Marla Patrias named chief development officer at BSU Foundation

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Nov. 29, 2011) — Dave Sorensen, president of the Bemidji State University Foundation Board of Directors, announced today that Marla Patrias has been named chief development officer for the foundation.

“We are very excited that Marla is joining the foundation as our chief development officer,” Sorensen said. “In this role, she will lead the foundation’s development team as we move forward with the important work we are undertaking in support of Bemidji State University.”

As chief development officer, Patrias will direct and oversee the BSU Foundation’s fundraising efforts. She also will manage the foundation’s development directors and annual fund directors, develop operating procedures for the foundation and oversee its budget. The BSU Foundation has added this position as part of a strategic effort to improve the effectiveness of its fundraising efforts.

“I am very pleased that Marla has accepted this position,” Rob Bollinger, executive director for university advancement at Bemidji State, said. “She has been an exceptional leader as BSU’s director of alumni relations, and she will be crucial to our ongoing and future development initiatives. Over the years, Marla has built strong relationships with our alumni, donors and friends; in her new role, she will strengthen these relationships as we build support for Bemidji State University.”

Patrias’ appointment begins Jan. 4, 2012.

“I am honored and excited by the opportunity to play a leadership role as Bemidji State University and the BSU Foundation move forward in a very deliberate way to build increased support for the University,” Patrias said. “During my 14 years at Bemidji State, I have had the benefit of working with many talented and dedicated alumni who served on the Alumni Board of Directors or as key volunteers in our many events and programs. Their leadership and commitment to BSU are what made my job so enjoyable. I’m pleased I will have the opportunity to continue working with all of them in this new position.”

Patrias is currently Bemidji State’s director of alumni relations, a position she has held since 2000. Prior to that, she spent three years with the BSU Alumni Association as director of major gifts and planned giving. She came to BSU in 1997 after more than a decade working in politics in Alaska. She was director of external relations for the Office of the Governor from 1994-97, and campaign manager for races ranging from the borough mayor in Kenai, Alaska, to the successful state gubernatorial campaign by Tony Knowles in 1994.

Patrias has been heavily involved in the Bemidji community over the last decade, serving on committees for the Bemidji Chamber of Commerce and the Bemidji Area United Way, co-chairing Relay for Life and United Way fundraising campaigns on campus, and serving on several politically-oriented committees, including a pair of committees to support candidates for Beltrami County Sheriff and a committee to support the sales tax extension referendum that led to the construction of the Sanford Center.

A national search to seek Patrias’ replacement as director of alumni relations with the BSU Alumni Association is expected to begin soon.