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Remembering Jeff Gibney

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Community leader and South Bend Heritage Foundation’s (SBH) first Executive Director, Jeff Gibney has died. Jeff passed away on Saturday morning, April 12. He was 64. He was the first employee of South Bend Heritage and went on to serve as Executive Director of South Bend Heritage for 30 years.

Jeff’s energy, passion and a deep commitment to his home town, South Bend was evident in every project, movement or initiative he was involved in. Jeff first came to SBH with creativity and the ability to act thoughtfully yet decisively about important community issues. Through his growing leadership, he shaped SBH into a significant community development corporation which helped transform many of South Bend’s urban neighborhoods. Basic to Jeff’s approach was building collaborations and partnerships with every segment of the population acknowledging that change required collaboration and local community support.

In addition to his work at South Bend Heritage, Jeff served as Executive Director of the City of South Bend’s Department of Community and Economic Development from 2007-2011. For his work in community transformation, Jeff received many honors including an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from Indiana University South Bend in 2004 and the F. Jay Nimtz Community Service Award. When Jeff returned to South Bend Heritage in 2013, he served as Director of Planning and Real Estate Development with a special focus on the Northeast Neighborhood.

South Bend Heritage is honored to have had such a passionate visionary to lead our organization. He will be greatly missed by South Bend Heritage and the entire South Bend community.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at The Salvation Army Kroc Center (900 W. Western Ave) on Sunday, April 27th at 2:00 p.m.