Park City Community Foundation announces its new president and CEO |

Park City Community Foundation announces its new president and CEO

Joel Zarrow will start his new role on June 13

Park City Community Foundation announced Joel Zarrow as its new president and CEO. Zarrow is the former CEO of Children’s Literacy Initiative, a national nonprofit organization providing urban school districts with early literacy coaching and support.
Courtesy of the Park City Community Foundation

The search is over and the Park City Community Foundation has a new president and CEO.

The nonprofit’s board of directors announced on Thursday that Joel Zarrow will officially settle in the role on June 13.

“I’m super excited, because this is an incredible opportunity for me to work with a community institution that’s focused on addressing the community’s most pressing issues,” Zarrow said in an interview. “It’s really an opportunity for me to get to go to work on something I care about with people who are doing extraordinary work.”

Zarrow’s qualifications include more than 20 years of public, private and nonprofit sector expertise. He also took on leadership roles committed that advanced equity in education, which was something that helped him stand out among the 70 applicants, said Kristi Cumming, Park City Community Foundation board chair.

“Our goal is to help the community solve its most pressing issues by bringing together nonprofits, donors and government, and felt his breadth and depth of experience would launch the community foundation to even bigger and better things,” she said. “We just saw his incredible heart and passion aligned with the many objectives of the community foundation regarding social justice and his dedication to the nonprofit community.”

Zarrow, who comes to Park City from Philadelphia, has spent his career launching, growing and sustaining nonprofit organizations, including the Children’s Literacy Initiative, which strives to stop structural racism and create equity in education.

“(This is) where I focused my whole energy,” he said. “It’s been with nonprofits doing the service work and nonprofits providing the funding to do the work to be done. So, it feels like this role is the culmination of those experiences. I have learned to expand the task of the foundation and deepen it.”

A sense of purpose originally drew Zarrow to nonprofit work.

“How I spend my time matters to me, and I get most fulfilled when I’m building an organization or while I help supporting team members to do meaningful work,” he said. “And what is meaningful to me is creating a more just and equitable society, which can take so many different forms — education, climate change, affordable housing. So all the issues the Park City Community Foundation works on speaks to my heart.”

Zarrow’s appointment marked the end of 13 months of reviewing applications and conducting interviews, after Katie Wright stepped down from the position in March 2020, Cumming said.

“It was an exciting process in the way we brought in our entire board and staff together to participate in the interview process,” she said. “Kittleman & Associates was the search firm we worked with, and Raylene Decatur was our lead principal on search. She took us through every step of the way, before the board unanimously voted on Joel.”

Zarrow’s first item of business will be to “listen and learn,” he said.

“I will immerse myself in the great work that is happening right now, dig into learning about the community members and area nonprofits and find out what their staff and leaderships are out to accomplish,” he said. “From there I will be able to work with stakeholders in deciding what will be next for the foundation and community.”

The Park City Community Foundation has been busy making plans for a smooth CEO transition, Cumming said.

“Our executive committee will function as the transition committee, and Joelle Kanshepolsky, who has been our interim CEO since last July, will be integral in helping Joel get up to speed,” she said. “I think he is a wonderful fit for Park City and Summit County, and we’re so pleased to announce this and have Joel be with us for the long term.”

Zarrow and wife Helen Nadel, who both enjoy the outdoors, will be in town this weekend to get a feel of where they will eventually live, he said.

“Helen and I are becoming empty-nesters with our second child going off to school,” he said. “So this created the next adventure for us.”

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