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Walser new executive director of Robertson Foundation; Kluttz joins board

Staff report

The Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation announced Wednesday that Jason Walser has been named as its new executive director.

Walser is a former executive director of the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, and he has worked with the Robertson Family Foundation for two years as a consultant. He also previously served on the board of directors of the Robertson Family Foundation.

The foundation has given away more than $34 million to local nonprofit groups and governments since its founding in 1997. Its next grant cycle will open up in January.

“This is a truly humbling honor,” Walser said in a news release. “Our previous executive director, David Setzer, set the bar mighty high in terms of professionalism and community engagement for this foundation.

“The work of the foundation is extremely important to the future quality of life for this community, and I look forward to being a part of our shared future successes.”

In recent years, the foundation has taken on several community initiatives, in addition to its grants. The initiatives include revitalization of the West End community in Salisbury and the creation of a downtown park.

“These community initiatives represent a new chapter for the Robertson Family Foundation,” Walser said, “and I truly believe that they will prove ‘game changers’ for Salisbury and Rowan County. I could not be more excited to be a part of this journey.”

Susan Kluttz, a former Salisbury mayor and former N.C. secretary of natural and cultural resources, joined the board of directors of the Robertson foundation last month.

Kluttz served as mayor from December 1997 to December 2011 and as head of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources from 2012 to 2016.

“Susan Kluttz brings a wealth of local, regional and statewide leadership experience to the foundation,” the press release stated.

She is married to former District Court Judge Bill Kluttz.

Susan Kluttz has recently been honored by Preservation North Carolina, Historic Salisbury Foundation and the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce for her work to save historic preservation tax credits in North Carolina. She also has been recognized for merging multiple state agencies to gain efficiency and improve customer service during her tenure as secretary of natural and cultural resources.

“It is truly an honor to become a part of the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, which has been a tremendous asset to this community’s quality of life for the past 20 years,” Kluttz said. “I look forward to helping in any way that I can to ensure that we continue to keep Salisbury and Rowan County moving forward.”

Board Chairwoman Margaret Kluttz said these additions to the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation staff and board will ensure the foundation continues to serve Salisbury and Rowan County.

“We feel like we have hit a home run in landing Jason as our new executive director and having Susan Kluttz join our board,” Margaret Kluttz said. “Thanks to the generosity of Julian Robertson Jr. and his family, this foundation has made immeasurable investments into this community, and we anticipate continued positive impact in our community for generations to come.”

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