The first and only chief executive of the Harrison County Community Foundation has decided to retire next year. Steve Gilliland was hired as the Foundation’s first employee on March 1, 1999.

When Gilliland was hired, the Foundation had assets of just over $5,000,000. Today, total assets exceed $207,000,000 which includes investments, real estate and 122 miles of fiber optic cable. Grants and scholarships awarded during his tenure exceed $90,000,000.

“I started thinking about retirement a couple of years ago,” Gilliland said. “Several factors helped me target my 20th anniversary with the Foundation”.

The Foundation board of directors has been strategically preparing for the transition and an Executive Search Committee has been formed to lead the recruitment and selection of Gilliland’s replacement.

“Replacing someone with twenty-years of experience and all those relationships Steve has built will be challenging,” said current Board Chair Barbara Middleton. “At the same time, we are very optimistic about finding the next visionary leader to build on the great foundation Steve and all of our past and current board members have built.”

When asked what he is most proud of during his time at the Foundation, Gilliland said, “That’s very difficult to answer. The fiber project should prove to be the most impactful on the community, but the Foundation has funded so many things that have been life-changing to many of our neighbors.”

The Search Committee has retained the services of Aly Sterling Philanthropy to assist with the recruiting and screening process. Persons interested in applying should visit to review the position description, key responsibilities and qualifications, along with information on how to apply.  Applications will be accepted via website Dec. 18 – Jan. 15.  General questions and inquiries can be directed to Jen Pendleton – Vice President, Aly Sterling Philanthropy at

“Our goal is to have someone in the position by the end of April,” added Middleton. “This will allow us to ensure a smooth transition between executives and allow Harrison County Community Foundation to continue its good work in the community.”

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