DenaSue Potestio Named ESU Foundation President

March 20, 2012

DenaSue Potestio, currently president and chief executive officer for the Colorado State University-Pueblo Foundation, has been named the new president of the Emporia State University Foundation.

“I want to thank the leadership and service of Lana Oleen, chair of the ESU Foundation Board, and Russ Everhart, chair of the search committee, and the Foundation executive committee members for helping us find the best person for the job,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, Emporia State president. “I also want to thank the campus and Emporia community for taking part in this important search.”

Potestio's many accomplishments while at CSU-Pueblo include building a productive team who increased the number of first time donors by 200 percent since 2009 and tripled private gift revenue since 2006.

“It's an honor to become a Hornet!” said Potestio.  “I can't wait to partner with President Shonrock, the trustees of the Foundation, our alumni, and the entire Emporia community to raise private dollars to support Emporia State University.”

“DenaSue Potestio will be an excellent leader for the Foundation,” said Oleen.

“The fact that she spent time in Emporia the week prior to her interview certainly resonated with the board as we discussed her qualifications,” Oleen added, noting that Potestio was the unanimous choice of the executive committee.

Foundation trustees appointed an 11-person committee to solicit and screen applicants for the position with the help of EFL Associates, Inc., a Leawood, Kan., executive search firm. In addition to Everhart, the search committee also included Foundation board members Beth Paladino, Kim Penner and Skip Evans as well as retired Foundation president Jim Meyer. Other members included Dale Davis, Emporia community representative; Jennifer Cheray, student representative; John Rich, associate professor of business; Sandy Kramer, former Foundation employee; and Ray Hauke, ESU vice president for administration and fiscal affairs.

Potestio was one of four final candidates interviewed from a field of more than 30 initial applicants.

“We were impressed with the career experiences and fundraising successes represented by the candidates we invited to Emporia,” said Everhart. 

Founded in 1952 as a 501(c)(3) corporation, the ESU Foundation supports Emporia State University by raising, receiving, managing, investing, distributing and stewarding private resources in support of ESU's mission in the areas of teaching, research, public service and scholarship. In addition, the Foundation is responsible for raising funds for capital improvement projects.

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