Bensen to head Triangle Community Foundation

DURHAM, N.C. — Mark V. Bensen, executive vice president of MDC, a Durham-based national research group that focuses on economic and workforce development, has been named president and CEO of the Durham-based Triangle Community Foundation, effective August 13.

“Innovative philanthropy and effective stewardship of our region’s financial and social capital are essential to our growth and advancement,” and the foundation is “well-prepared to lead on all fronts,” Bensen says in a statement.

Bensen succeeds Phail Wynn Jr., vice president for Durham and regional affairs at Duke University, who has served as interim president and CEO since the abrupt departure nearly a year ago of Andrea Bazan.

Bensen has managed MDC’s daily operations, including its financial, human resources, and information-technology functions, and has played a key role in developing and implementing short and long-range strategic planning.

He formerly was executive director of the Lucy Daniels Foundation in Raleigh, and was director of the Global Education Initiative for the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also was associate director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science, and founding director of the Park Scholarships, both at North Carolina State University.

Wynn, the foundation’s former board chair, has served on a part-time basis, and Lori O’Keefe has served as vice president for philanthropic servcies and chief operating officer.

In mid-July 2011, six weeks after Bazan was given an immediate, “indefinite” paid sabbatical, the foundation announced she would not be returning.

The foundation manages $150 million in funds established by families, businesses, individuals, and organizations, makes grants from those funds to nonprofits, and administers a variety of programs to benefit the community.

It  manages over 750 funds that range in size from $10,000 to $10 million, mainly for the benefit of Wake, Durham, Orange and Chatham counties.

In fiscal 2011-12, the foundation granted over $14 million to nonprofits, schools and community efforts.

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