Reflections on recent Incourage changes

As Interim CEO, I look forward to working with an incredible staff, all of whom believe in the community and our work as much as I do. I look forward to helping inform the next iteration of Incourage. I will lead the organization with love for the community, Virginia’s vision as my guide and the support of all those who want to make a meaningful impact on this place we call home.  

In our small, connected community, it would be hard to not know that our organization has been going through some changes recently. We certainly feel them within our walls and know that these changes have sparked questions about the staff and direction of the organization going forward.

These changes include: 

  • On October 31, our long-tenured CEO left the organization to pursue other career goals with a national foundation.  
  • I have been appointed interim CEO during this time of transition. An interim model was chosen so that we can assess our work over the past 25 years, what we have learned from that work, and develop the most impactful path forward for our community. 
  • Some positions, and therefore staff, were eliminated in order to allow us to be more cost-effective in the changing world of philanthropy. 
  • We are reviewing organizational priorities, with our local community remaining at the forefront of our work. 

Although these changes have been met with many emotions, our organizational history has been filled with change. Founded in 1994 by Virginia Brazeau, our organization was established as a community foundation with the founding purpose to meet the changing needs of the community.  So, as our community has changed, so has our organization. Over the last 25 years, Incourage has evolved and matured, serving our community in a range of roles — advocate, convener, developer, facilitator, investor and fundraiser. As the adage goes – “the only thing constant is change,” our commitment has always and will always remain the same – to serve our community. Therefore, as our community continues to change, we will continue to listen, observe and adapt as necessary. We will hold true to the approaches that we know are at the core of a thriving community that works for everyone. Learn more about our work here.

Over the upcoming months, Incourage staff and board will pursue conversations with our donors, advocates and community partners to learn how we can continue to best serve the community. We look forward to conversations and the opportunity to establish and deepen relationships within our community. 

I welcome each of you with courageous commitment to our community, each of you with an innovative idea for Incourage’s future work, each of you with a simple statement of support, to reach out – we want to hear from you.  





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  • About Incourage

    Established in rural Wisconsin in 1994 to serve the changing needs of the south Wood County area, Incourage has become a nationally-recognized leader in place-based philanthropy and community development. Guided by values of equity, opportunity, and shared stewardship, Incourage envisions a community that works well for all people. One physical manifestation of this vision is the redevelopment of the Tribune building, which demonstrates Incourage’s user-centered approach to growing a strong and inclusive local economy.