandchildren. Virginia was the first president of the Foundation and maintained a leadership role in the foundation throughout her life. Within the next few years their great-grandchildren will begin joining the board.
Approximately two million dollars is distributed annually through four giving cycles. Each Board member has one vote and all decisions are made democratically. The family enjoys being together and values family harmony over all else, and prefers to maintain a degree of unanimity. The Dreshers are a close-knit family, enjoy their privacy (in the legacy of the founder), and understand they are fortunate for the opportunity to help others in the community where most of them live.
Many years after the passing of both Jim and Virginia, the Foundation honors their legacy and values by continuing to support some of their favorite causes. The Foundation focuses grantmaking primarily on human service organizations located in Harford County, MD.
The opportunity and responsibility to use the Dresher Foundation’s resources wisely for the good of society is the legacy Jim and Virginia Dresher left to the family that they loved. The family believes that giving locally means being able to see first-hand the results and the difference it is making in people’s lives, which they find very satisfying.
The Dresher Foundation has a 14-member Board comprised of the second and third generation descendants of Jim and Virginia. The day-to-day operations are managed by the Executive Director, who is currently the only employee of the foundation. The outgoing Executive Director is retiring at the end of the calendar year after 19 years of service to the Foundation.
The Executive Director (ED) reports to the multi-generational family Board and has responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Foundation. S/he assists the Board in preserving the mission, vision and values of the foundation and represents the Foundation to external constituencies. The ED is the primary contact for grantees and potential grantees and is an important conduit of information about the needs within the county.
The Executive Director is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Foundation. Primary responsibilities include:
The Executive Director provides leadership both inside and outside the Foundation, continually increasing the mission impact. Toward these ends, our near-term priorities for the next 12-18 months include:
Ideal candidates for this position must have a passion for our mission and a strong desire to lead this foundation with the family’s best interests in the forefront. S/he must excel at balancing internal management with external impact and visibility, and must ensure that the foundation maintains its focus on the founder’s values. The ideal candidate will bring a variety of experiences and attributes to the organization, including:
Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.
The Dresher Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.