The Erie Community Foundation Names New President


The Erie Community Foundation (ECF) has named Karen Bilowith as its new president, the Board of Trustees recently announced.

Bilowith is currently the president and chief executive officer of the Idaho Community Foundation, which is a statewide public charitable foundation. Previously, she held the same position for the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region in Albany, New York. She also worked in an executive position with United Way of the Greater Capital Region also in upstate New York. In 2020, she was recognized as a CEO of Influence award by the Idaho Business Review and, in June 2013, received the Key4Women Achieve Award.

Bilowith holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Boston College. She will start at ECF on October 1, 2021.

ECF Vice President of Philanthropic Services Susannah Weis Frigon will continue to serve as interim president until then. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, Weis Frigon spent 24 years in the financial services industry, holding leadership positions in Chicago, Rochester, New York and Pittsburgh.

Former ECF President Mike Batchelor had extended his December 2020 retirement due to the search for the new president pausing for the COVID-19 pandemic. Batchelor is now the president of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Foundations, a membership-based organization of 31 community foundations in the state.

The mission of The Erie Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life for all in the region by evaluating and addressing community issues, by building permanent charitable endowments and by promoting philanthropic and community leadership. ECF’s annual Erie Gives Day is August 10, 2021.