Edwards Takes Helm at Essex County Non-Profit

David A. Edwards took the helm of the Essex County Community Foundation, Danvers, this week. He is the organization’s fourth president and CEO.

Edwards brings almost 15 years of successful leadership with community foundations and expertise in the nonprofit sector, and more than 15 years of higher education administration experience in the Greater Boston area. For the past eight years he has served as a principal with Sutherland ~ Edwards LCC, Consultants to Philanthropy, a consulting firm that has worked with over 40 community foundations as well as regional and national nonprofits both nationally and internationally. Before that, Edwards was the founding CEO of the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County in San Luis Obispo, CA, where he oversaw all aspects of operations, asset development, marketing and endowment management. During his six-year term there, he worked with the board to grow the Foundation’s total assets from $60,000 to more than $23 million.

“I am passionate about community philanthropy and have always believed that people should give where they live. A community foundation is one of the most effective vehicles to enable that to happen,” Edwards said. “ECCF has had a profound impact in philanthropic efforts across the County and I’m excited to help it grow even more in every way.”

In addition to his expertise in nonprofit leadership and his contributions to the community foundation field, Edwards has deep ties to Essex County. His mother was born in Marblehead and his ancestral grandfather, Francis Norwood, came to Gloucester in the late 1600’s. He holds a certificate in strategic management for nonprofits from Harvard Business school and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Vermont. Dave has immediate and extended family throughout the County. He and his wife Karen Gallas will be relocating from their current home in Peacham, Vermont.

“Dave Edwards is the right person at the right time to help ECCF continue its great work in our region,” said Chair of ECCF’s Board of Trustees, Jonathan Payson. “We have no doubt that his expertise will build on the innovative programs and philanthropic contributions Dave Welbourn helped establish as our third CEO. We’re grateful to both for their leadership, and anticipate an exciting new level of growth and impact for ECCF in the future.”