images_sizedimage_141224528

Roger Ahrens

PLATTSBURGH -- In sports, when a popular player retires, it places added pressure on the new player to do well.

Sometimes it takes that game-winning home run or stupendous touchdown catch to woo over the fans, but usually the player's consistent efforts will eventually earn the favor of the crowd.

Roger Ahrens finds himself in a similar situation as he takes over the helm of the CVPH Medical Center Foundation.

Ahrens, with 17 years experience in raising funds for health-related facilities, replaces longtime foundation leader Hannah Hanford, who stepped down earlier this year to take a position outside the area.

"I know I have some big shoes to fill," said Ahrens, who began his job as executive director about three weeks ago. "Hannah did a great job when she was here, and she was very well known throughout the community.

"But I've always enjoyed working with people, and meeting new people has always been fairly easy for me," he added. "I'm excited about this new challenge and the opportunities here at CVPH."

CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

Ahrens steps into his position at CVPH as the hospital nears its goal in a major fundraising capital campaign to support the $25 million Surgical Unit expansion. The foundation is within $300,000 of its $7 million target.

"These first two weeks I've used to get to know the organization," Ahrens said. "CVPH has some very specific organizational goals and (they) have done a wonderful job with their strategic plan. I'm here to help with new programs, new initiatives."

One of the reasons he chose to come to the North Country was because of the role the hospital plays across the region.

"There are other community hospitals in the area, but CVPH has a regional focus," he said. "The foundation plays a very important role in providing support to the hospital that meets their regional needs."

One of Ahrens's areas of expertise is with "planned giving," the concept of bequeathing funds to an organization. His goal is to expand on that fundraising avenue and help people who wish to use that form of donation to benefit from tax deductions.

PAST EXPERIENCE

Ahrens comes from Norwich, Vt., where he was the vice president of the Global Health Council, an organization that supports health-care needs across the planet.

Before that, he was director of fund development for Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation in Flemington, N.J.; senior director of development for the Bonnie Brae School and Residential Treatment Center in Liberty Corner, N.J.; and acting senior vice president of institutional advancement and communications at Good Shepherd Home and Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown, Pa.

During the interview process at CVPH, Ahrens was impressed by the professionalism of the hospital and President Stephens Mundy and of the direction in which the Medical Center is moving.

He and his wife, Linda, have already purchased a home, which he proudly said is in walking distance to the hospital. She is a high-school teacher and is finishing the school year in Norwich before moving to Plattsburgh in the summer.

jmeyers@pressrepublican.com

Recommended for you