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K-State Today

March 6, 2017

Willems renews commitment as president and CEO of KSU Foundation

Submitted by KSU Foundation

The KSU Foundation Board of Directors, along with K-State President Richard Myers, announce the contract renewal of KSU Foundation President and CEO Greg Willems. His contract, which was set to expire June 30, 2017, was renewed at the Feb. 24 meeting of the KSU Foundation board of directors.

"The board was eager to renew Greg's contract as a demonstration of our support for his performance as president and CEO of the KSU Foundation," said Rand Berney, chairman of the KSU Foundation board of directors. "Under Greg's leadership, the KSU Foundation has taken a quantum leap forward to meet K-State's increasing need for private support. Greg has thoughtfully transformed the organization with exceptional leadership and strategic planning that has produced outstanding results for our beloved alma mater. The opportunity to extend his contract is not only in the best interest of the KSU Foundation, but also Kansas State University."

During his tenure as president and CEO, Willems has led the organization through several major initiatives. In October 2015, the KSU Foundation led the university's launch of the $1 billion Innovation and Inspiration Campaign, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in K-State's history, and the organization has achieved a three-year fundraising average of more than $150 million annually. Willems also led the organization through the 2015 opening of the organization's new headquarters in the K-State Office Park and the recent approval of the $15 million Phase II building of the office park, which will further expand the organization's ability to attract new corporate partners to the Manhattan community.

"Greg has led the KSU Foundation through some tremendous changes over the past two years, while also executing strategic growth and increasing the sophistication of the organization," said Steve Lacy, vice chairman of the KSU Foundation Board of Directors. "His talent as a results-oriented leader has led to phenomenal outcomes. During his tenure, we've seen a 24 percent increase in the employee engagement, targeted staff growth and an improved employee retention rate. He's built a reputation for excellence in fundraising that is starting to garner national recognition. I am pleased that he will continue to lead the organization, and I look forward to working together in the coming years."

"I have worked closely with Greg since his hiring in 2015, first as a board member of the KSU Foundation and now as K-State president," Myers said. "Greg has done an exceptional job of building an organization that responds to K-State's increasing need for philanthropic support, and I believe he is just getting started. I am excited to work with Greg in the coming years to advance the university to new heights. We are privileged to have Greg and his wife, Christina, as part of the K-State family."

Willems said he is thrilled to continue in his role and continue to work with K-State's many generous donors and friends.

"I am honored to serve Kansas State University, the KSU Foundation and the generous donors, who continue to amaze me with their commitment and passion for this great university," Willems said. "We are engaged in the extraordinary enterprise of uniting those passions with needs and priorities of this great institution, and we have a bold vision for the continued growth of our organization and its capacity to serve K-State. The talented staff at the KSU Foundation inspire me every day, and it is a privilege to continue serving with them to advance K-State."

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.

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