We are pleased to announce that Sheila Ferguson has joined the Clearwater team as our new full-time Development and Communications Director.
Sheila is no stranger to camp.
While she was not a camper or counselor, she has developed a deep regard and knowledge of Clearwater over many years of visits to her in-laws, the Fergusons, who live next to camp in the summers. Her love for camp was cemented about 10 years ago when waving to campers paddling by Scotty’s Point. Her then five-year-old daughter, Quinn, asked, “When do I get to join my friends at camp?”. Quinn subsequently became a camper in 2014 at the age of eight, enjoyed an amazing fourth full session at Clearwater this past summer, and actively counts down the days until traveling back to Minocqua on June 19, 2019!
Sheila’s Clearwater connection goes back many generations via her husband, Chris Ferguson, and his family:
• his grandmother, Elise Mardorf Cottrell, worked as a counselor in the early days of camp in 1935
• his great-aunt, Helen Mardorf, also was a counselor
• his mother, Sue Cottrell Ferguson, was a camper and counselor
• his sister, Jennifer Ferguson Cheney, was a camper and counselor
• his cousins, Joan Lecoutour Weeks and her daughter Brynne Weeks, were campers
• and now his daughter, Quinn, is a fourth-generation Clearwater daughter!
Sheila was also blessed to know Sunny, who honored Sheila many years ago by seeking her advice as Clearwater began the transformation into a not-for-profit organization. In addition, Sheila was friends with Alma “Scotty” Scott, a long-time camp counselor who shared the history of camp’s sailing program and was a close friend of Sheila’s mother in-law, Sue.
Sheila will combine her love of the Northwoods with her extensive nonprofit leadership and management background to oversee and provide strategic direction to support development, marketing and outreach efforts for Clearwater. She will work in partnership with the leadership team and board to fulfill our mission to foster confidence, courage, compassion and community – four points on Clearwater’s compass – by providing a traditional sleepaway camp experience for girls.
Sheila graduated from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance and went on to the University of Memphis to secure a Master’s in the Arts of Teaching (MAT). After three years of teaching advanced accounting, business law, U.S. Government, Algebra and Religion in Memphis-area high schools, she was recruited to work for Arnoult & Associates Inc., a nonprofit consulting firm. From 1992 to 1999, she led and supported strategic planning, communications and fundraising projects for a variety of nonprofit clients, including the YWCA of Nashville, Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock, AR, The Fire Museum of Memphis, and Elmwood Cemetery.
After marrying Chris Ferguson in late 1998, she moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where she served as the Community Relations Officer of the Pikes Peak Library District from 1999 to 2003. During her tenure at the library she led the $3.5 million private fundraising effort to restore the 1905 Carnegie Library. Sheila also established the PPLD Foundation and implemented an American Library Association award-winning marketing and branding campaign.
Upon the birth of their first child, Jack (who is now a camper at Red Arrow) in 2003, Sheila went back to consulting with nonprofit organizations until 2009. She was then recruited to support SRVS in Memphis, Tennessee and successfully completed a $5.5 million, two-year capital campaign to create an innovative and expanded center for adults with developmental disabilities that opened in 2012.
Sheila’s family relocated back to Colorado Springs in 2013 and Sheila was recruited to a leadership position as the Development and Marketing Director for The Resource Exchange to support people of all ages living with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Over the past five and a half years, Sheila guided the expansion of the Development and Marketing efforts in partnership with the Executive Director, staff and board, resulting in a nearly 100% increase in funding.
With this new opportunity to serve as Clearwater’s Development and Communications Director, Sheila is honored to be entrusted to preserve the camp’s rich history and traditions, while meeting the unique needs of new generations of girls. She is excited to activate her passions for nature, education, adventure, and leadership development to implement new and innovative ways to enhance girls’ experience of camp through fundraising and communications.
Sheila will work from her home in Colorado Springs, Colorado during the school year and plans to spend a great deal of time in Minocqua this coming summer. She looks forward to meeting many more Clearwater campers, counselors, parents, alumnae and friends. She invites you all to send her your ideas and stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome Sheila to Clearwater Camp, we’re mighty glad you’re here!