June 14, 2019

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) board of directors has named Karen White as the foundation’s next president and Chief Executive Officer.  White will become the fourth president since NMF was established in 1986 to help revitalize northwest Minnesota communities.

White was selected from a national pool of candidates through a five-month review process, led by a search committee that included current and past board members. White has been serving as NMF’s Chief Strategy Officer. She will begin serving as president on July 1, 2019.

“On behalf of the board, we are very pleased that Karen will become our next president,” said Board Chair Tom Anderson. “Karen has demonstrated a commitment to the region and has a passion for her work at NMF.”

White has been on staff at NMF for over three years. She was hired as Vice President for Programs in 2016 and was promoted to Chief Strategy Officer in July of 2018. Her previous roles include serving as the Executive Director at the Minnesota State Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence at Bemidji State University from 2006-2016 where she led the center to achieve designation as a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Regional Center in June 2012. Prior to her role at Bemidji State University, White held the position of Associate Director for Engineering Operations with the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering at North Dakota State University where she was responsible for leading large multi-disciplinary federal grants. White started her career at Imation Corporation’s Wahpeton, North Dakota manufacturing site, where she held various engineering and management positions related to the production of data storage cartridges.

White holds a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and she became a Registered Patent Agent in April 2009. She grew up in Moorhead, MN and moved with her family to the region in 2006.

White will take over for Nancy Vyskocil, who announced her retirement in November of 2018. She said, “It has been my privilege to have been part of the foundation’s growth and service to the region for the past eleven years. I am confident that Karen will provide strong leadership in carrying out the foundation’s next strategic plan with a focus on building better lives.”

White added, “Thanks to the effective and thoughtful leadership of Nancy and the NMF board, the organization has a clear vision for what it wants to accomplish. I look forward to my new role at the foundation and being part of the team helping to find positive solutions for our region’s critical needs and promoting philanthropy within our communities.”

To learn more about NMF and their work throughout the region, please visit www.nwmf.org.