(Missoula Current) The CEO of the Missoula-based Headwaters Foundation on Friday announced her plans to leave the job for new opportunities in California.

Brenda Solorzano, who helped launch the foundation in 2017, developed a strong philanthropic program that has awarded more than $26 million in grants.

“I am so proud of the work we’ve accomplished at Headwaters in the past seven years,” said Solorzano in a statement. “Western Montana has many incredible nonprofit leaders and organizations doing work that changes lives.”

The Headwaters Foundation funds nonprofits that support children, families, and Native American communities across western Montana. It aims to go “upstream” to address the root cause of problems, and support collaboration between organizations.

The organization's success enabled it to open a nonprofit event space in Missoula and land a $14 million gift from MacKenzie Scott.

“I will miss our team, partners, and the amazing people I have met and worked with in Montana,” said Solorzano. “However, I move on knowing that Headwaters is in a strong position for the future with a new 10-year strategy, solid staff, and an excellent Board of Directors.”

Solorzano will remain at Headwaters through the summer before starting as president and CEO of The California Endowment in early September.

Headwaters Foundation will hire a firm to lead a national search for its next CEO. The Board intends to hire a leader consistent with Headwaters’ values and approach, said chair Carissa Kuhl.

“We are sad to see Brenda go. However, we are grateful for her leadership and are proud to launch her to lead one of the country’s largest health foundations,” said Kuhl. “Because of her work, Headwaters is a strong organization and a leader in innovative and equitable philanthropic practices.”