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Community Foundation CEO won’t retire; Gwinnett Coalition leader will

Randy Redner, the president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, changed his mind about plans to retire this year. CONTRIBUTED
Randy Redner, the president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, changed his mind about plans to retire this year. CONTRIBUTED

The head of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, who earlier this year announced his retirement, will instead stay on as CEO through 2023.

Randy Redner said in late February that he intended to step down later this year to spend more time with his family.

Now, Redner said, he’ll keep his job through the end of 2023.

“As we all pivoted and worked furiously to meet community needs, it was as if God kept impressing on me that I was in the right place,” he said in a statement. “I realized I needed to change my plans for the future and remain where I was.”

Consistent leadership during challenging times is critical, board chair Dick LoPresti said in a statement.

“The relief stage of this pandemic has been challenging, but we also understand that the recovery stage will be longer and harder,” LoPresti said. “As a result, the executive board felt that Randy’s strong leadership is needed more than ever.”

Redner became the Community Foundation’s executive director in 2015. He helped launch food insecurity, early learning, health care and homelessness initiatives for the Community Foundation. He also grew the group’s assets under management to more than $51 million.

The group has granted more than $80 million to various nonprofits.

While Redner will stay on, another local leader has announced her retirement. Ellen Gerstein, executive director of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, will leave at the end of the year. A search has begun for her replacement.

Gerstein joined the Gwinnett Coalition in 1991, as its founding executive director. She started a helpline for referral calls to help people with basic needs, the Gwinnett Housing Resource Partnership and the first Veterans Resource Center in the county. Gerstein also oversaw Gwinnett Great Days of Service, the largest volunteer event in the county.

Gerstein, in a statement, said she wanted to encourage people to continue doing the work.

“As long as there are desperate needs in our community, our work is not done,” she said.