Our Work for Educators, Our Work for Students

Champions For Learning appoints new CEO, Barbara Evans long-time nonprofit leader in SWFL

Nikki Ross, Naples Daily News

Champions For Learning has appointed a new chief executive officer.

Barbara Evans, a long-time nonprofit leader in Southwest Florida, will begin her new role at the education foundation on Sept. 13. She is replacing Susan McManus, who stepped down in May after 29 years.

“I am honored to be joining the exceptional team at Champions For Learning,” Evans said in a news release. “As a mother of two school-aged children, I truly value our mission of creating life-changing learning experiences for every student.”

In her new role, Evans will take the lead on the foundation’s annual fundraisers, which will allow them to support more students and educators, according to the release. She will also expand programs that will support the needs of Collier County students.

“Our Board of Directors is thrilled to bring a leader of Barbara’s caliber to guide Champions For Learning. I am confident that we have found the perfect fit to support our mission,” said William Lutz, board chair, in the release. “Barbara brings a wealth of nonprofit success and strategic vision to the organization, which will be critical to our ability to grow and to serve even more Collier County students and educators. I am excited for what the future holds under her leadership.”

For the past 20 years, Evans has had a career in fundraising. She was formerly chief development officer at Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers.

Prior to her position at the food bank, she was the director of development at Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation and served six years as chief development officer for Grace Place for Children and Families in Naples. Under her leadership, the organization experienced revenue growth, both in annual operating and capital revenue, according to the release.