NEW BEDFORD — After five years at the helm, SouthCoast Community Foundation President John Vasconcellos will be retiring at the end of the year, the nonprofit announced today.

Vasconcellos is the third president of the 25-year-old New Bedford-based foundation, which works to connect SouthCoast communities and services with philanthropic funding.

In a statement, the foundation noted that during his tenure Vasconcellos launched the Creative SouthCoast Initiative supporting the arts in Fall River and New Bedford and more recently developed the Leadership Equity Fund to support nonprofit leaders and employees of color.

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He also led the nonprofit in spearheading a region-wide COVID-19 response that has raised more than $8 million in support of 127 organizations across southeastern Massachusetts.

“It’s been an honor of a lifetime to steward this amazing organization through such critical times for our region and its residents,” said Vasconcellos.

“I love the work that we do and am proud of the differences we have made throughout the South Coast collaborating with the Board, staff, committees, nonprofits, and community members, so it’s not easy to leave," he added. "But with the Foundation in strong standing, it is an opportune time for my next chapter and to hand over the reins.”

Board member and Assistant Clerk Jonathan Rounds is leading a search committee looking nationwide for Vasconcellos' replacement.

“We have been so fortunate to have had John’s vision and guidance over the past five years,” stated Board Chair Linda Bodenmann. “I’m grateful for the partnership we have shared.”

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