With the impending retirement of the two women at the forefront of one of the most crucial nonprofits in Steele County, a new leader has been named.

On Wednesday, Dom Korbel was announced as the next executive director of Community Pathways of Steele County. Korbel’s first day will be Dec. 13, where he will be working alongside current co-executive directors Nancy Ness and Maureen Schlobohm.

Ness and Schlobohm are set to retire at the end of the year.

Korbel has a background in executive leadership and working in nonprofits. He is currently the vice president of administration at Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) and is the former CEO of Fernbrook Family Center. In 2020, Korbel ran for one of the three open seats on the Owatonna School Board along with five other individuals. This summer, Korbel was one of 12 people who applied for the Owatonna City Council member at-large position that was left vacant following the death of Councilor Jeff Okerberg.

The position was appointed to Dan Boeke.

Having lived in Owatonna for the last 25 years, Korbel has held a number of volunteer roles throughout the community, including nine years as the Board Chair for Let’s Smile, Inc. and previously as a member of the Community Pathways Board of Directors and on the board of the food shelf.

Additionally, Korbel has serve on the United Way of Steele County Board, has volunteered with the Owatonna Basketball Association and has been actively involved in the confirmation program at Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna.

“Community Pathways has long been a cornerstone of the non-profit community helping care for the residents of Steele County,” Korbel said in a press release. “I am humbled by the fact that the Board of Directors has placed their trust in me to carry on the great work of the past leaders and board members into the future.”

Korbel was selected among roughly 10 other candidates who applied for the position, according to Diane Hendricks, board member and member of the search committee. Hendricks said after two face-to-face interviews with the finalists, committee members and other members from the board agreed Korbel is the right fit for their long-term vision.

“Going forward we are doing some reorganizing where we will have an executive director and an operations manager,” Hendricks said, noting that Korbel’s strong financial background will be integral for this role. “Dom will be focused on the communication relationships, fund development and our overall strategic planning.”

Hendricks said the operational manager will take on the internal management and human resources tasks, currently shared by Ness and Schlobohm.

Though Hendricks said they are all looking forward to seeing where Korbel can take Community Pathways in the future, she expressed thanks and gratitude for the hard work and passion the current executive directors have dedicated to the organization.

“They’ve done an excellent job and have been excellent leaders,” Hendricks said. “We wish them the very best.”

Korbel also acknowledged how far Community Pathways has come thanks to the work put in by his two predecessors.

“Nancy and Maureen have set the bar so high with the success and I am excited to be the next leader with a chance to leave such a positive mark on this organization and the Steele County community,” he said.

Reach Associate Editor Annie Granlund at 507-444-2378 or follow her on Twitter @AnnieGranlund. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota.

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