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Healthy Community Initiative has appointed Sandy Malecha interim executive director by HCI’s board. Malecha joined HCI in 2014 and has been a senior director since 2017.

As interim director, Malecha will lead HCI into the 2022-23 school year.

Zach Pruitt, who is departing HCI after 17 years as executive director, will help facilitate the transition to support the continuity of HCI operations. She will work closely with Administrative Director Amy Lunderby and Senior Director Jodi Lundell and the full HCI team.

In Malecha’s previous position she worked on supporting fund development, personnel and HR management, including training and supervision of employees and interns, collective impact work across Rice County, especially early childhood initiatives and co-management of Growing Up Healthy and Early Childhood Navigators.

Malecha convenes countywide partners and co-facilitates collective action work in Northfield and Faribault, managing communication with key stakeholders from more than 30 agencies and organizations across Rice County and in the Twin Cities to support awareness and understanding of goal alignment efforts locally, regionally and at the state.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources & Industrial Relations from Carlson School of Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Hispanic Studies and Family Studies from St. Olaf College.

According to a news release, the transition plan gives the search committee of HCI’s board time to plan and shape the Executive Director role as HCI evolves, a key step for the organization that has grown 25-fold under Zach Pruitt.

“We are not replacing Zach; we are hiring for HCI’s future,” says Kris Estenson, longtime HCI board member who is chairing the search committee.


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