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Bridges of Hope names new executive director

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Bernadette Foh
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Bridges of Hope in Brainerd has a new executive director.

Bernadette Foh started in the position Sept. 9. She replaces former executive director Kassie Heisserer, who resigned effective Aug. 14.

“My mission, purpose and values in life align with the mission of Bridges of Hope,” Foh said in a news release. “The mission to ‘build bridges of support, anchored in Christ’s love, between families in the lakes area and the community’ is a fundamental piece that speaks personally to me, that calls me to action, that moves me and, most importantly, ties in with my mission and purpose.”

Foh was born the oldest girl of 13 children in Sierra Leone, West Africa, in the coastal city of Freetown. Now a naturalized citizen of the United States, Foh earned a Master of Business Administration Health Care Administration and Management from St. Catherine University in St. Paul and completed her first-year coursework in the LL.M program at the University of Minnesota Law School. She later completed her law degree at the University of Minnesota Law School.

In addition to experience as a paralegal, judicial intern and policy analyst, Foh most recently worked as chief of development with Open Cities Health Center in Minneapolis, and as a racial justice, diversity and inclusion consultant for the last 15 years.

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“My personal sense of purpose in life is to be an empathic servant leader,” Foh explained, “who will positively impact lives, engender hope and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference in the lives of people I interact with and in the communities I live and work.”

Along with an impressive resume, Foh also brings skill sets in grant writing, leadership, administrative and management oversight, public relations and project management to her position at Bridges of Hope.

Bridges of Hope Board Chair Biff Ulm said Foh was a standout candidate for the executive director position for a variety of reasons.

“I am very pleased we have been able to attract someone of this caliber, with an excellent track record and further potential,” Ulm said in a news release. “Bernadette is a people- and customer-centered individual with a strong history of creating highly engaged teams. She has excellent business experience and the drive to help us take Bridges of Hope to the next level of growth and development.”

Foh said she is ready to jump in to this position with both feet, familiarizing herself with the community and to begin making a difference in the lives of those she hasn’t yet met.

“I want to be in a position, where I can serve not only the organization, but also the community by giving back to individuals and communities; impacting lives, shaping dreams and lighting little beacons of hope along the way to ensure that people have a sense of self-worth and improved quality of life,” Foh stated in the news release.

Bridges of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization linking individuals and families to community resources since 2002. In 2018, Bridges of Hope served more than 1,900 households, or roughly 4,700 individuals, in Crow Wing County and surrounding communities. For more information, visit bridgesofhopemn.org.

Related Topics: NONPROFITS
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