Healthy Community Initiative

Thriving Youth. Thriving Community.

Photo of Sandy Malecha

Sandy Malecha Named Executive Director of Healthy Community Initiative

August 17, 2023

Aug. 16, 2023 – The Healthy Community Initiative Board of Directors is excited to announce that Sandy Malecha has accepted an offer to serve as the organization’s Executive Director.

Malecha has served as Interim Executive Director since June 2022. As part of a distributed leadership model created by Malecha and the board, HCI will hire a Finance Manager and a Human Resources Manager to complete the leadership team for the organization. 

HCI Board Co-Chair Ellen Iverson said, “Through my time as an HCI board member I have valued the skills, knowledge, and relationship-building approach Sandy brings to her role, and I believe the proposed leadership structure sets the organization up for a future of amazing impact.”

Formed in 1992, HCI provides support to more than 30 initiatives in Faribault and Northfield and has helped bring in more than $20 million in funding from outside Rice County to benefit local youth and families. The HCI board conducted a nationwide search for a new director and determined that the organization and its more than 40 employees would be best served by the creation of a leadership team with Malecha at its helm. 

It’s an honor to work with the staff, board members, partners and families that make up HCI,” Malecha said. “I am grateful for the many people who have worked diligently over decades to create such an incredible organization. With great enthusiasm, I look forward to implementing the board’s well-informed vision to set HCI on a course for sustained success in its service to our community.” 

​​Under Malecha’s interim leadership, HCI’s Northfield Promise initiative attained Systems Transformation designation from the national StriveTogether organization – becoming only the fourth Cradle to Career Network in the country to earn this designation, and the first in Minnesota. HCI also recently earned Platinum Transparency status from Candid (formerly known as GuideStar), which demonstrates its commitment as a nonprofit organization to transparency and accountability.

Malecha joined HCI in 2014 and served as a Senior Director from 2017 until 2022, when she was named Interim Executive Director. In her roles with HCI she has convened countywide partners and co-facilitated 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 level.

She has a master’s degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. She has a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies and Family Studies from St. Olaf College.