Tribute: Community Foundation’s CFO Mark Songer Retires

Mark Songer recently retired as our Chief Financial Officer. The Community Foundation prepared this tribute to Mark.

Mark Songer

For 17 years, Mark Songer has been investing himself in the Keys community he loves. A certified public accountant, Mark has guided the financial operations of nonprofits, including your Community Foundation. As an environmental activist, civic leader and board member for numerous charities, he has balanced his work by giving his time, energy, considerable expertise and passion through innumerable volunteer efforts.

Mark recently retired after six years of service as the Chief Financial Officer of the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys. He has made an immeasurable contribution to the organization and helped it grow exponentially into the vibrant, strong, and trusted institution it has become.

This year, the foundation is celebrating a milestone anniversary of 25 years of connecting people, resources and needs through philanthropy throughout the Keys. Mark has been one of the credits to its success over the past six years and has ensured the nonprofit not only be accountable, transparent, and a trusted steward of funding, but also maintain its prestigious accreditation status with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, an affirmation of having met or exceeded the most rigorous benchmarks in philanthropy.

As the Community Foundation’s CFO, Mark has steered all aspects of the nonprofit’s finances, including budgeting, reporting, accounting, overseeing adherence to investment and financial policies, and compliance. He has worked closely with the Board Treasurer, Finance and Investment committees, and CFFK’s Investment management firm. He has aided current and prospective fund holders, including individuals and families, nonprofit leaders and board members. Mark has furthered the Foundation’s management of $25 million through more than 150 funds. He has also been an asset to the annual grantmaking of the Foundation and its generous fund partners – over $1 million annually through an average of 200 grants per year.

Community Foundation President and CEO Jennifer McComb says, “The staff and board, our fund advisors, and our donors and nonprofit partners will miss Mark’s tremendous nonprofit and accounting expertise, and his diligence, commitment, and sound advice. Mark always goes way beyond his CFO responsibilities, from helping with taking photos and registration at events to coaching nonprofit leaders at our Leadership Success Academy.”

After graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University, Mark successfully completed the Uniform CPA Examination on his first attempt. After a successful career with several large corporations in Toledo, Ohio, he didn’t want to close the books on his career completely. Instead, he wanted to give back to the community through service to nonprofit organizations.

Ready for a change, he and his wife Lois moved to Key West in 2004. Before joining the Community Foundation, he was Finance Director for seven years for A.H. of Monroe County (formerly AIDS Help), an AIDS service organization providing case managed health care, housing and prevention education in Monroe County.

Mark is a huge addition to a number of nonprofits. A graduate of Leadership Monroe County, he served for two years as board Treasurer. He is a member of the League of Women Voters of the Lower Keys, and currently serves as board Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Protecting the environment is also one of Mark’s passions. An avid bird watcher, he is also a self-described “born again environmentalist who has trouble saying no to an impossible task.” Mark has been active in Last Stand, a grassroots civic organization dedicated to protecting the environment and quality of life in the Florida Keys. He is a past board president and is currently treasurer. He has a keen interest in restoring the Everglades and is Last Stand’s designated representative to the Everglades Coalition, a group of over 60 diverse not-for-profits who constantly cajole anyone who will listen to provide funding for projects.

Following his retirement, we know Mark will continue as an active community leader, volunteer, and activist. The Keys community he loves will profit from his commitment to causes and dedication to our local nonprofits. As such, he won’t be far from the Community Foundation’s work or from our hearts, which will remain grateful for his six years of service. Thank you!

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