Diana Anderson, Nancy Fasching, Nancy Kaping and Margie Nelsen celebrated their 20th anniversary at the foundation in 2021. We’re grateful for the dedication, enthusiasm and camaraderie each of these four women has shown over the last two decades. When you think about it, they’ve spent a combined 80 years connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities in southwest Minnesota! They recently went out together to celebrate this milestone anniversary (pictured: Nancy Fasching (from left), Diana Anderson, Margie Nelsen and Nancy Kaping). Below is a reflection from each of them.
Diana Anderson, President & CEO
After 20 years, there are so many wonderful memories, but the common theme is the trusted relationships that have allowed remarkable things to happen in our communities. Working with passionate community leaders to establish their local community foundations was my first job at SWIF. I was energized and inspired by their passion, and in many cases, lasting friendships were made. The same would be true of the partnerships we have built more recently to ensure every child in our region reaches their full potential. Hearing young parents talk about their hopes and dreams for their children, touring schools and witnessing the deep commitment of our educators, seeing business leaders actively invest in the next generation of the workforce … on and on it goes! More often than I can count, I come home and say to my husband, John, “My heart is so full!” And the relationships I treasure most are with the incredible board and staff at the Foundation. Our shared vision for a region where all people thrive and our shared values of integrity, equity, curiosity, collaboration, and optimism guide every decision.
Nearly every single day has brought a new learning, a new friendship, a new opportunity to partner, or just a moment of joy … what a gift to be able to say that about my work!
Nancy Fasching, Vice President of Community Impact
As I reflect on the 20 years I have been with the Foundation, I believe what led me to this work is the passion I have for rural Minnesota and gratitude I have for the strong relationships we have here to make great things happen. I grew up with the belief that you must always leave a place better than you found it. I am grateful to be able to contribute toward the success of so many amazing projects and build incredible relationships.
At this moment in time, we are here to do great things to carry the region into the future, especially by recognizing how our shared humanity can create a better future for all of us.
Nancy Kaping, Executive Assistant
I see firsthand the gifts of generosity, individuals and businesses giving with their heart in something they are passionate about. Whether you live or have lived in southwest Minnesota, it’s seeing support of YOUR local school foundation, community foundation, hardship fund or supporting the mission of our foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities. I see the grants awarded by our community foundations, donor advised funds, employer hardship funds to help people, our communities, and our region. I see individuals achieving their dream of owning or expanding their own business through our finance programs.
Whether it’s giving or receiving, I see passion and heart building communities in southwest Minnesota better and stronger and THAT is so humbling to experience.
You’ve heard our staff many times say “it’s an honor and privilege” to represent Southwest Initiative Foundation but it’s the people that make it so. And that has been my experience working at the Foundation for the past 20 years.
Margie Nelsen, Chief Financial Officer
Twenty years ago, I heard of Southwest Initiative Foundation through a McKnight Foundation news conference in Hutchinson. As the accomplishments were shared, I was impressed with the passion the people working in the foundation had for our region. To become a part of the nurturing and growth that the foundation is a part of for our children, families and businesses has been a wonderful experience.
Seeing how dedicated our donors and partners are to where we live and who we share our lives with is something I want to pass on through my family.
Did you know?
Among current full-time staff, the average tenure at SWIF is 10 years. Get to know more about our team by visiting our staff page.