Committed to dream for ESU


Committed to dream for ESU

DenaSue PotestioDenaSue Potestio checked out Emporia and Emporia State University before we checked her out.

“I’m a person of commitment,” Potestio said. “I felt that as I evaluated the opportunity, I should come out and visit your community, visit the campus, and envision myself as the new president of your foundation.”

“I got to know some students as I walked around campus, saw the beautiful renovation of the Memorial Union, and was blown away by the community, the campus, and the people I met,” Potestio revealed on the phone from her parents’ home near Pueblo, Colo., during a March 20 phone call news conference at Sauder Alumni Center announcing her selection as the new president of the ESU Foundation.

“I have to tell you, I had a wonderful trip to Emporia,” said Potestio, who was back in Emporia the next week for her formal interview and meetings with campus and community residents.    

Currently president and chief executive officer of the Colorado State University-Pueblo Foundation, Potestio begins her new position at ESU this summer.

“The fact that she spent time in Emporia the week prior to her interview certainly resonated with the board as we discussed DenaSue’s qualifications,” noted Lana Oleen, ESU Foundation board of trustees chair.

“I want to thank the leadership and service of 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, ESU president. “I also want to thank the campus and Emporia community for taking part in this important search.”

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.

“I’m excited to dream together with you,” Potestio said, noting the Foundation’s contract with a consultant exploring a potential campaign for ESU.