PORTLAND/ELLSWORTH — George T. Shaw of Newcastle, chair of the Maine Community Foundation Board of Directors, has announced that Meredith H. Jones will step down at the end of 2015 after 16 years of service, including seven as president and CEO.

“The foundation is in a position of great strength,” said Shaw. “Under Jones’ leadership we have a clear purpose and direction, a strong board, extraordinarily capable staff and a solid financial base. I expect that many people from near and far will want a chance to lead this organization into the future.”

“It is because I care so deeply about the Maine Community Foundation that I know it is time to make way for the next leader to take the foundation to a future that will be limited only by the imagination, wisdom, and commitment of the board, staff and a growing family of donors, partners and friends,” Jones said in her letter to the Board of Directors.

Jones is credited with many advances for the community foundation and for Maine. In addition to steering the foundation through the economic downturn of 2008-09, she has inspired others to engage in and promote philanthropy throughout Maine, which has resulted in a significant increase in the charitable assets of the foundation, currently totaling $400 million.

Under her watch, the Maine Community Foundation established a set of priorities in the areas of downtown revitalization, higher education attainment, and leadership development. Jones has been a tireless advocate for the connection between higher education and economic vitality, which is reflected in the foundation’s commitment to support degree and credential attainment among adult learners and to explore solutions to the issue of college affordability.

During Jones’ tenure, the community foundation created ENCorps, a nationally recognized program to engage older Mainers as community volunteers, and launched a multi-million dollar impact investment program focused on areas key to Maine’s economic future: downtown revitalization and local farms, fisheries and food. She guided the development and expansion of Educate Maine, the business-led advocacy organization that champions college and career readiness, and she encouraged the expansion of the foundation’s signature community-building grant program into three new counties.

A search committee led by Maine Community Foundation board member Peter Lamb and supported by the firm Isaacson-Miller has been formed to find Jones’ successor.

Maine Community Foundation is a statewide nonprofit focused on making a major difference in Maine’s economy through philanthropic investments in education, leadership and place. More than $22 million in grants and scholarships were awarded from its 1,500 charitable funds in 2013. For more information, visit www.mainecf.org.

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