Longtime CFO at Fort Hays State Foundation plans to retire next year

Staff Writer
Hays Daily News
Francine Hestermann

Following a successful tenure of more than two decades, Francine Hestermann plans to retire in October 2021 from her position as Chief Financial Officer for the Fort Hays State University Foundation. She joined the FHSU Foundation as CFO in 1997 and says the thought of retiring is bittersweet.

“I’m looking forward to retirement, but I’m going to be leaving an incredible job that has brought me joy over the last 23 years,” Hestermann said. “I’ve met so many wonderful people through my career and have been humbled by the generosity of our Fort Hays State alumni and donors.”

Thanks to donor support from 1997 to today, Hestermann and the FHSU Foundation have created more than 700 new funds in support of Fort Hays State University. In addition, they have more than doubled the number of endowed funds, which are those over $10,000 that are invested and live on in perpetuity.

She has seen a great amount of growth and change through her years serving as Chief Financial Officer. Net assets for the FHSU Foundation have grown from $21 million to more than $116 million to date, and its staff has grown from seven employees to 21.

The FHSU Foundation is currently in the capstone year of its Journey Campaign with a goal of raising $100 million by Homecoming 2021. Hestermann has served in her role through three prior capital campaigns for Fort Hays State: the Centennial Campaign, the Cornerstone Campaign, and the Power of One Scholarship Campaign.

Hestermann is proud to have built an organized and stable accounting team – one that has received an unqualified audit opinion, with no adjusting entries proposed, for all of her 23 years as CFO.

“Our Foundation staff has been amazing, but I’ve also enjoyed working with our Board of Trustees, professors, staff and students,” she said. “I could not find a better place to work.”

With Hestermann retiring, the FHSU Foundation team is hiring for the position of Chief Financial Officer. The candidate will work, learn, and train alongside Hestermann for a number of months to build upon her expertise and longevity before her official retirement. For anyone interested in applying for this position, a full job description is available at https://foundation.fhsu.edu/about/careers.

To be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references in a single pdf file to foundation@fhsu.edu. The priority deadline to apply is Nov. 1, 2020.