Dr. Kara Pappas has been named as McKee Wellness Foundation’s new executive director, filling the role previously held by Allis Gilbert. Kara has served as the Foundation’s development and engagement director since October 2021 and brings a seasoned background as a nonprofit leader, instructor, and consultant to this role.
Serving missions from animal welfare to health and human services, varying from local to national in scope, Kara’s work has focused primarily on the areas of fund and donor development, marketing, and public relations. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kara served as Larimer Humane Society’s director of development and community relations and as the organization’s interim CEO.
Kara holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Colorado State University, a Master’s of Nonprofit Management from Regis University, and a Doctor of Management in Nonprofit Leadership from Colorado Technical University. She is also an instructor of graduate studies on nonprofit management at Colorado State University. Kara has been recognized among Northern Colorado’s 40 Under Forty and appeared in BizWest’s Notable Women in Nonprofits.
“Kara’s extensive background as a nonprofit leader, in combination with her experience here at McKee Wellness Foundation gives us confidence that she is the right person to usher in a new era for the Foundation,” said Dr. Jason Hatch, Board president for the Foundation.
“I am honored to work in partnership with you – our supporters – to build on the Foundation’s hallmark initiatives while also expanding community wellness in new ways,” said Kara. “Linking arms with such a talented and passionate team of staff and working on behalf of my home community make this opportunity especially meaningful,” she said.
“I am proud of the comprehensive process that our Search Committee and Executive Committee conducted in the selection of our new executive director,” stated Dr. Hatch. “The Foundation’s Board of Directors and staff also thank Laura Whitney for her work as acting executive director during this transition,” he continued.