CONTRIBUTED BY CFEA
The Community Foundation of East Alabama Inc. (CFEA) announced Dec. 4 that Katie Whittelsey has accepted the position of president of the organization.
The new president joins CFEA with an extensive background in entrepreneurship, nonprofit development and education. Whittelsey accepted the role with enthusiasm and said she understands that a strong community foundation leads to a stronger community for all residents. She added she is proud to represent Lee, Russell, Chambers, Tallapoosa and Macon counties and is excited to showcase and expand the offerings of the CFEA.
Whittelsey has a master’s degree in theory and practice in teacher education, as well as a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Tennessee. She has served on several boards, including the Dean’s Board of Advisors for the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Tennessee, the national Board of Directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of America and the Sierra Leone International Mission School.
Whittelsey received the UT Alumni Promise Award, which recognizes an alumnus under the age of 40 that has made extensive marks early in their careers, both civically and professionally. In addition, Whittelsey received the Outstanding Community Advocate award in 2017 from the University of Tennessee.
Whittelsey prioritizes her family, loves to travel and thrives on opportunities to build programs that help others be more intentional with their time, energy and resources. As a result of her love for helping all children succeed, Whittelsey founded Education Cures, a nonprofit committed to ensuring that schools in developing countries have the tools, support and curriculum they need to provide the best free, quality education. More than 1,200 students are served annually through Whittelsey’s past work with Education Cures.
“It is not often that the perfect fit comes along for a position in an organization,” said Barbara Patton, past president of CFEA. “We are truly blessed to have Katie, as the new president, be that person. With all her skills, abilities, enthusiasm and energy, the foundation will grow and flourish under her leadership. Through her work and work with others, I expect to see an increase in assets, greater visibility and awareness. This will result in an even greater impact in the five counties CFEA serves.”
Whittelsey and her husband, William, said they are excited to be new Opelika residents; however, this is a return home for William, as his family has been a part of the community for more than five generations.
“Chairman Fred Kam and the selection committee members, Debbie Allen and Tommy Eden, have been commended for the outstanding job they did in securing Katie for this position,” Patton said. “It made the final decision by the board of directors an easy choice. All members of the board are excited about the potential that Katie brings for expansion in so many areas of the foundation.”
To learn more about the Community Foundation of East Alabama, visit www.cfeastalabama.org. The organization is headquartered at the Southside Center for the Arts, located at 1103 Glenn St. in Opelika, and can be reached by telephone at 334-705-5138.