Wishard Foundation appoints new leader

Wishard Hospital announced Friday morning that its fund-raising arm, Wishard Foundation, has a new leader.

Ernest Vargo II, a senior consultant at the Greenwood-based fund-raising firm of Johnson Grossnickle & Associates, will become president and CEO of the foundation in June. Vargo takes over for Jim Wood, who resigned last year.

Vargo’s top priority will be guiding the foundation’s $50 million capital campaign for the construction of the new, $754 million Wishard Hospital expected to be finished by 2014.

“There is no one more qualified, experienced or knowledgeable than Ernie, and the Wishard Foundation is deeply honored and extremely privileged to bring him on as our president and CEO,” said Matt Gutwein, president and CEO of Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, in a prepared statement.

The corporation, which operates Wishard, completed sales of $661 million in bonds, which will help finance the new hospital.

Before joining Johnson Grossnickle in 1998, Vargo served as director of development for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. His work there included a $50 million campaign that solicited a $10 million contribution, the largest by a single donor in the ISO’s history.
 

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