Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA executive director resigns, nonprofit looks for a new leader

by Paul Gatling ( 1,107 views 

Jody Dilday has resigned as Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas’ executive director, and the Fayetteville-based nonprofit is looking for a new leader for the first time in a decade.

Natalie Bartholomew, vice chair of the SPSF NWA board of directors, said Dilday’s last day is June 30. She’s been executive director of the nonprofit since 2007.

Dilday told Talk Business & Politics-Northwest Arkansas Business Journal she will be joining the development staff of the Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF). The nonprofit is based in Little Rock but has nearly 30 affiliate offices throughout the state, including one in Washington County. Katie Tennant is executive director of the downtown Fayetteville office.

Dilday said her position is newly created and will be supporting ARCF’s efforts to increase philanthropy in Arkansas as a whole, as well as Northwest Arkansas. Dilday will be part of the nonprofit’s central office staff but will be based in Northwest Arkansas.

“They [ARCF] want to be as responsive as possible to donors in Northwest Arkansas as well as continue relationships with our professional advisors in this part of the state,” Dilday said.

Dilday, honored as a member of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class in 2010, said it was “bittersweet” to change jobs, but said she is looking forward to her new career at ARCF, which has nearly $287 million in assets and has provided more than $156 million in grants to charitable organizations since its founding in 1976.

“SPSF NWA has such a compelling mission,” Dilday said. “And for the past decade I’ve been so fortunate to work alongside the most dedicated team of staff and volunteers and on behalf of the inspiring moms and dads in our program. Their determination to create a better, brighter future for their families has been a constant source of inspiration.

Jody Dilday

“But my faith teaches that there is a time and a season for everything. I am looking forward to new challenges and continued growth in my new role.”

Bartholomew, a SPSF NWA board member for the past three years, said a search for Dilday’s replacement is already under way.

“It has been an honor and privilege to work with Jody,” she said “She has had a profound impact on the organization and its growth and success over the last decade and to say she will be missed is an understatement.

“We are actively working toward finding her replacement to ensure the staff and organization as a whole will continue to run as smoothly as it has been.”

SPSF NWA helps low-income single parents pursue a post-secondary education as a way of seeking a better quality of life for their children. The organization was founded 33 years ago and serves Washington, Carroll and Madison counties. Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County is a separate entity.

SPSF NWA has an annual budget of about $850,000, Bartholomew said, and last year completed its $3 million Pathway To Prosperity endowment campaign. Bartholomew said 80% of those pledges have been received.