Randi Ilyse Roth Named Executive Director of the Otto Bremer Foundation
St. Paul, Minn. - February 18, 2008 - The Otto Bremer Foundation (OBF) today announced that Randi Ilyse Roth has been named executive director of the Foundation, effective May 1, 2008. Roth will succeed John Kostishack, who retired from the Foundation at the end of 2007 after 28 years with the organization.
"Hiring Randi allows the Foundation to continue being a responsive and innovative resource to Bremer communities and the surrounding region," said Charlotte Johnson, OBF Trustee. "Randi has extensive experience in working closely with communities and her background provides an excellent fit with our commitment to building healthy communities."
Roth currently serves as the independent, court-appointed monitor in a civil rights lawsuit brought by African American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prior to that, she spent 17 years at the Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) as a staff attorney and then as executive director. During her time at FLAG, Roth worked extensively in rural communities nationwide. Additionally, she has served as an adjunct professor of agricultural law at the William Mitchell College of Law, and worked as a staff attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago.
"Since I moved to Minnesota in the mid-1980s, I've been aware of the tremendous and positive influence of Bremer banks and of the Otto Bremer Foundation," said Roth. "It is a great privilege to be able to join the Bremer system and work with the Foundation team to maximize our effectiveness in serving Bremer bank communities."
A graduate of Yale University and Northwestern University School of Law, Roth's extensive community involvement includes serving as a vice president of Beth Jacob Congregation, and volunteering on the boards of the United Jewish Fund and Council, and of the Talmud Torah of Saint Paul.
OBF, currently ranked sixth in size and assets by the Minnesota Council on Foundations, is charged with assisting people in achieving full economic, civic and social participation, in and for the benefit of their communities.
About the Foundation
To ensure that his personal commitment would carry on, Otto Bremer created the Foundation in 1944 to meet the unique needs of communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Over the years, Otto Bremer's other legacy, the Bremer Banks, owned by the Foundation and bank employees, have provided the resources essential to fund the Foundation's grant-making activities. Leveraging dividends from the bank, the Foundation creatively responds to changing community needs by giving more than $30 million annually to respond to needs that are unique to each community - listening to local voices, convening residents around common issues and responding flexibly to community requests.