Foundation Board Names Petra Roter as next Executive Director

February 7, 2017

After an extensive search, the La Crosse Community Foundation has hired Petra Roter as its new Executive Director. Roter brings a wide range of experience to the post, both throughout her career in the University of Wisconsin system and as a community volunteer for many nonprofit boards.

Roter will be relocating from the Oshkosh area, but is no stranger to La Crosse. She served as the Dean of Student Development Academic Services at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from July 2000-2005. Most recently she served as a Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs for the University of Wisconsin System administration. Prior to that she was Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UW-Oshkosh.

“We believe Petra will be an excellent fit for the foundation,” says board chair, Sue Christopherson. “She has the vision and energy to seek opportunities that match our donors’ interests with local needs. We are looking forward to moving the needle on major community issues with her leadership.”

Roter has been an active community leader wherever she resides. While in La Crosse she was a Rotarian, served on many nonprofit boards and task forces, and co-chaired the La Crosse Mayor’s Task Force on Safety and Binge Drinking, with the current director of the foundation. While in Oshkosh, she continued her community service for many nonprofit boards, and is currently serving as the co-chair of the 2016-2017 Oshkosh Area United Way annual campaign.

“When I lived in La Crosse previously, I was able to see first-hand the good works of the La Crosse Community Foundation and how it leveraged dollars and people power to address the needs and issues of the community and work in a proactive manner to make La Crosse a healthier and stronger community – one that is truly caring and compassionate,” said Roter. “I so look forward to carrying on the good works of the foundation and its donors.”

Roter will replace Sheila Garrity, who will step down as executive director in late March after nearly 25 years at the helm. Garrity’s official last day is set for March 31; Roter begins her new post March 20.