Minneapolis, MN [June 22, 2022]— After 12 years with Mortenson Family Foundation, Donna Dalton has decided to step down from her role as Executive Director to make space for a new and proximate leader in this role. The board is pleased to announce Ambar Cristina Hanson has accepted the role of Executive Director beginning on July 1, 2022. The Foundation is extremely grateful for Donna’s service in a leadership role that has made a significant difference in the communities where it works.
After 12 years of leading Mortenson Family Foundation and a year of transition planning, the Foundation is at the right place for its next leader. “I worked with the board and the team to build a Foundation that connects deeply to the community. Ambar will continue that deep connection to the community and be an extraordinary leader to strengthen the work of the Foundation,” said Donna.
As the first Executive Director of the Foundation, Donna worked to create internal systems that reflected the family’s values of being responsive, respectful, and accountable to the community. Leaning on those values the Foundation grew from making grants of $500,000 in Donna’s first year to $6 million this year.
Alice Mortenson, Co-Founder and Board Chair, stated, “My late husband, Mort, and I started the Foundation with the intent of bringing our family together around issues we all care deeply about and to make a difference in the communities we feel so connected to at home and around the world. Donna not only supported the foundation in establishing our mission and values, but also in ensuring that the words were put into practice through grant-making, building relationships in community, and growing our Foundation team – all done with a commitment to equity. We are deeply saddened to see her leave, and we are pleased to have Ambar as Donna’s successor. We are incredibly thankful for Donna’s commitment to the community, the Foundation, and our family. We are delighted to continue to work with Ambar in her new role to lead the Foundation.”
Ambar joined the Foundation over three years ago as a Community Relationship Officer with the Expanding Opportunities for Children and Families program area. Since then, she has worked to advance equity in the program by increasing the percentage of grants to organizations led by and for communities and organizations led by BIPOC leaders; has co-led the equity learning and strategy for the board; and built deeper Foundation relationships with the community.
“My commitment to community led me to this work. It’s been an incredible privilege to work with such amazing community leaders and partners through the Foundation over these past three years,” said Ambar. “To have incredible colleagues, a great board, and Donna as a mentor has made all the difference. I look forward to this new chapter.”
Donna will remain as an advisor and support the Foundation through the end of the summer.