Letter to the Editor: Foundation has been Accountable

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(Read full story below or on the VC Star website)

Re: your editorial April 2, “Foundation needs to be accountable”:

The Star is calling for the Ventura County Community Foundation to be “accountable” for some past poor choices, namely using the wrong funds to pay for a new office building, and keeping some fund money in money market accounts, thereby not earning enough return on this money.

I think the VCCF has been very accountable about these mistakes. The board consists of dedicated community volunteers. They may be experts in their own fields, but they do not run foundations for a living. So they hired an expert who gave them (in hindsight) bad advice, which they followed and have not shirked responsibility for.

As soon as the errors were discovered by the new CEO, the attorney general was notified. The VCCF has been fully accountable, cooperative and forthcoming with the attorney general. The situation has been resolved.

It is important to remember that no donor fund money was lost. It is all still there. I think the new CEO’s leadership in handling this situation demonstrates that the VCCF is worthy of the trust of its donors. With her at the helm, I think everything will be done properly going forward.

The Star says we “need to hear from (the board) about what happened and what has changed.” Well, we know what happened. There are no unreported facts. As to what has changed, the VCCF hired a great new CEO, Vanessa Bechtel.

She knew enough to quickly spot the problems, contact the AG and successfully work out solutions, so I am confident she knows how to properly lead the VCCF into the future.

Alison Carlson, Ventura

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