The entire American Youth Foundation community wishes its beloved president of 20 years, Anna Kay Vorsteg, happy trails as she embarks on the next phase of her personal and professional life.
As the AYF announced in October, Anna Kay has decided the end of 2023 is the right moment to pass the torch of leadership. The Board of Directors has selected current Vice President, Liz Marshall to assume the presidency beginning January 1, 2024.
“The AYF grew with me through the decades as I worked hard to shape and evolve it as a values-driven organization, offering youth and adults empowering programs that inspired their best,” Anna Kay wrote in a recent letter. “I am deeply grateful to have served the mission so long and am thankful for all this loving, learning community has gifted my family and me.”
Board Chair DD Danforth Burlin said this is a graceful transition to a new chapter after a lifetime of professional service to the AYF. “Throughout the years, Anna Kay has brought strong leadership focused on youth empowerment, a commitment to holding our organization to the highest standards, a robust and joy-filled laugh with thoughtfulness to everything she does, and a steady hand at the tiller,” Danforth Burlin wrote in October. “Anna Kay has been the AYF’s greatest advocate.”
Liz said Anna Kay has been a transformative leader, adapting the work of the AYF to best support today’s youth while adhering to the organization’s original vision of best self and balanced living.
“From her earliest days as a cabin leader through the many leadership roles she filled, her vision has been a true north star for the AYF and for me as a mentor,” Liz said. “Her genuine love for this work and commitment to expanding our reach has been an inspiration. Her steady guidance has prepared me to step into the role with incredible enthusiasm and excitement.”
This transition is the culmination of a carefully crafted succession plan developed by the Board of Directors and Anna Kay. Liz has a lifetime of experience with the AYF, from her earliest days as a camper to 14 years as Girls Camp Director of Miniwanca and then Director of Advancement for the organization. She became Vice President in 2021.
“Liz has the full support of the Board as we begin this new chapter of leadership at the American Youth Foundation. We have seen Liz shine in her role and are confident that she is ready to carry the organization into the future,” Danforth Burlin said. “Liz is a dynamic thinker, a respected leader, and a deep believer in the Four-Fold way of life. As Board Chair, I am thrilled that Liz is grabbing the torch.”
Liz said she is honored to take on the mantle of leadership and thrilled to guide the AYF into its next century.
“I am ready to carry the torch of leadership for this organization that has shaped me and so many others,” she said. “It’s such an honor to work on behalf of the kids we serve and make an even greater impact in our vibrant, positive program communities. Now more than ever, we must heed the call of our timeless mission to live at our best and to make our world a better place. I can’t wait for the journey into the AYF’s next era.”
As for Anna Kay, she is confident that whatever comes next in her life, the AYF will continue to be part of it. “I have every intention of maintaining a connection to this community and the values we share, and pledge to do all I can to fuel this organization I love, as it enters an exciting and necessary next chapter.”