Photo Caption: Bryan Benchoff
"We are very pleased to welcome Bryan Benchoff to the Ohio University family," McDavis said in a prepared release. "His expertise and the depth of knowledge he brings will be of great benefit as we move the university forward and continue our progress toward our campaign goal."
McDavis thanked the search committee led by Vice President of Student Affairs Kent Smith for its work in finding a replacement for former Advancement VP Howard Lipman, who left the position last fall.
Benchoff will be responsible for leading the University's $450 million "The Promise Lives" capital campaign and all aspects of University Advancement, which includes leadership of the Ohio University Foundation, Alumni Affairs and Development.
Benchoff comes to Athens from the University of South Dakota, where he served as president and CEO of the University of South Dakota Foundation, a position he has held since 2008. During his tenure with USD, according to the news release, "Benchoff is credited with obtaining national rankings for investment returns, growing operating reserves from $200,000 to $2.7 million, successfully negotiating the merger of three university-related Foundations, and stabilizing the operating budget while sustaining fundraising levels during a national economic downturn."
Prior to his appointment with USD, Benchoff served in a variety of positions with the West Virginia University Foundation, including assistant director of development (1990-1992), director of development (1992-1997), senior director of development for major gifts (1997-2001), assistant campaign director (1997-2004), assistant vice president for constituency development (2001-2004), and associate vice president for development (2004-2007).
Earlier in his career, Benchoff worked in development and fundraising for the American Red Cross, Southern Pennsylvania Chapter, the Arthritis Foundation, Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter and the American Heart Association.
During an open forum with the OU community in April, Benchoff emphasized the importance of building relationships to advance the university's mission.
"The fun part is shaping [the type of gift]," he said. "When you're talking to a donor who's going to make a sizable gift, or even a modest gift, they have very real notions and expectations about what that will ultimately do for an institution. And, to be a part of that to get it the way people want that's what works for me."
McDavis also expressed his gratitude to the University Advancement team members for their continued commitment during the search process, which began in late 2010.
Benchoff comes into a situation where three of four Advancement division assistant vice presidents are departing, either through resignations or retirements. The VP's chief assistant also is leaving the university.
OU officials had held off on finding replacements until a new VP was appointed and could get involved in the process.