New executive director to join Goosefoot

Elise Miller will join Goosefoot Community Fund as its new executive director beginning Feb. 8.

Whidbey Island resident Elise Miller will join Goosefoot Community Fund as its new executive director beginning Feb. 8. Goosefoot’s current leader, Sandra Whiting, is retiring after 10 years with the economic and community development nonprofit organization.

Miller has over 25 years of experience leading nonprofits, in addition to having served as board member and advisor to many others. She was the founding executive director of the Jenifer Altman Foundation, a private foundation in the Bay Area; founder and director of the national Institute for Children’s Environmental Health; and co-founder and director of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, an established program of Commonweal, which is a 40-plus-year-old center in California with programs in health and healing, education and the arts, and environment and justice.

Most recently, Miller served as interim executive director for Hedgebrook, the noted international women writer’s retreat center on South Whidbey. After wrapping up there in spring 2021, she decided to become a certified leadership coach. She started Cedar Wise Coaching in 2022 to assist nonprofit leaders in achieving success in social change professions. Shortly afterwards, she came across Goosefoot’s job announcement for a new executive director.

Miller couldn’t pass up this opportunity to serve her own community.

“Having lived on Whidbey since 1998, I’ve been an ardent admirer of Goosefoot’s innovative efforts to address many of South Whidbey’s most pressing challenges,” she said. “I couldn’t be more delighted and honored to serve in this capacity — and to get to work with Goosefoot’s exceptional staff and board to strategically tackle the next set of priorities.”

The Goosefoot staff and board look forward to welcoming their new leader.

“Elise brings the perfect combination of experience and personality to the table,” said Chris Salomone, board president. “Leaders with skills in strategic planning, fundraising, and financial analysis — combined with a heart-centered style of leadership — are what’s made Goosefoot the success it is today. We are thrilled that our new executive director will continue in this tradition.”

In her free time, Miller enjoys taking advantage of the many outdoor activities available in the Pacific Northwest and is also a dedicated triathlete. She has been a practitioner of Vipassana meditation for over 35 years, starting when she was a journalist in India for a year after college. Miller lives in Freeland with her husband, Dan Neumeyer, and their son, Ravi.

Goosefoot is a nonprofit that works together with the South Whidbey community to create essential solutions. The group works to preserve great places, address community needs, grow local businesses, and connect neighbors.