Foundation board names Alicia Dicks as next CEO

The Community Foundation’s board of directors are pleased to announce Alicia Fernandez Dicks as the next President and CEO of The Foundation.

She succeeds retiring Foundation President and CEO Peggy O’Shea, whose leadership and impact since 2005 has moved The Foundation to the social impact investor it is today.

As president of Fort Schuyler Management Corporation, Dicks has been leading the development of the $1.5 billion nanotechnology project at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. She will succeed retiring Foundation President and CEO Peggy O’Shea, who has led The Foundation since 2005.

A search committee of community leaders and Foundation trustees chose Dicks from 200 applicants. Executive search firm BoardWalk Consulting advised the committee throughout the nearly year-long process.

“Alicia Dicks demonstrates a combined passion for our region and record of impact and excellence in professional and community endeavors,” said Foundation board chair Keith Fenstemacher. “Her past successes and foresight for the region align with The Foundation’s goals for impact, partnership and strategic investment in strengthening our community.”

Alicia’s success in capacity building, urban planning, project management and economic development support The Foundation’s vision and goals for supporting the community’s growth. Her proven ability to inspire and manage collective impact, paired with a passion for the success of our region, marked Dicks as a natural fit to lead The Foundation.

The Foundation is committed to social impact investing, with specific emphasis in areas of education, economic development, health, and arts and culture, where its research and indicators show the community is most in need. (See

“The Community Foundation has a long history of social impact and strategic partnership in our community,” said Dicks, who lives in Whitesboro with her husband and two school-age daughters. “I look forward to continuing the legacy built by my predecessors to best meet the needs of this great community.”

From 1999 to 2012, Dicks held various management and executive positions with National Grid. She previously served as senior economic developer for Albany’s Location Development Corporation, has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from SUNY Cortland and a master’s degree in planning from SUNY Albany. Dicks has served on local boards, including the Robert Esche “Save of the Day” Foundation, United Way and Mohawk Valley EDGE. She and Esche are co-owners of Aqua Vino Restaurant and Banquets.