HUTCHINSON, Minn.— Abdirizak “Zack” Mahboub of Willmar was recently elected to the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) Board of Directors.
An engineer by profession, Mahboub has a passion for helping families and youth build safe, successful neighborhoods and lives. He is a Bush Foundation Fellow and holds a master’s in public policy and economic development from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, as well as a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston.
Mahboub founded West Central Interpreting Services in Willmar, and he and his wife, Sahra Gure, are leading the transformation of the town’s former Erickson Furniture building into Midtown Plaza — home to retail shops, office space and amenities such as a senior activity center, beauty salon and tea and coffee shop. Mahboub also serves on the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission.
Prior to launching his own businesses, Mahboub lived and worked in Minneapolis as a refugee resettlement program manager and then executive director of an organization focused on neighborhood safety and revitalization. Since moving to Willmar in 2011, he has been instrumental in building bridges between longstanding residents, newcomers and immigrants. In 2017, he was honored with a Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Award for the significant impact he has had on the state of Minnesota and its communities.
“We are so pleased to have Zack join our board of directors,” said SWIF President/CEO Diana Anderson. “He brings experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors as well as a deep understanding of the role public policy plays in shaping both. His life, education and professional experience make him well-poised to connect longtime local citizens and newcomers to the region, and it’s a role that he’s embraced. He has a knack for pushing — and eventually removing barriers — in a positive and supportive way.”
“It’s an honor for me to serve on the board and give back to this organization,” Mahboub said.
The Southwest Initiative Foundation board of directors is a governing board that ensures the organization fulfills its mission of connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities in southwest Minnesota. The board sets strategy, manages resources and promotes the foundation’s work.
In addition to Mahboub, the SWIF Board of Directors includes Chair Janice Nelson, Montevideo; Vice Chair Randy Reinke, Litchfield; Secretary Tim Connell, Luverne; Treasurer Jan Lundebrek, Benson; Past Chair Bob Thurston, Olivia; Terry Gaalswyk, Worthington; Christie Hantge, Hutchinson; Patricia Loehr-Dols, Willmar; Mary Maertens, Marshall; Teresa Peterson, Upper Sioux Community; and Mark Titus, Jackson. This is a volunteer board.
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $75 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs. Learn more at swifoundation.org.
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