After a national search, Portzel has relocated from California to Franklin for new Heritage Foundation c-suite position

Leanne Portzel

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County today announced that Leanne Portzel has been named Chief of Staff. This is a new role and the first Chief of Staff in the Heritage Foundation’s history. She will play a key leadership role in the organization’s overall executive support, special projects coordination, information technology, strategic planning, internal communications, as well as playing a lead strategic role in Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens and the History and Culture Center.

“This is an incredibly important time for our organization as we advance some of the most culturally important initiatives in our organization’s history including Franklin Grove and the History and Culture Center,” said Bari Beasley, president and CEO of the Heritage Foundation. “We embarked on a national search to find our Chief of Staff and are beyond thrilled to have found Leanne and she felt strongly enough about our mission to relocate from California to Franklin to take on this critically important strategic role for us. We’re excited about what’s on our horizon and know that Leanne will be a key piece of our success.”

Added Portzel, “Even from California, I have been hearing about the history, charm, and growth of Williamson County. I am so grateful for the opportunity to join such a strong team and to serve the community.”

Before joining the Heritage Foundation, Portzel served with Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank since 2020, most recently as its Executive Director. During her tenure as Executive Director, Manna successfully completed a planned move to a facility ten times larger than their previous one. Portzel was able to grow Manna’s relationships in the community, increase donor giving, and update critical systems, such as IT hardware, software, and donation processing, preparing the food bank to serve its neighbors for the next 50 years.

Prior to Manna, she worked for two international nonprofits, Joni and Friends and Mission to the World, as Director of Development and Capital Campaign Director, respectively. Her more than 20 years in nonprofit development include experience with major and mid-tier donor fundraising, monthly giving, special events, planned giving, capital campaigns, and direct mail and email strategy. She also has served as a volunteer and fundraising consultant for several local charities, churches, and schools.

Portzel earned a BA (Spanish and Political Science) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an IMBA (International Business) from the University of South Carolina.

She and her husband have two grown children. They are excited to explore all that the area has to offer.