Press Release


June 10, 2019

Jenny Tinklepaugh
252.442.7474 ext. 226               

Golden LEAF Announces Search for Foundation’s next President
Search to be led by the Golden LEAF Board, facilitated by executive search firm

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. –The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors announced the position description, process and timeline to select its next president after its long-time president Dan Gerlach recently took the position of interim chancellor at East Carolina University.

After interviewing several executive search firms with significant experience conducting similar searches, Golden LEAF has hired Raleigh firm Elinvar to facilitate the presidential search and oversee the recruitment and selection process.

“We are pleased to have an experienced, North Carolina-based firm conduct the search for the Foundation,” said Golden LEAF Board member Lee Roberts, who is also Chair of the Golden LEAF committee overseeing the selection process. “We are confident that the Foundation can quickly find the best candidates available to continue our mission of serving rural, tobacco dependent communities in North Carolina and help prepare these communities for new economic opportunities.”

Elinvar will receive applications through July 15th. The Golden LEAF Board of Directors will select the next president. A decision is expected to be made in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“The Golden LEAF Foundation will continue to pursue its vision to support lasting, long-term economic development in North Carolina’s rural communities,” said Randy Isenhower, Chairman of the Golden LEAF Board. “We stand ready to take this organization into its next 20 years and look forward to selecting a new leader to serve as a champion for rural North Carolina.”

Over its 20 years, the Golden LEAF Foundation – governed by a 15-member Board of Directors appointed by the state’s Legislative and Executive branches – has awarded 1,756 grants totaling more than $870 million.

The Foundation continues to operate as usual during the transition period to provide ongoing, critical resources to grantees and scholars throughout rural North Carolina and relief and recovery funding to citizens and communities affected by recent hurricanes. During the transition, Ted Lord, Senior Vice President and Staff Attorney of Golden LEAF, will serve as Acting President.

Information on the application process and job description is on the Golden LEAF website

About the Golden LEAF Foundation

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding received from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

The Foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural areas of the state by helping create 64,000 jobs, more than half a billion dollars in new payroll and more than 77,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.

To learn more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, visit


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