MERRILLVILLE | Leigh Morris has been named interim president of the Legacy Foundation, the nonprofit community foundation and philanthropic partner serving Lake County.
Morris comes to Legacy Foundation following an extensive career in municipal government, health care, regional planning and economic development.
He was president/CEO of LaPorte Regional Health Systems for 21 years and mayor of LaPorte from 2004 to 2008.
For nearly three years beginning in 2009, Morris served as executive director of the Indiana Toll Road and deputy commissioner of toll road oversight for the state of Indiana.
He also was Gov. Mitch Daniels’ appointee to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and served as RDA board chairman
Among Morris’ many awards is the Governor’s Distinguished Service Medal presented by Daniels in December 2012.
Morris replaces former Legacy President Harry Vande Velde III, who left Sept. 30 to become president of Andrean High School in Merrillville.
Tina Rongers has also been named Legacy’s interim vice president. She is filling the position of Legacy Vice President Lara Kalwinski, who left the foundation on Sept. 11 for a post with the National Standards at Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C.
According to Erica Fizer, program officer for the foundation, the board decided to select interim leaders to provide more time to decide on permanent replacements. She said a national search is underway and that it could take three months to find a new president and vice president.
Legacy Foundation has awarded nearly $30 million in grants and scholarships to benefit organizations and individuals and has helped more than 250 nonprofit groups with capacity-building initiatives and project funding.
The foundation manages more than 260 individual donors' funds representing nearly $40 million in assets.
Legacy Foundation’s board represents a diverse spectrum of the business, education, nonprofit and public sectors throughout Lake County.