Library Foundation of Martin County

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PRESS RELEASE
April 1, 2014

Dennis Fruitt Hired as Executive Director
of the Library Foundation of Martin County

Dennis Fruitt, new Executive Director, Library Foundation of Martin CountyPriscilla Baldwin, President of the Library Foundation of Martin County, is pleased to announce that Dennis L. Fruitt has been hired as the new Foundation Executive Director effective May 7.  He will succeed Suzanne Horstman, FAHP, who is retiring after 12 years as Executive Director.

During Suzanne's tenure as Executive Director, the Library Foundation successfully completed a $1.48 million capital campaign to expand the Cummings Library in Palm City and provided over $4 million of support for programs and services of the Martin County Library System. The Foundation also initiated the annual Kiplinger Literacy Award and Luncheon, an event highlighting literacy efforts in Martin County.

Priscilla Baldwin, President of the Library Foundation, stated that the search committee spent three months reviewing local and national candidates. “The Library Foundation had excellent leadership beginning with Nina Taylor, our original director and Suzanne Horstman, our current director. Thanks to the volunteer work of our distinguished board members who have served the Foundation, we have an outstanding non-profit organization that enjoys the best leadership available. We are confident that Dennis Fruitt will bring new philosophies to the Foundation that will elevate us to the next level of professionalism and service to the community.”

"Martin County's libraries are centers of learning and culture for people of all ages," Dennis Fruitt said upon being selected. "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the Foundation's Board and the community to insure that we are making strategic private and public investments in these treasured community assets. Having lived in Martin County part-time for the past four years, I have seen the public's appreciation for programs such as BookMania!, as well as concerts, lectures, classes, films, and the availability of technology. I look forward to engaging the community and the library system's leaders in enhancing our libraries to meet the 21st century needs of residents."

Dennis has been the Deputy Director for Advancement at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, FL since 2004. Vizcaya is a 50-acre National Historic Landmark that is owned and operated by Miami-Dade County.

His accomplishments at Vizcaya include launching the Museum’s first fund development program, raising more than $1 million annually, tripling the Museum’s endowment, and working closely with the board of directors to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gifts.

Dennis also planned and executed special events with volunteer committees and developed a series of educational and stewardship programs to expand the knowledge of Vizcaya in the community.

Prior to his career at Vizcaya, Dennis was the Executive Director for External Relations at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. from 1997-2004. Chartered by an Act of Congress in 1893, the National Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world.

Dennis oversaw the operations of the Departments of Membership and Development, Visitor Programs and Volunteer Services, the Public Affairs Office and the National Cathedral Association, the Cathedral’s friends group that was founded in 1899.

Other career highlights include serving as the Director of Development for the National Institute for Dispute Resolution; Vice President for Development, Membership and Marketing for Conservation International; Director, Office of Major Gifts, National Trust for Historic Preservation; and Director, Office of Advancement for the American Council on Education.

The mission of the Library Foundation of Martin County is to acquire and administer funds to enrich library services and facilities not met by public funding and to endow the library system for future generations. For further information, please visit www.libraryfoundationmc.org, phone 772-221-1409 or email info@libraryfoundationmc.org.

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