Downing will become Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer effective Jan. 2, 2013. He will leave the College Heights Foundation Dec. 31.
“I will forever be grateful to the Board of Directors of the College Heights Foundation for allowing me the opportunity to represent the College Heights Foundation for what has been the most rewarding 17 years of my professional career,” Downing said. “I have been blessed to serve the College Heights Foundation and Western Kentucky University, two organizations that I have always held in high regard and that mean a great deal to my family and me. My love for these organizations is deep rooted and will never waiver. I will forever be an ambassador for both of these organizations and hope to serve both as a volunteer and advocate in my new position.”
WKU President Gary Ransdell said the University owes much to Downing’s leadership.
“He has been the consummate team player with the University’s overall fund raising and asset management programs,” Dr. Ransdell said. “He has been a skilled leader, and the College Heights Foundation has grown stronger with his leadership. WKU needs and values the College Heights Foundation and its role in providing scholarships for deserving students.”
Mike Simpson, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, said the board is forming a search committee to review potential replacements, but replacing Downing will be difficult.
“On behalf of the Board, we are so grateful for his tenure as president of this organization which provides scholarships to deserving students,” Simpson said. “The Board truly believes that he is uniquely qualified in this role given his long history with WKU, his formal education as an accountant and his unbelievable interpersonal skills. He will be sorely missed, but we wish him much success in his new endeavor.”
Downing joined the College Heights Foundation as Treasurer in January 1996. He became President and Treasurer in April 1998.
Chartered in 1923, the College Heights Foundation has had as its primary mission the administration of funds entrusted to its care by supportive alumni, corporations, organizations and other friends for the purpose of helping deserving students get an education. Although the Foundation exists primarily for the purpose of aiding deserving students enrolled at WKU, it also administers gifts that have been made for special projects and programs according to the wishes of the donor.
Franklin Bank & Trust Company opened Dec. 1, 1958, and has four locations in Franklin and Bowling Green.
Contact: Mike Simpson, (270) 782-8282.