Wausau Pilot & Review Staff

Jean C. Tehan, President/CEO of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, is retiring August 31 after more than 32 years of dedicated service and leadership, the organization announced Wednesday.

“It has been my greatest honor to serve north central Wisconsin through my time at the Community Foundation,” Tehan said in a statement. “The Community Foundation provides vital resources and leadership for a broad range of priorities in our community, and I am immensely proud of the work this organization has done and will continue to do in enhancing the quality of life in our area for generations to come.”

Formerly known as the Wausau Area Community Foundation, Tehan joined the foundation one year after its incorporation in January of 1987. Tehan was brought on to administer the Gannett Community Priorities Program, the largest grant ever made by Gannett. The focus of the program was to help the new Hmong population learn job skills and become thriving community members.

The Community Foundation exists on the generous gifts of donors that will forever impact and serve our community. During Tehan’s tenure, the Community Foundation has grown to over $67 million in assets, has awarded more than $87 million in grants that serve the arts, education, health, human services, and resource preservation, and prudently manages 431 funds. 

Under Tehan’s leadership, the Community Foundation has proudly invested in and administered funds for projects such as the Grandstand at Marathon Park, River Edge Development, The Curling Arena, the Boys & Girls Club, Medical College of Wisconsin, the Grand Theater, and so many more. The Foundation’s work of nonprofit strengthening includes our Community Arts Grant Program in partnership with the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board, nonprofit Lunch & Learn opportunities, and the Nonprofit Management Institute.

“Our work is only made possible because of our donors, community leaders, staff, and board of directors,” Tehan said. “I am thankful to have spent my career with so many dedicated and talented individuals who inspire me and strengthen our community.”

In addition to her work at the Community Foundation, Tehan has served as a charter trustee for the B A & Esther Greenheck Foundation, member and president (2015-2016) of the Rotary Club of Wausau, faculty of Leadership Wausau, RAAC charter member for the Medical College of Wisconsin, co-chair of the Parish Council of St. Michael’s Parish, helped form Kids Voting USA, evaluated statewide Community Foundations for certification and National Standards, and chaired the Festival of Arts 25th Anniversary Year.

Tehan has been the recipient of multiple awards including the Women of Vision award, Badger of the Year award, Impact Award Recipient – CVB, and Spotlight Award Recipient – AOD Partnership.

Amy Plier, chair of the Community Foundation Board of Directors, said the board will work with Tehan to transition leadership as they search for her successor.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to recognize and thank Jean for her invaluable leadership over these past 32 years. The Foundation’s strong reputation and operating performance have benefited from her guidance.  Her legacy of servant leadership is defined by a resolute focus on connecting the needs of the community with the philanthropic wishes of donors to improve the lives of those in our community.  We wish her well in her retirement.”